Daena Sethna on styling Shah Rukh Khan and what looks best on him
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- Published 5.11.14
Most comfortable in: White T-shirt, blue jeans and sneakers. A suit is the second-best thing he’d like to wear
Daena Sethna’s job is both enviable and intimidating — dressing Shah Rukh Khan. t2 caught up with SRK’s personal stylist who has also styled him as Charlie in Happy New Year.
Shah Rukh Khan is looking super-hot in Happy New Year!
Charlie is serious, macho and suave. He is a man on a mission. That’s why the look — polished, smart and sexy. That’s SRK’s personality too. Dressing him up for Happy New Year was a lot of fun. We gave him cargo pants, T-shirts, jackets, stubble, sunglasses, boots….
And that sexy white shirt...
That’s the romantic angle. When you think of Shah Rukh romancing, you always imagine him in this beautiful, flowy white shirt which of course looks pristine and stunning on him. That had to be Farah’s (Khan, director) vision. She would always say, ‘Let’s put him in a sheer white shirt. How many dark colours are we doing?!’ I always select the fabric that works for him and that falls nicely on him.
What’s the story behind the blonde streak he’s sporting in the film?
It was again something that Farah and I decided upon. She had come up with the idea of a streak. ‘Let’s do blue,’ she said. I said, ‘No, let’s do ash blonde’. Initially, we were all a little uncertain. Shah Rukh himself and all of us... we were not certain how it would look in the film. Eventually we got so used to looking at him with that streak that it almost became a part of Shah Rukh. It is something he hadn’t tried before in a film. It adds a little zing to his character, that of this charming guy.
And that hot stubble in the first half? Many Shah Rukh fans are ruing that it went missing post-interval.
The two looks — pre- and post-interval — were very different. In the second half, his look had to be such that the villain wouldn’t recognise him. In the second half, he is in a lot of denim. You get to see him in mostly heist and dance costumes. I didn’t want to do just a basic leather jacket or a bomber jacket or a zipper jacket as his heist costume. That has been seen on a lot of actors in heist films. So, I went for a full-sleeved, hooded Armani T-shirt. The water-resistant waistcoat had multiple pockets. I teamed that with cargo pants which I purchased and then worked upon to give it that grungy feel. Then there were pouches and wristbands. It was personally one of my favourites from the movie.
He loves black and white. He is not a colour person.... A crisp black suit with a white shirt is a classic for any man and on him it looks stunning
Shah Rukh himself and all of us... we were not certain how it (the ash blonde streak) would look in the film. Eventually we got so used to looking at him with that streak that it almost became a part of Shah Rukh
How long have you been working with Shah Rukh?
I started working with him after Ra.One (2011). I had met him while doing the cover shoot for a magazine I was working with then. Two days later I joined him and started working on his personal styling, which involves me taking care of his looks in all his ad campaigns, appearances and also his personal shopping. This (Happy New Year) was the first movie that I got on board for. It’s been a lot of learning.
What is Shah Rukh like as a client?
He is fabulous ya! I don’t have one boring moment in my life. I love my work. I get tired, yes. I just need a day to recover! I thank him for being so energetic and always keeping us on our toes and transferring all that energy to us too. The whole team is always raring to go. We see how hard he works and it just makes us want to work harder.
Charlie is serious, macho and suave. He is a man on a mission. That’s why the look — polished, smart and sexy. And, that’s SRK’s personality too
Are all your meetings post-midnight as SRK is known to work through the night?
Not particularly. We barely sit and discuss clothes. He is very interested in detailing and fits. He is very particular about how things look on him. He may not be as brand-conscious as you would imagine him to be. He loves even a Zara if it looks and feels fantastic. He has to feel comfortable. I have, of course, made him brand-conscious. I bought him lots of Louboutin shoes but he finds wearing spikes a little weird. He’ll say, ‘These are weapons, not shoes’. I have introduced some brands to him. I have learnt what he likes and I try and introduce new things to him bit by bit, but I like keeping him happy too. So, as long as he is comfortable and looks nice in what he is wearing, I have no problems.
What’s his wardrobe like?
His wardrobe is versatile. He has suits by the dozen. He has accessories and lots of shoes. He has denim, tees, a leather collection, but he is a really simple guy. If he likes one shirt, he may repeat it 25 times till somebody tells him ‘Wear the new ones’. He is not fancy. In fact, I am the one who puts various looks together from his wardrobe. Left to him, he would love to wear the same suit that he loves and is comfortable in, for everything.
When you think of Shah Rukh romancing, you always imagine him in this beautiful, flowy white shirt that of course looks pristine and stunning on him
What does he love most?
Black and white. He is not a colour person. When it comes to a suit, a crisp black suit with a white shirt is a classic for any man and on him it looks stunning. I will never tell him not to wear that. I try and put in my bit, like a different-coloured pocket square or a lapel pin or a tiepin, or give him a new tie or a scarf or a cravat and maybe do the shirt a little different… put pleats, no pleats, yoke, no yoke. He had worn a beautiful Dolce & Gabbana red jacket to a premiere once, but it is very subjective to the kind of event. If it’s a post office box-red, I will myself not give it to him. But if it’s a deep, beautiful maroon, then he’ll look stunning in it. He is mature and polished. He doesn’t need to go into the zone of wearing neon when it’s not required. If a character requires it, we do it.
What should Shah Rukh Khan’s fashion resolution be in his 50s?
Nothing as such.... It’s great that he knows what he likes and what he looks good in. He looks fantastic in suits. I would love to make him wear a Roberto Cavalli one day.
What does Shah Rukh Khan look best in? Tell firstname.lastname@example.org