Right at the onset of his career, Rocky S rose to unparalleled heights with star-truffled shows, styling A-List celebrities worldwide, designing for Shoppers Stop and much, much more! But whomever his audience, Rocky S' love for life is as bright and upbeat as his starry front rows. And, as his star continues to rise, he remains humble and down to earth. In conversation with dear friend and designer Rocky STAR.
Rocky, you've been doing so much — pret, couture, resort, designing a line for Shoppers Stop, styling celebrities — how do you juggle?
Be it prêt or couture, designing for Shoppers Stop or styling celebrities, one has to have a clear vision of what they want at the end of the day. If one knows what they want then juggling between diverse areas of work is not an issue!
Do you ever feel it's too much or is challenge an adrenaline rush to push the boundaries of creativity?
I love to take up challenging tasks. I like to keep experimenting with new things. It allows me to push my boundaries of creativity to new level every time.
Did you have a specific moment when everything changed?
There have been a lot of moments such as opening my first store, dressing up Hollywood stars Beyoncé and Paris Hilton, designing and styling for more than 300 Bollywood films, participating in Milan and London Fashion Week. They all have taught me something valuable.
What is important—commercial appeal or creative force?
A fine balance between the two is very important in today's time. As the world is growing too fast and everything is available at the tip of a click, combining the creative force with commercial appeal is important.
What is more important when you showcase a collection — the theatrics of a dress or is it about wearability?
I like to play around with my garments be it with silhouettes or texturing but also I keep in mind the wearability aspect of the garment.
How do you keep it fresh season after season?
In today's ever changing fashion scene, one has to keep coming up with something fresh and new. One has to always be aware of what is new as today's youth is well connected through digital media. My love for travel, exploring new places and meeting new people always inspires me to create something new.
Can you share your feeling on the difference between Indian and overseas audiences in terms of the reception of your collections?
I've received immense appreciation and love for my collections, be it in India or overseas. Be it showcasing my collection in Milan, London or in different states of India, people have always loved the collections. Wherever I have been I have received applauds from all for my collections.
Which celebrity who wore your garments left the biggest impression on you?
There have been a lot of celebrities who have worn my garments be it from Hollywood or Bollywood. I have designed for a lot of them from Beyoncé to Paris Hilton, Katrina Kaif to Bipasha Basu, Akshay Kumar to Hrithik Roshan and many more; it's been a thrilling journey. All of them have fully justified my clothes… I can't pick any one.
Rocky, when you were outlining a strategy for styling Rajnikant in 'Robot 2', what did you keep in mind?
Shankar sir had a vision as to how he wanted his characters to evolve in the film. Every single character is complex and they undergo immense transformation in the film. We did a lot of research before we started working on the clothes, and I started developing Rajnikant's wardrobe accordingly, taking care of every minute detail. In fact, I put in a lot of effort to fully justify the wardrobe of the character Rajnikant plays.
Was it difficult working with an iconic character?
No, not at all! He was extremely patient and coordinated with whatever I gave him to wear. Working with him was like you are painting a blank canvas. He was very cooperative and tried on every outfit that I had made for him. A person of his stature and still so down to earth is a rare combination!!
Do you have a confidant that you can turn to or a mentor?
My family is the one I can always turn to whatever might be the situation. They have always stood by me and supported me. They are my real strength.
What's the biggest misconception that Indian women have about Fashion?
According to me, there are two misconceptions. Firstly, they think Fashion is meant for thin people only whereas one should appreciate every body type. Second, they are of the opinion that wearing branded clothes means they are Fashionable!!
What should be the three must-have items in every Indian woman's closet?
A sari, a Rocky Star gown and impeccable attitude.
What should Indian women never wear?
There is nothing that the Indian women can't carry off… but one should dress according to the body type!
Lastly... looking back at your career graph... what is something you wish you knew when you first started out in the industry? What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
I have learnt a lot of things in the industry over a period of time. One should always be eager to learn new things; mistakes will happen so learn from them! And, be punctual no matter what!