The making of beauty queens

Vinaya Patil and Amrita Prasad
Friday, 9 February 2018

Vinaya Patil and Amrita Prasad chat up designer duo Shruti-Mangaaysh, and Leena Khandekar, skin and hair expert, who will help the contestants of Sakal Beauty of Maharashtra pageant, enhance their looks and poise.

Sakal Media Group’s Sakal Beauty of Maharashtra pageant moves through eight cities across India and will shortlist four girls from every city to be a part of a mega finale in Pune.

Fashion designers Shruti and Mangaayash have created some unique outfits, while Leena Khandekar is the hairstyle partner. They give us a peek into the designs and hairstyles planned for the contestants.

“My collection for this pageant will have a huge influence of Banarasi textile. We will be creating grand ghagra cholis and anarkali gowns with lots of volume and big flares. My ultimate motto through this collection will be to bring out the inner beauty and femininity of each contestant. The costumes will be Indian yet glamorous,” says Shruti. Born and raised in Varanasi, which is considered a hub of Indian textile, Shruti has seen her mother and grandmother in some of the finest drapes, and wants to create that magic with her outfits.

The duo believe that there is a whole lot of difference when you design for a fashion runway and for a beauty pageant. “When we create a collection for the runway, we can indulge up to any extent and create whatever we wish to; it could be a sheer reflection of our imagination — wearable or non-wearable. But when it comes to a pageant, there are certain norms and regulations that need to be followed. We design giving equal priority to every contestant so that they look their best. The outfits have to be wearable,” explains Mangaayash, who is from Pune and was himself a successful model.

The duo’s collection includes traditional Indian outfits along with an exquisite range of Western, Indo-Western, and designer clothes. The two strongly believe in promoting the wonderful legacy of Indian textile and handcrafted products which take over months to master. It will become all the more interesting with the Varanasi-Pune mix. Varanasi is known for its rich culture and Pune for being a cosmopolitan and the fusion is a sight to behold.

Speaking of their collection for the Sakal Beauty Pageant, they tell us, “For the finale round, there will be gowns which will be made of solid colours with a dash of brocade in it and will be depicting a strong character and reflect a diva in every participant.”

Flaunt those tresses 
Miss Photogenic, Miss Beautiful Smile, Miss Beautiful Skin are some of the titles that rule any beauty pageant. To stand out from the crowd and come across as a perfect beauty queen, your glowing skin and silky smooth and shiny hair matter.

Leena Khandekar, skin and hair expert and founder of Lee’s Spa and Beauty, is hairstyle partner for Sakal Beauty of Maharashtra pageant. She tells us about the styles she is designing for the contest and why one needs to have great hair.
Says Khandekar, “We are planning to give maximum number of looks to the models. There are going to be 32 finalists and we have worked towards giving a unique look to each one of them.

Their look has to match their body, personality, height and facial features. Mostly, we will be giving them elegant high dos because they are in trend now and will certainly complement the contestants,” says Khandekar.

Talking about the trend of high dos, she says, “This hair style creates an illusion of a height and uplifts the personality. However, we do keep the face structure in mind while making the pouf and the buns. For a narrow face, a high do with a pouf and very sleek hair style at the back works well. While designing for women with a broad face, we make a sleek hairstyle in the front and some part of their tresses are left open towards the neck area. This ensures that their face doesn’t appear broad.”

Khandekar believes that hair and makeup play a big role in completing the look of the contestants and add to their beauty and personality. “We are closely working with the dress designers to understand what these contestants are going to wear and accordingly, we will finalise their makeup and hair. If you have a perfect blend of hair, makeup and costumes, you are ready to rule the ramp,” says she adding that the look and hairstyle will go with both Indian, Western and fusion outfits.

According to Khandekar, “Intelligence and wit do play a significant part in such contests, but your appearance is also a game changer. If you have good skin and hair, they add more value to your over-all appearance. For instance, if you have a good height, but don’t posses a flawless skin, that is a drawback. If you have good skin and good height, but your mane is not lustrous and gorgeous, it is a minus point. So when you have a bit of everything — good hair, skin, height and face — you can be called the beauty queen.” 

When asked how to take care of your hair, Khandekar says, “Chemical products aid better styling, but they have their own drawbacks. Whenever we use such products, we ensure that the post-styling care/treatment is carried out to mitigate the impact of chemical treatments. Hair spas are one of the best away to retain the beauty of your hair. Head massages are also a great option. But you need to do them regularly.”

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