Right from putting together Alia Bhatt’s stunning look during Sonam Kapoor’s wedding — the lime green lehenga — to styling actors down south like Samantha Akkineni, this Mumbaikar has done it all. Ami Patel, a successful image consultant and celebrity stylist, tells us about her journey from being a graphic designer to being bffs with Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas!
In Chennai to conduct a workshop where she’ll be styling saris in different ways, she says over a chat, “If we have to go all the way back, I had the most unexpected twist in my career when I discovered graphic designing during an intermediate art course I was pursuing. I had studied commerce before that and hated it. So, I felt the need to do something more creative.”
As for becoming a stylist, “Eight years ago, I was shopping in a store in London when I heard a really commanding voice in the store; it was Priyanka. I even remember that she was trying on a red hat. Eventually, when I got the opportunity to work on her looks for a magazine cover, she told me that she was looking for a stylist... I agreed and we’ve been working together ever since,” smiles Ami.
For a person who feels that styling is her ‘calling’, what she truly loves about it is the ever-changing nature of the fashion industry. “I have a nomadic personality and I like change. In my industry, I don’t know what I’m doing tomorrow (figuratively) so I like this uncertainty and excitement,” she says. “Also, unlike a magazine where you’ll have to wait until the edition is out to see it, my field of work gives me immediate gratification — you see what you’ve created right in front of you,” she adds. The fact that style or fashion has no mathematical formula to guarantee results, means that Ami has to constantly reinvent herself, but she doesn’t seem to mind it. “Keeping my eyes, mind and thoughts open to new ideas is important to me not just in styling but in every aspect of life. You never know where inspiration comes from; it could be from within too. Reinvention helps me create my own trends and see things from different perspective,” she explains.
Ami wishes to implement the same ideology at the workshop in Chennai. She says, “I personally love saris the way they are — I never want them to die or change. But you can style it differently and that’s what I’m here to demonstrate.” As for what participants might get to learn, she says, “Truth be told, sari gowns or pants underneath is not my style at all because the six-yard is a piece of art. I’d rather accessorise it well, drape it differently or pair it with a unique blouse to retain its soul yet remodel it. Hopefully, these are the creations people will get to see — I’m open to the audience coming up with ideas in the spur of the moment too.”