Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Pursuing her passion for fashion like a cakewalk

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Celebrity costume designer Gauri Naidu, who is making her own mark in the Tollywood film industry, by making her designs speak, takes The Pioneer through her journey and also shares some exclusive details about her upcoming projects.

Tejal Sinha

Having a true passion to do something, always leads you to the path that you’ve always dreamt of. A perfect example of this can be seen through the journey of celebrity costume designer, Gauri Naidu.

The love that Gauri had for fashion can be traced right back to when she was a kid. Ever since her childhood, she had always dreamt to pursue a career in fashion. Being an engineering graduate, she had worked as a developer but later quit to do something around fashion. She later completed her fashion design course.

“My parents have been always supportive of me. I always used to design my own clothes. But I felt that it wasn’t enough for me, to make fashion as my career,” said the fashion enthusiast.

Her love and passion bought her the opportunity to design as an assistant for Niharika Konidela for Oka Manasu. Taking us through how it all happened, she says, “While I was in my college I got an inquiry to help someone from the industry, through a common friend.

They wanted some help with the design and I was like okay. But since I was still in the college, I din’t want to quit the classes and go to the shoot. My first film was Oka Manasu starring Niharika Konidela. However, for this, I didn’t have to go for the shoot as it was just for the Pre-production work that I needed to get done.”

Gauri has worked with several biggies from the industry including megastar Chiranjeevi, Ram Charan, Pooja Hegde, Dimple Hayati, Anasuya, and Varun, out of the many. Apart from Oka Manasu, Gauri has worked in other films including Khaidi No 150, Rangasthalam, E Maya Peremito, Suryakantam, Akshara, Gaddala Konda Ganesh and Thellavarithey Guruvaram.

Getting into the films with ease, is not something any newbie would imagine of. In fact, getting into the films was also not her plan. She says, “I never imagined I’ll land up into films. I always wanted to have my studio and a proper designer sort of store. After my first film, I thought it is over as I anyways din’t have a connection in the industry and I was anyways in college. Though I used to not go to the shoots but I did get exposure to fashion and costume designing. After 6 months, I got a call from the Konidela office saying that’s Sushmita, Chiranjeevis daughter, who is also into fashion designing and wanted an assistant to help her for a project. Back then, she used to live in Chennai so there was a designer here in Hyderabad and I had to work with her. At that time she was working for Khaidi 150 and then I got into the project like that then she worked with Chiranjeevi’s tv show, for which I had worked too, followed by Rangasthalam. Things happened like one after the other. After Rangasthalam, I got to work as a solo designer.”

Rangasthalam as we all know starred Ram Charan, and styling the actor was like a dream come true for Gauri. But, guess what? Who approached Gauri for the film? The handsome hunk Ram Charan himself. For her, Rangasthalam was infact the turning point of her career.

Let’s hear from Gauri of how it happened, “It was a dream to style Ram Charan for the longest time because I am a big fan of Chiranjeevi. I always wanted to get more chances to work with him because once the work is done, its done. But later Ram Charan saw me work closely with Chiranjeevi and asked me to work with him for Rangasthalam.

He himself initiated it. Before that, I wanted to leave because it was one year that I had worked as an assistant. I wanted to work as a designer rather than being an assistant. Back then, Ram Charan asked me why don’t you do this project with Sushmita, since it is regional you will be of great help to her so I thought for a while because I was anyways getting projects as a solo designer and even a bigger production. My near and dear ones were like why do you want to leave this opportunity in fact Sukumar was the director of the film you’ll learn so much so I thought fine let’s do it so that’s when I happen to work with him and he was extremely sweet and comfortable. Every moment working with him was so memorable. Even after working with so many actors, Ram Charan will still be my favourite.”

Costume designers play an important part as  they curate the costumes based on the character and sketch them before designing for the actors. We wondered, what’s the biggest challenge she faces as a designer. To this, she says, “It’s always about the time you never know when the director wants it. If the scene is tomorrow they would call now and ask to arrange the costume. You should be ready for it and you cannot back off as you’ve signed for it.”

The fashion connoisseur whose vision through her label is simplicity, comfort, and minimalism, will be presenting a film titled Shashi Vadane, which will probably be released in March 2023.

Sharing some exclusive insights about the same, she says, “My husband is the producer for the film, he also produced for another film called Akshara and this is his second film. We are doing it together. So it’s a village-based film. The film stars Komali Prasad, the actor from Hit 2 and  Rakshit Atluri from the film Palasa 1978, who will play the leads in the film. It’s a feel-loved kind of film with amazing music and visuals. Hoping that people will like it.”

She has not only presented the film but also designed the costumes too. Apart from this, she has a couple of releases that she’s worked on including Jagapathi Babu’s Simbaa, and two Bilingual projects; Flashback, and Ari.

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