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Get nostalgic with Neeta Lulla as she reflects on her 40 year journey in Bollywood

Bollywood costume designer Neeta Lulla has completed 40 years in the industry. She spoke about the challenges and milestones she has faced...

Get nostalgic with Neeta Lulla as she reflects on her 40 year journey in Bollywood
Neeta Lulla completes 40 year design journey in Bollywood

Last Updated: 10.50 AM, Mar 16, 2024


From fashionably empowering women to representing India’s cultural legacy on the global map and crafting armour for Hrithik Roshan’s films – Neeta Lulla has done it all . Spanning 40 years, with 300 films under her belt and 4 National Awards, Neeta is a name to reckon with in the Indian fashion and costume design industry.  

Talking to The Times of India, Neeta went down memory lane, speaking about her humble beginnings, profound learnings, towering challenges and more. Read on... 

Neeta Lulla's journey of growth, gratitude and self-discovery 

“Looking back on the past 40 years, my heart is filled with gratitude, and I'm humbled by the chance to pursue my passion every single day. This journey, with all its challenges and milestones, has led to significant personal growth and self-discovery,” says Neeta as she eventually discovered her resilience, adaptability and steadfast dedication to excellence by and by. 

However, she feels immensely grateful to all the people who supported and encouraged her along the way – be it her mentors, collaborators, craftsmen, artisans, et al. It is through her work in costume and fashion designing that she got the opportunities to represent her culture and women on an international level which created a positive ripple effect, she quips. Neeta is not the one to sit back on her laurels; and she still strives for excellence hoping that the best of her work is still to come. She adds, “I am eager to see where this incredible adventure will take me next.” 

Fashion and costume design: Now and then 

Attributing the undeniable relevance of craftsmanship in her area of work, Neeta opines, “When I first entered the industry, there were notably fewer designers, but those present were women, absolute stalwarts of their craft. It wasn't just about designing clothes; it was about creating a legacy of excellence and empowerment.”  

Due in large part to the fact that actresses trusted these trailblazing women to interpret their ideas with subtlety and originality, they helped establish the standard. Compare it to today, a wide range of skills are represented in the fashion industry, with male designers contributing significantly as well as gender inclusivity becoming the norm. When asked what makes her designs stand out from the rest, Neeta said that it is her ability to combine creativity, tradition, and innovation. 

Memorable film costume design experiences 

Having won National Awards for Best Costume Design for ‘Lamhe’, ‘Devdas’, ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ and ‘Balgandharva’ over the years, Neeta has thrived under each challenge presented to her and expanded her creative canvas, including taking care of the actors’ personal costume design choice and preferences. 

However, Neeta’s experiences with Krrish actor Hrithik Roshan stand out from the rest. For instance, the movie Bang Bang was a great learning experience in the technicalities of making millenary and working with metal armoury. Sharing more, she said that Hritik Roshan is someone who knows exactly what looks good on him and works for him. This is why he was very aware of anything being even slightly off, costume-wise. She gave him a fake suede achkan to buffer his body from the armor edges.

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