From “Sheila Ki Jawani” in Tees Maar Khan and “Chikni Chameli” in Agneepath to the more recent”Suraiyya” in Thugs of Hindostan and “Husn Parcham” in ZeroKatrina Kaif is the go-to actress for iconic dance numbers. In a new collaboration with the Voice of Fashion, she spoke about what goes into the styling of such sequences:

Anupama Chopra: There are all these iconic songs that you’ve done in so many of your films. The styling in many of those songs has been similar – we’ve always got the short cholis and the flowing hair and the glistening skin. Do you have a say in that or is that just what people have decided you’re ideal in because we can also see the flat abs?

Katrina Kaif: No, no. There’s definitely a lot of contribution. There’s always a discussion, it’s never a dictatorship when it comes to clothes in films. But when it comes to costuming songs, there’s two main things you have to factor in. One is what the song requires, what’s the situation. Most of our songs tend to be in the silhouette of a ghagra choli if they’re that type of an Indian song. That’s the silhouette. Now, the design depends on what the designer comes up with, but also a lot of it is what works for dance.

AC: What you can do the steps in?

KK: What you can do the steps in and what suits well. I don’t like things constricting your waist because a lot of the movement comes from that. So that becomes a functional thing. But for style, I think the people who I always work with in my films, they’re people who I always make sure have a good knowledge of what’s happening. There’s a difference between a stylist and a film stylist.

AC: What is the difference?

KK: Well, a film stylist knows the time, the era, the texture. They also know what looks like something to the eye doesn’t translate onscreen. That’s one area where I have no sense. I just go by what I physically feel and see and touch. A good costume stylist for films need to understand that translation – sometimes something looks maybe tacky to you in life but it’s just –

AC: Dazzling onscreen?

KK: Dazzling onscreen. Someone who also understands characters and script for sure. Because otherwise, sometimes overcostuming can work against you. It can bring something down, it can take something away. It can add and take away a lot.

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