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Stylist Files: Rao Ali Khan

How did you get into the field of styling?

A friend spotted and referred me to a Bollywood magazine in Dubai. They asked me to come meet them. The meeting was successful and I did my first shoot for an editorial for Rohit Bal, which turned out to be a lot of fun. In Pakistan, I did my first style job for Bilal Ashraf against the backdrop of Mohatta Palace.

What was your first proper job in the media world?

Two years ago in Dubai for Hum Style Awards, I did my first style job for Hamza Ali Abbasi, Sajal Aly, Shahroz Sabzwari and Feroze Khan. Their red carpet and performance looks were appreciated a lot. There has been no looking back since then.

What style advice would you give to an average person?

I always recommend everyone to adopt a more classic style sense. Also, if you wear the right size in the right fitting, one could look good. I think in terms of black, white, beige, as it’s always good to do something in these solid colors.

What is the biggest misconception people have about your field?

That we are some magicians and can change anything. I feel it’s also important how one carries themselves and one should certainly avoid over doing things. Also, I feel people think its an easy job of advising what people should wear but it’s a difficult thought process based on a lot of factors like body type, the occasion, the image of the celebrity, etc. Everyone has an opinion thanks to social media and I feel celebs are very sensitive to public opinion so to keep them happy and also have your own creative personal satisfaction are two things I aim for.

Which celebrities have you loved working with so far?

I loved working with Mahirah Khan and with Syra & Shahroz as they trust me completely so we always end up doing something big. I also love working with Ali Zafar as he follows a strict professional discipline which is rare to find in our industry. Having said that Mikaal Zulfiqar is my all time favourite to work with.

What is your all time favourite look that you created?

There are no all-time favourite looks but I loved the cover shoot I did with Saba Qamar and Mohib Mirza in October last year.

If you could choose a celebrity wardrobe to shop for, who’s would it be and why?

Sheheryar Munawar’s, as he loves and enjoys clothing just like I do and I am super excited about the project I am working on with him as he has a great style sense, so its fun to collaborate with him.

If you could choose any celebrity from Pakistan to give a makeover, who would it be and why?

Sajal Aly and Fawad Khan. Sajal because I feel there is so much more to explore with her, while Fawad is always very formally dressed in Pakistan, whereas, during the promotions of Kapoor & Sons when his Indian stylist changed his look into smart casuals, it added another dimension in his personality. I feel I could add more too.

Which trends do you want to see disappear?

I have nothing against any fashion trend, its all about how you incorporate it into the looks you make. But I’ve seen enough of off-shoulders on women in the past two years. Also, I wish our actresses would do more eastern stuff on red carpet events.

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