Neha Dhupia on being mentor in Styled By Neha, fluidity of fashion, and dabbling in different projects
'Whether you are working in a bank or behind the cameras, you cannot look shabby, unless that is the style one is aiming for,' says Neha Dhupia.
Her wardrobe might be among one of the most coveted ones in the Bolly-land, but Neha Dhupia believes that style can never be 'one size fits all'. As the former Miss India pageant winner gears up to mentor participants to style their outfits in Fox's Styled by Neha, the actress busted several myths about fashion and fashionistas, asserting that while fads are transient, style is an individualistic form of expression.
The Fox Life venture will see Neha, along with New York's stylist and model Diva Dhawan and celebrity make-up artist Elton Fernandez, giving makeover to regular people, and help them deal with their everyday fashion emergencies. The format of the show is episodic, where each episode will see one relative nominating a family member for a makeover where the mentors will help them to select complete attires that would reflect one's personality and avoid fashion faux-pas.
"In the process of the makeover, contestants, more often than not, feel confident in their own skin, without falling prey to aping others, " Neha says, adding that while each mentor took care of one particular aspect of the participant, the final approval was given by Neha.
Recounting her experience of shooting for the fashion-based show while being pregnant, she chirped, "It was great, the team used to serve donuts for evening tea and snacks, and I would happily gorge into them while on set."
But a generation breathing social media can fall victim to the allure of a parallel identity that is constructed on Instagram. Neha asserts that representations on Instagram or fashion magazines are not the gospel truth. "Everything is done in post-production," she admits, before enumerating different tips and tricks that could be followed to remain uber stylish, including always checking the mirror before leaving one's house and opting for baggier clothes over life-threateningly tight ones.
Binoculared scrutiny on celebrities' lives is not a recent phenomenon. However, from a significant group with cameras mounted on shoulders and microphone cords dangling at the feet, the paparazzi has now come to constitute every smartphone-enabled citizen. Despite belonging to such an ecosystem, Neha never feels the pressure to look perfect at all times, "I do believe, however, that one should appear well turned out on most occasions, despite one's profession. Whether you are working in a bank or behind the cameras, you cannot look shabby, unless that is the style one is aiming for." she said.
Apart from Styled by Neha, Dhupia can also be seen (and heard) in Kajol starrer-Helicopter Eela and No Filter Neha season 3. By her own admission, an actress can no longer have just one occupation, that of acting. "If you are doing anything less than five or six things at a time, you aren't doing enough," she quips. Hence, from Roadies to BFFs with Vogue to No Filter Neha, Dhupia has dabbled in almost every genre of reality television, on different media.
Neha, who has been recording simultaneously for her audio chat show, No Filter Neha, says that the podcast format not only makes it easy for the listener to consume the content, as they can listen to it even while being engaged in other activities, but it is also advantageous for the guests on the show since it puts them at ease, sans the prying gaze of video cameras. The third season of No Filter Neha has an interesting lineup of guests — Ayushmann Khurrana, Katrina Kaif, Angad Bedi, Radhika Apte, Vicky Kaushal, Harbhajan Singh, Zoya Akhtar and Badshah.
Meanwhile, Styled By Neha premieres on Fox Life and Hotstar on 19 October.
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