Neeta Lulla

Indian fashion and costume designer

Categories

Fashion and Textiles  
Summary

Neeta Lulla is one of the few Indian fashion designers who has come full circle. With a career spanning over a three decades across movies and fashion.. Neeta Lulla is one of the most iconic fashion figures in the Indian fashion industry. She began her career with one artisan and a sewing machine. Today, she has over 300 films to her credits, 4 National Awards and is a member of the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. And continues to make headlines be it as a design student, film costumes, bridal couture or her own fashion institute. 


History

Choosing fashion as her vocation at the age of sixteen, Neeta Lulla graduated in Dressmaking and Apparel Construction from Premlila Vithaldas Polytechnic SNDT University, Mumbai, India in 1985 following which she worked with acclaimed fashion choreographer Jeanne Naoroji. 

Three years later, she diversified into costume design for Bollywood films, at times working seventy-two hours, always the picture of creativity, quiet determination and hard work. When she wasn't designing, she was teaching at her alma mater to give back to the industry that had given her so much.

Having done costumes for over three hundred films, her fame reached Hollywood and she designed costumes for 'One Night with the King' and 'Mistress of Spices'. Buoyed by her success in costume design Neeta Lulla strengthened her fashion brand by further diversifying into trousseau consultation for brides- to- be and launched her couture label. 2005 witnessed the launch of her flagship in Mumbai with trousseau consultancy, bridal couture and diffusion wear. 

By 2009, she had established a distribution network across five continents. With growing demand for her collections, she launched her second flagship in New Delhi, India in 2016. How does she change gears and design aesthetic between the two dramatically different fields of costume design and bridal couture… all the while keeping the handloom sector in mind? 

‘As a designer I am greedy when it comes to grasping different concepts, formats and techniques; utilising that in costuming or couture comes with experience. Also, the flexibility of vision comes when you keep your mind open and do not think of yourself as someone who has achieved it all and knows it all' she says. 'You have to keep yourself appraised of current trends and think of yourself as a student who is learning something new every day — that is what gives you newness in vision.’

Reminiscing about the past, she says, 'I launched my label in 1988, and from there fashion and films happened simultaneously. I was shuffling between designing bridal couture and film costumes. The brand came to the forefront through my consistent endeavour to create a different look that would appeal to the bridal segment, which in turn created a trust factor amongst clients, and once that happens they become loyal customers and refer the brand to friends and family; this word of mouth awareness helped strengthen the brand.' 

Change is at the forefront; people are looking at bespoke bridal and occasion wear… they want an ensemble that nobody else has! 'This involves intricate detailing in terms of made-to-measure and made-to-fit; considering the fit and hand detailing people aspire for, it involves a lot of work in each aspect of construction be it fabric, finish, cut, embellishment or hand embroidery. Personally, the challenges involved give me an adrenaline rush because I'm pushing my boundaries of knowledge, of technicality, of garment construction beyond what I know and beyond what I've done so far. For me, this creates not only a challenge but a beautiful learning experience!' 

Neeta Lulla loyalists rhapsodise about her design, claiming it is current even after years of purchase. The secret to this, she says, is research and its application. ‘A designer must be upraised of the cyclical pattern of fashion and the history of costume design — within a constant design philosophy. The way a designer applies their philosophy to a new concept or trend is what creates newness. My influence is Edwardian yet the aesthetic is Indian at heart — steeped in my design philosophy, yet taking inspiration from something millennial. It is how I keep my design aesthetic current.’

Today, Neeta Lulla is strengthening her brand equity with expansion of her label, costume designing for blockbuster films and Whistling Woods Neeta Lulla School of Fashion. “I want to give back to the industry that has given me so much by sharing my expertise with young dynamic aspirants who want to penetrate the world of fashion." In recent times Neeta Lulla has just finished costume designing for much-anticipated film 'Thalaivi' and there are plans to open two or three more flagships, partner with e-commerce portals and retail in London.


Mission

A consistent endeavour to create a different look that would appeal to the bridal segment.


Vision

Neeta Lulla’s design philosophy takes inspiration from the Edwardian era with a modern twist using ancient handloom techniques from India. Some of her most iconic design elements include the usage of kalamkari, paithani and the nauvari saree among many others. An artist in the true sense she has shepherded the fashion industry with drapes and silhouettes that have been reinvented over the decades.


Key Team

Neeta Lulla (Founder)


Recognition and Awards
Neeta Lulla is thew recipient of the National Film Award for Best Costume Design 2012 for Balgandharva- National Film Award for Best Costume Design 2009 for Jodhaa Akbar- IIFA Best Costume Design Award 2009 for Jodhaa Akbar- Kingfisher Fashion Award 2005 for Contribution to Fashion- Bollywood Movie Award – Best Costume Designer 2003 for Devdas- Zee Cine Award for Best Costume Designer 2003 for Devdas- National Film Award for Best Costume Design 2002 for Devdas- Bollywood Movie Award – Best Costume Designer 2001 for Mission Kashmir- IIFA Best Costume Design Award 2000 for Taal- Fashion Designer of the Decade at Satya Brahma founded Indian Affairs India Leadership Conclave 2016.

Products and Services

Haute couture- bridal wear- accessories and costume design


References
Neeta Lulla
Leadership team

Neeta Lulla (Founder)

Industries

Fashion and Textiles

Products/ Services
Haute couture- bridal wear- fashion accessories and costume design
Headquarters
Shop No.1 Turner Heights, Junction Of Turner Road, Almeida Park Marg, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050
Established
1988
Company Registration
3168455
Social Media

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Wed Feb 28 2024
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