Opening Image Parul
Behind the scene

To win a copy of Parul Kakad’s awesome Desi Mom calendar just leave a comment below with what you think of our baby mama shoot! (Don’t forget to mention your city.)

It’s always fun to hang with our desi mom, Parul Kakad of the Desi Mom Diaries. So when she asked me to style her in a calendar shoot celebrating motherhood, I hopped on board in a flash! With a team of talented and fun professionals hustling around her baby bump, we managed to pull 6 different looks for her calendar. But before you get a good look at what the calendar looks like, here’s peek into what went down during the making.

The Idea

Behind the scene - make up
Adding a final detail.

For those who don’t know, Parul loves fashion. The proud mommy took pride in embracing her baby bump and dressing up. She discussed the shoot with me a few months ago. The idea was to do a calendar with 6 different looks and a message to all pregnant women that the pregnancy shouldn’t put the brakes on your love for dressing up.

The Team

Mitesh Rajani with Parul Kakad
Mitesh Rajani on set
Smashh Salon on set
Sushil and Sarika at work for Smashh on set

Since Parul was pregnant and we didn’t want to exhaust her, the team had to be quick and flawless in their execution. Hair and make-up artist, Mitesh Rajani joined us on the first day of the 2 day schedule. Mitesh’s calm and composed nature on the shoot perhaps comes from his experience while backstage at fashion weeks and on editorial fashion shoots. On the second day, Sushil Charles and Sarika Motiani from Smashh the Salon took over for the remaining looks. More than a year since launching their salon and creating a strong clientele, their work is head-strong in its vision and impeccable in its taste.

Vishal Kullarwar
Vishal Kullarwar at work

Commanding all of us and giving the shoot a concrete structure was photographer, Vishal Kullarwar. With the responsibility of being the commander in chief on the shoot, Vishal kept the atmosphere light and fun. Every fashion stylist and hair and makeup team loves to work with a photographer like him. Not once did he interfere in the styling process until the Parul was in front of his lens. He smoothly guided the shoot and delivered beautiful images.

Vishal's Camera
On Instagram : Vishal cool camera
Day 2 : the team
The team on day two and wrap of the shoot

And finally to the calendar design team and printing team, who took over once the shoot was done. Within weeks before the delivery, they put all the pieces together. Huzaifa Lightwala from the Studio 7 Designs team figured the artwork, Ipixel Graphics edited the images and Omkar Arts managed to give us great prints of the calendar!

The Designers

On Set on Day 1
Day 1: On set with wardrobe stylist, Marv D’souza

While sourcing for the garment, Parul was hands-on through the entire process. With her belly at its peak form, she insisted on accompanying me to the stores and trying on garments. And I must admit I made the most of it. Though there were moments of disappointment when a garment didn’t sit right. (I guess making fashion for pregnant women isn’t a prime factor for designers!) but we did manage to pull out a few great looks!

First Look...just starting
First look…just starting

It was great to have the support and enthusiasm of established and contemporary designers like Anita Dongre, Ritu Kumar-Label, Narendra Kumar, Rohit Gandhi & Rahul Khanna, Pria Kataria Puri and Masaba Gupta on board with their pieces befitting the theme of the shoot.

The Looks.

The accessories for the shoot
The accessories for the shoot
BEhind The Scenes - Hair and Make up
Behind The Scenes – Hair and Make up

As decided, we shot 6 looks and a cover shot over a span of 2 days. With a bright and relaxed call-time of 10am Parul Kakad showed up glowing and good to go. Before we knew it, the garments were set to get pressed, tons of accessory boxes exploded over tables and the shoes were lined up. Our journey was to travel through looks ranging from a contemporary desi to a rocker chic one.

Minutes betweeen changes
Minutes betweeen changes
Snapshots from the shoot
Snapshots from the shoot

I was pleasantly surprised with Parul’s energy levels that didn’t shift through the 2 day shoot. I remember there was a moment towards the end of the first day where, Vishal suggested we take it slow and keep a look for the next day. Parul immediately denied us permission and we carried on the schedule as planned initial. (Which in turn reminded me of Sarika’s quote, “ALWAYS STICK TO THE PLAN!”)

More than 2 weeks of sourcing, production and shooting then followed the post production and last month, we welcomed the star of the shoot, Kanisha Kakad.

Kanisha and Parul Kakad
Kanisha and Parul Kakad

And, I’m sure baby Kanisha will be proud to see what mama was up to when she was in her belly. I hope women will see the shoot and be inspired to embrace their baby bump days as Mrs. Kakad did so gracefully. As for Mr. Kakad and little rockstar, Arman, they will receive another reality check of how stunning Mama Kakad is in all her avatars (in the shoot and in real life).