Shivana Kanwal : Stylist


Name: Shivana Kanwal

Job Profile: Stylist

Sun Sign: Scorpion, 22 November 1977

Educational Experience

I've done my graduation from Mithibai College in Mumbai. After that I did an IATA (International Air Transport Association) course.

Professional Experience

I have no formal training in costume designing; I just go by my instincts. I've worked with Zee Music where I have done the styling for all the VJs. I was appointed the in-house stylist by Rakhi Tandon's RT Entertainment.

The other projects I've done are Heena, Hum Hain Dilwale and Goonj airing on Sony Televison and Har Mod Par which airs on Sahara TV.

Currently, I'm managing the looks of Rakhi Tandon and Mukul Dev in the sitcom Pyar Zindagi Hai (Zee TV). I'm also styling the anchors for Zee TV's two new shows - one based on health and the other on spirituality.

I'm also eagerly waiting for the release of Kalpana Lajmi's movie titled Kyon, for which, I have not only styled the costumes but also the overall look of the characters. So I'm really excited about this venture.

Styling as career choice

I took up a job with Jet Airways after doing the IATA course. After a brief stint with Jet, I realised that my heart was somewhere else. Since my mom is an actress (Anita Kanwal), I too was expected to take up acting as a career. But again, that was not something that I wanted to do.

After I left Jet Airways, I really didn't know what to do. Whenever I visited the sets for my mom's shoots, I was very interested in the look and presentation of the sets and the artists. Seeing my interest, I was offered to do the styling for the serial Love Mein Kabhi Kabhi (SABe TV).

Since then there has been no looking back. Nothing was pre-planned. It just happened.

Problems faced while dealing with artists

There are a lot of things that I have to keep in mind as a stylist. I have to make sure that everyone on the sets, from the actors to the producers to the sponsors, is happy.

I also have to make sure that I talk to the artistes and find out about their likes and dislikes and accordingly select their costumes keeping in mind their colour preferences. And the next time I'm working with the same artistes, I try and remember all their preferences and give them what they like, in terms of looks and clothes.

That's the best way to keep them happy, and they also feel nice about the fact that I remembered. It's very important to have a good rapport with them. The key is to know how to tackle them.

All the actors that I've worked with are very sweet unlike the preconceived notion that most people have about their snobbish behaviour. One has to know how to deal with them and their requirements. Once you've achieved that, they are the easiest people to work with.

Coping with constant change in trends & styles

I make sure that I watch a lot of movies, not only Indian but also foreign films and closely examine the colour schemes and the trends that are used. It's very helpful.

Apart from that I also visit our costume sponsors like 'Casuals' and find out from them what the current fads are. That way I'm always abreast with the latest styles of the season and thereafter incorporate them in my work.

Today styling for a serial is not as easy as it used to be a few years ago. Things have changed dramatically. New trends are emerging everyday and a stylist is supposed to keep tab of each and every trend. It's a demanding, yet interesting profession.

Competition faced in the field

Oh, there is a lot of competition in this field. You have to strive to be one step ahead of your contemporaries. It requires a lot of researching, patience and hard work to carve a niche for yourself.

Once you have established a good rapport with a particular production house or artist, they are sure to repeat you in their next venture and that is what I aim for. My work should speak for me. Word of mouth publicity also does wonders in this industry, so if people appreciate my work then definitely I will be talked about.

Five years from now

Five years from now hopefully, I see myself doing more designing for films!!! I have my fingers crossed!


I love swimming, travelling and I'm a total movie buff!! I just love watching movies.

Idea of enjoyment

My idea of enjoyment is going out with friends, partying (once in a while) and dining at 'Rain.' I also love going to Delhi, as I'm originally from there.

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