Salman Khan’s designer Ashley Rebello opens up about dressing the actor year after year on Bigg Boss and in his films, what are the restrictions and his favourites…
If you’ve got used to seeing Salman Khan in formal blazers, weekend after weekend in Bigg Boss, then having him breaking the routine over the weekend with a casual avatar must have come as a welcome change. It’s because this year, the channel has asked his designer, Ashely Rebello, to give him formals on Saturdays and jackets and jeans on Sundays. “Luckily, people have loved what Salman wore last weekend. So, I will be giving him a one-piece suit jacket with a semi-casual stylish shirt on Saturdays and denims, T-shirts, with jackets (denim or leather) on Sundays,” says Ashley.
# Extreme reactions
Ashley points out that dressing up Salman for the show for the last seven years has garnered extreme reactions. He receives flak as well as flowers. Deciding the look each year includes choosing from the current trend and colours in vogue, which often backfires. “People don’t understand that and make strange comments. This year, I haven’t received any negative remarks yet. Last year, people liked his style, but they thought it was monotonous,” says the ace designer.
# Suits him fine
About his choice of only suits even though the vibe of the show is not quite formal, Ashley says, “It’s what the channel wants and is about dressing Salman stylishly, while maintaining his vibe. One needs to understand that he’s 52 and not 25. Jeans and jackets are not his style anymore. Suits talk about his personality,” says Ashley. The designer has also not moved away from the suits even though Salman, more often than not, takes them off mid-show. He smiles, “It still looks cool and stylish, so I suppose the channel doesn’t object either.”
# A new look every year
For every season of Bigg Boss, Ashley gives Salman a new look after receiving the channel’s brief that the designer has to go with, post discussions. “In the first two years, the audiences saw him only in jeans, T-shirts, and leather jackets. So they asked me to change his style and I gave him suits, semi suits, jackets, his look from Tiger etc. Then they said give him coloured jackets; I did that, but received flak for it,” he says, alluding to maroon-red ombre, olive green, blue with bright red print jackets.
Ashley admits that it’s a challenge for him to style Salman year after year and also adds pressure on him. “There’s pressure with every film I do with him, too. For instance, people asked me why I gave him ill-fitting pants for Tubelight. I need to remind them that I had the director’s brief and he played a slow person and not Salman Khan,” says the designer.
# Shrugging criticism off
All the criticism Ashely receives doesn’t perturb him, though. He says, “It used to bother me when I was young. But like Salman, I have matured. I know what looks good irrespective of what anybody says. Is there anything that can’t look good on him? People say he looks good even in shorts and a gunjee.” Just like him, Salman doesn’t pay attention to criticism either. “Whenever I tell him that people haven’t liked his look, he asks me, ‘You think it looks good, na? Then why are you bothered?’” As long as Salman is not unhappy, it doesn’t affect Ashley what others have to say.
# All the restriction
“I can’t give him small checks, whites, stripes, or Houndstooth suits because they all jitter on screen. Linen fabric is ruled out because it gets crumpled and looks bad by the end of the episode. I’d love to dress him up in these and make him look cool but there are restrictions. And given that, I think I do a fantastic job,” he smiles.