ANUJ KUMAR

Manish Malhotra on how he has made over Parvati in "Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii" and his moves in Bollywood.

I will make her look elegant, not sexy. Parvati will continue to be the inspiration for millions of bahus.

He is at it again. Manish Malhotra, the makeover king of Bollywood, is now set to give a facelift to the saas-bahus of the small screen. The first is Sakshi Tanwar, the Parvati of "Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii" on Star Plus. "The serial is taking an 18-year jump and as Parvati returns from abroad there is newness to her character. Her hair would no longer be tied. The border saris will go and she will sport strappy blouses. However, as her personality is not going to change, I will make her look elegant, not sexy. She will continue to be the inspiration for millions of bahus. We have used lots of Chantilly lace. We are also using pearl and diamond jewellery."`Scope for improvement'On the charge of being retrogressive and unrealistic both in terms of storylines and makeup where hair don't turn grey with age and bahus remain decked up even at ungodly hours, Manish says his personal opinion doesn't matter. "As long as people are watching, we shouldn't complain. How can a serial survive six years in a competitive market without being popular? As for styling, I believe there was scope for improvement, that's why Ekta (Kapoor) has called me. But there have been instances, like Sudha Chandran's bindis, which have initiated trends."From Urmila Matondkar in "Rangeela" to Karishma Kapoor in "Raja Hindustani" to Rani Mukerji in "Chalte Chalte", Manish has been responsible for many successful makeovers. Now when he is looking forward to work with Vidya Balan, Manish rates Rani's as the most difficult one.

Continuity jerks

"I came to the industry when the heroine would sport short hair for a song and long hair for a family scene. I questioned it as continuity jerks. As I was good with sketches, I started giving options to the directors. With Rani, the problem was her height and image. She had a sari image and she didn't have the figure to sport short skirts. In `Chalte Chalte', like Sakshi, I made her look elegant without sexy. Despite the height factor, it was the first time she wore long skirts and looked stunning." This brings us to recent reports, where it is speculated that Rani has dumped him for Sabyasachi Mukherjee, who designed her look for "Black" and now "Babul". "This is crazy. Rani and I are laughing over it. I have just won the MTV's most stylish designer award for `Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna'. We both are doing so many projects, so it's not possible for us to do all the projects together. Anyway, we are doing the forthcoming Nestle commercial together." A section of media also questioned Preity Zinta's look in "KANK", where she played a fashion editor. "Again it is silly. I sourced her outfits from Christian Dior's latest collection. How can anybody call it out of fashion?" Be it Rocky S. or Vikram Phadnis, most costume designers are eyeing the mainstream market. Manish reflects, "Many so-called mainstream designers are looking forward to do film projects. It was indeed difficult when I made the switch but there is nothing like one mainstream, any longer. Now that I have tried television, I believe many will follow. The medium, anyway, needs a professional touch in styling."