Roopa Vaitla has come a long way as a costume designer ever since she made a spalsh with Dookudu. In a freewheeling chat with Postnoon, she tells us more about herself, Samantha and being Sreenu Vaitla’s wife.
You made your debut as a costume designer with Dookudu. How did all begin?
I always wanted to be a designer, but it wasn’t until I met Sreenu Vaitla that I had the chance to take it up as a profession. I was born and brought up in Hyderabad. After my schooling in St Anns High School, I took up BiPC in Class 11 because I wanted to study medicine; however, my mother asked me to opt out of it since she didn’t want me to see struggling for 10 years to become a doctor (laughs).
Surprisingly, I got admission in Indira Seva Sadan College of Information Technology and Engineering where I studied Electronics and Instrumentation. I met Sreenu Vaitla when I was in my third year of college. He was the one who forced me to join a fashion designing course. That’s when I joined Hamstech Institute of Fashion & Interior Design. We have been married for 10 years now and it took me eight years to begin pursuing my dream. Better late than never, I guess.
Your husband is one of the most popular directors in the industry. Did it make your job any easier?
Oh no! I wasn’t the first choice for Dookudu. Someone had already designed the look for Samantha, but Sreenu Vaitla wasn’t happy with it. That’s when he asked me to give it a shot but also added that I’ll be onboard only if everyone in the team likes my work. I had just 14 days to design the costumes for Samantha. Luckily, everyone liked it.
You have closely worked with Samantha. What’s the most attractive thing about her?
She’s got a beautiful face and she carries both western and Indian outfits quite well. Another good thing about her is her skin tone which can take any colour. I feel she’s perfect and a designer’s delight. She even wears my clothes during her offscreen appearances, which is a big deal for me.
How would you define your style? What inspires you when you design something?
I love bold colours and I make sure that there’s an Indian element in everything I design. At times it’s difficult to convince the directors and others because most people here seem to like neon colours or dull colours. When I work on a film, I keep the background and the character of the artist in mind. In terms of inspiration, I try my best to blend earthy colours with a bit of glamour. Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra are two designers who inspire me.
What exactly does your job encompass?
Costume designing in movies is a big task because you can’t repeat colours and other stuff life earrings and even shoes. I feel it’s more about camaflouging the actor’s flaws and make them look more beautiful. You have to keep the character, the artist and the cinematographer in mind before finalising the look. For Dookudu, there was a time, when I had to design 8 outfits in a single day! It’s a lot of work, but in the end, it’s beautiful because you are creating someone’s appearance.
We heard that you were planning to launch your own clothing line. How’s that coming along?
It’s been a crazy year so far. After Dookudu, I worked for Autonagar Surya, Nandini Reddy’s upcoming film and now Baadshah. Besides, I am taking care of the interior designing of our new house which is under construction. Perhaps, I’ll launch my clothing line next year. Since January, I have designed around 150 clothes and none of them have the same colour, embroidery or design. Apart from films, I also get orders from US and almost all of them want lehengas which I had designed for Samantha in Dookudu!
Dookudu was a gamechanger for Sreenu Vaitla. Did it change your life as well?
Yes, it did. Professionally, there are a lot more expectations on Sreenu and along with it there’s so much more pressure. Otherwise, nothing much has changed personally. We have three lovely kids and now both Sreenu and I are busy with Baadshah. There’s no time to think! (laughs).
It took you eight years to make your dream of becoming a designer come true. Any regrets so far?
I feel proud that I finally took up the profession which I had dreamt about for a long time. Once you start working, your approach towards life changes. There has never been a moment of regret.
How do you manage to juggle between motherhood, your profession and being Sreenu Vaitla’s wife?
I love all three of them! (laughs)
About the Author (Author Profile)
Hemanth writes primarily about Telugu cinema, although he finds inspiration from the works of filmmakers like Woody Allen. Apart from writing, he spends most of his time on Twitter discussing about cinema, travel and life in Hyderabad.