Exclusive: Styling the MissMalini Animes

Marv D'Souza , 29 May 2013
MissMalini version 1
MissMalini version 1

By now you’ve seen the new website and the new MissMalini animes with their spanking new avatars! So how did we do it? Was she easy to work with? Did I lose my mind or did she lose hers? Read ahead to hear the whole story!

When we started, Malini told me that she needed assistance with the design for the new anime and a direction for her new “looks” from a stylist’s point of view. I have known Malini as a friend and professionally for a long time, so I knew I was bound to enjoy this ride! Being a stylist and working with celebrities, models and actors, styling an anime was still a first for me and obviously, this made it very exciting!

The First Contact.

Though Malini and I kept exchanging emails and references on the initial start, the job officially started with me finally meeting the anime. MissMalini walked into her office, dressed in a white tank top and a pair to street-cool cargos and sneakers. Not too formal to scare me but confident enough to mean business.

At first glance, MissMalini actually wasn’t what I was expecting. Obviously, I compared her to the real Malini Agarwal, who is a charmer while being a smart business woman. MissMalini was intimidating but managed to comfort me with a smoothie. Not wasting any time on small-talk, she immediately got down to business.

The Brief.

The most important thing that I had to keep in check was to marry Malini’s playful personality with MissMalini’s hawk-eye on trends and lifestyle. This literally meant putting together looks with a balance on what’s hot and relevant, while keeping it fun and fluffy.

The diva a.k.a MissMalini got one thing clear from the start. “Marv, irrespective of what you love about me, I love my bodycon look. I have the legs from all that party hopping and I am gonna work them!” She clearly took her appearance as seriously as her love for Lifestyle, Fashion & Bollwyood. Luckily, for me, Malini was playing negotiator and managed to keep all our egos satiated.

MissMalini loves
MissMalini loves

The References.

I needed to get 3 looks together; Bollywood, Fashion and Lifestyle.

Lifestyle made a great start as it came naturally to me and was perfect to get MissMalini in the mood. Bodycon clearly being her favourite look, I decided to let her have her way on this one.  She will be out at parties and needs to be in her zone to be able to get the most out of the night.

1. bodycon tube dress
2. martini glass
3. gold shoes with buckles to add some edge!
4. big earrings & gold cuffs
5. sexy fringe, feather-like hair texture, to add some sexy yet innocent glam

Lifestyle references
Lifestyle references

In the reference, I threw in body-con silhouettes and accessorised them with bling-blings. Picking up on style elements from party-girls, celebrities and pop-icons, we all zeroed in on the look that clearly embodied Malini’s firecracker personality and MissMalini’s flaming hell-on-heels body!

Lifestyle anime
Lifestyle anime

Then we turned our attention to the next look. MissMalini has a solid hold on the pulse of fashion and she spends a good amount hunting down trends. She knows her labels and makes a lasting impression through her own personal style. My aim was to match her fashion-diva profile with her major youth following.

1. pink and black striped jacket 
2. print brown blouse or the option to change the print to plain light pink 
3. turquoise belt and shoes
4. burnt yellow skirt 

Fashion references
Fashion references

A power jacket with stripes teamed with frills, certainly seemed the right mix. I was hell-bent on adding a little street style element just because it would be nice to have her experiment with various styles. MissMalini, was skeptical but finally loved the idea of “giving them something to talk about!”

Fashion anime
Fashion anime

And finally we reached the ‘Bollywood’ look. This one had to be dealt with utter importance, because MissMalini is truly a desi diva. She loves her Bollywood with an extra squeeze of lime (and chaat masala!)

1. sari, keep the structure and print intact, the colors and graphic are very in
2. make the pallo appear more fluid
3. ornate bindi, bangles
4. pose of anime running fingers through her hair, very desi girl

Bollywood references
Bollywood references

Being a fashion enthusiast, I knew she was currently into candy colours and pop prints. Masaba Gupta seemed to fit in perfectly, as the label itself is fresh fun and an undeniable favorite on the filmy red carpet. So this one was a no-brainer. MissMalini would work that Masaba sari like a true desi girl!

Bollywood anime
Bollywood anime

The final product.

After weeks of research, references and alterations, not to mention MissMalini making things a little tighter with her “devil child” criticism we managed to agree on all three. After-all, with great power comes great responsibility, MissMalini is a power house of an anime and her requirements were clear from the beginning. (And luckily Malini had already filled me in on MissMalini’s diva tantrums!)

Untitled-13 (3)

The three looks define the three equally distinct sides of the same anime. From the one that loves her fashion to the other that has her ears on the ground for  juicy gossip at parties. And ultimately to a look that expresses her love for a strong dose of film-tadka! Now that she’s pleased with her new avatars (and the tweets are going crazy in applause of it all) I think I’m going to cash in on it!

MissMalini 2020
MissMalini 2020

How? Well, for starters, I want to push the envelope on her style a little bit further. Malini herself is experimenting with her personal style, so next I might nudge MissMalini to do a rock chic, avant garde or every urban-folk look, which I think would be a brilliant direction to take!

What do you think?

[poll id=”405″]

A note from MissMalini

Vogue.in had a few questions for us about the animes and how they were conceived, read on to find out!

How were the animes conceived?
We decided to give the MissMalini anime a makeover along with the 2.OMG version of the site. Since we were going from traditional “blog” format to more of a “digital magazine” we figured it would be fun to have three distinct avatars for our girl to represent everything that rocks her world. First and foremost Bollywood, Obviously Fashion and Lifestyle to represent her party-girl persona!

MissMalini animes
MissMalini animes

How were they styled?
We enlisted the help of edgy & charming stylist Marv D’Souza. Since he knows MissMalini so well personally we felt he would best be able to create looks that brought out her true personality and breathe life into the animes. Plus having seen his work we can vouch for the fact that he knows how to handle cute anime diva tantrums like no one else! This took knowing the “real” Malini, understanding the balance between fashion bollywood and lifestyle, and giving each look a unique character while maintaining a relevance between the three variations as avatars of the same individual.

We even consulted Smashh the Salon for the perfect hair styles and were advised to keep it easy breezy with a little business edge for our fashionista!

Once we briefed our animator Kunal Anand (of brand Cabein) we were good to go. Although I must admit it took several nips and tucks to get her final look just SO, just like any styling session worth it’s salt.

work in progress anime
work in progress anime

How they will evolve – Obviously we’ll keep MissMalini up-to-date on trends. I suppose if we did a flashback like The Carrie Diaries we’d discover an 80s retro chic version of her too :) Down the line we’ll definitely be pushing the envelope by exploring avant garde style details like offbeat street cool or alternative styling.

PS. You know you’re doing something right when your digital avatar makes it to Vogue! xoxo

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