Celebrated fashion designer and writer, Padma Shri Wendell Rodricks is bowled over as he analyses Saif Ali Khan’s effortless style… Exclusively for Cine Blitz.
All 11,532 fans (as of going to print) believe that Saif Ali Khan is worthy of a Facebook page dedicated to the sartorial style of the Nawab of Pataudi. When I first realised that there was a FB page Saif Ali Khan - The Style Icon, I marvelled in disbelief. Especially since the great SRK has a fan page called Style and Romance = Shah Rukh Khan. But Saif is Saifely ahead of the curve as his followers are triple that of the legend.
We should not be surprised, frankly. Forget style stakes at the moment. Look at the lineage. Royalty on one side and Rabindranath Tagore, no less, on the other! And now Hindi cinema lineage to Prithviraj Kapoor via the lovely Kareena Kapoor. Uff! Too much style quotient to handle. But hold it. There is also Brit boarding school background, regal sleek looks and acting talent that got him Padma Shri status in 2010. How delicious did the Saifeena duo look at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He, in pristine white. She, matching the medal’s ribbon, in white sari with red accents. Classier act is ekdum difficult to follow.
SO HOW DOES SOMEONE GET THE SAIF STYLE ICON LOOK?
Top of the list is a word many people don’t, or never, get. It’s called “effortless”. From footwear that ranges from sneakers and serpent-skin to flip flops and formal lace ups, it all seems to be effortlessly put together. With astonishing results.
Who would think a blue kurta and white churidaar would be teamed with a mustard gold sleeveless Bandgala and black shoes? Or a striped Tee and jeans with an Aussie style alligator boot? Well, there he is...looking dapper and smiling back at us. And teaching even a seasoned designer like me a thing or two.
There is no doubt that despite the blue blood, blue jeans and T-shirt are a favourite. What the Nawab carries off in casual, he scores in formals as well. The sharpest tux that may well be Tom Ford or that amazing regal Indian wear ensemble that makes a perfect bridal portrait with Kareena... It all shows that clothes don’t maketh this man. It’s him that makes the clothes.
There are also the details. Eyewear that does not falter in all looks, that sleek hair that is 1930s slicked back glamour. Above all...the proportions. This gent knows the exact length to cut a kurta, how a dark cocoa shirt can make a pale camel colour lengthen the leg, the keep-the-focus-on-the-face white collars, the tan belt on jeans to accentuate a taut lower waist.... Too many lessons to be learnt here.
And then there is again that effortlessness that creeps in everywhere. With or without a bow tie, the open collar with a suit works. The red silk pochette in a stark all black suit. The scowl or smile, friendly or aloof. It all seems natural. People who know Saif personally will tell you that he has a wicked sense of humour. This smiling, sunny, naughty side is totally at odds with his electrifying performance as Langda Tyagi in OMKARA. A sign of a true star actor. Someone who is able to put on style-perfect looks with performance-perfect film roles with controlled ease.
But there is one thing this Style Icon has that cannot be acquired. It belongs to him alone and we are happy for that. It’s a very beautiful, radiant person called Kareena Kapoor who is his most stylish companion and loving acquisition!
Here’s to the Nawab of Pataudi, Style Icon indeed... carrying a regal past forward with splendid élan. Cheers to that! With Crystal or Krugg bubbles. Nothing else will do!
This article first appeared in June 2014 issue of Cine Blitz magazine