What does it take to prove your mettle in the challenging world of Bollywood? And how far does passion take you? Celebrity hairstylist PRIYANKA BORKAR reveals in a tête-à-tête with SAYONI BHADURI.
Keeping abreast with international style trends and executing them effortlessly while keeping Indian sensibilities in mind is no easy feat. But it is a piece of cake for Priyanka Borkar who has over a decade’s experience as a hairstylist. She has been the creative hands behind some of Indian celebrities’ flawless hairstyles including Bipasha Basu, Shilpa Shetty, Alia Bhatt, Anushka Sharma, Athiya Shetty, Vaani Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, and Jacqueline Fernandez.
Borkar’s big break in Indian film and fashion industry was granted by her mentor Kanta Motwani in 2009. Since then she has been erstwhile Miss World and now global celebrity, Priyanka Chopra’s go-to hairstylist. Borkar has extensively worked with her for editorial features and covers, red carpets, events, commercials, fashion shows, etc.How did you get into the field of hairstyling?
Honestly, I didn’t aspire to be a hairstylist. It was my mother who suggested that I take up a course in hairstyling. During the course I realised that I quite enjoyed the process. My mother has always been my role model and has experience in the same field. I grew up looking at her make women look beautiful and that added to my curiosity.
What got you interested in styling for Hindi films?
I began my career under the guidance of my mentor, Kanta Motwani at Kromakay who also works extensively with Bollywood celebrities. After working at her salon for three years, she helped me with my first break in Bollywood with Priyanka Chopra in 2009 and my journey in the industry continues from then on.
What does styling for Bollywood typically involve?
Styling for Bollywood is a lot of fun as it involves team work. As a stylist, I have to understand what the script demands keeping in mind the director and actor’s vision. It gives me the opportunity to be creative in moulding a character in the film which is interesting for an artist.
How do you create new styles for celebrities who are strict with their public persona and looks?
Every celebrity I’ve worked with has had a great sense of personal style. We brainstorm together on a look if the event demands one; else I just understand their personality and style them accordingly to ensure they’re comfortable in how they look.
How does Bollywood styling differ from ramp/catwalk styles?
Styling for movies is more specific, keeping the character in mind. While ramps are a space where there is no limit for creativity.
What are the hairstyling trends to watch out for?
The trend this season is short and medium hair—the bob and lobs along with bright colourful hair. It’s great to see people colour their hair in variations of blues, reds, purples, and other pastel colours.
What has been your success mantra?
It is very simple— love what you do and success will follow.
(All images: © Priyanka Borkar)