Manish vs Ritu: Who's designing Kareena Kapoor's wedding outfit?

Mumbai, Oct. 15 -- Tomorrow, after their nikaah, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor will be husband and wife. It's a happy occasion, but Delhi-based designer Ritu Kumar is upset. The designer was given the responsibility of restoring Saif's grandmother's traditional gharara for Kareena Kapoor to wear for the ceremony. But recent reports credited Kareena's friend, Bollywood's leading designer Manish Malhotra, with that task. Hurt, Kumar turned to Sharmila Tagore, Saif's mother, who phoned HT Cafe to set the record straight.

So who is doing finally doing Kareena's wedding trousseau, Ritu Kumar or Manish Malhotra?

I had given Ritu my mother-in-law's wedding gharara to be restored and embellished, and she's been working on it for a while now. The gharara is very old. My mother-in-law wore it in 1939 and I wore it at my own nikaah. Kareena is wearing that for the wedding ceremony. As for Manish, he is a dear friend of hers and he is doing the other wedding outfits, as well as some for different functions.

We've heard that the gharara is too heavy and can't be worn for a very long time.

Yes. With the kind of lavish and detailed handwork, it's bound to be weighty. So there's a lighter gharara being made by Ritu. Manish has also made one. Kareena will decide which one she will change into after the nikaah.

What are you wearing?

It's a joyous occasion and it doesn't matter what I wear. I think I will wear an old sari from my collection. Or let's see. Please excuse me if I don't sound excited. It's not even been a year since my husband passed away. This is a happy occasion and everyone in the family is very excited.

How excited are your daughters Saba and Soha?

Oh, they are also quite excited about their brother's wedding. They are all looking forward to the various functions. Incidentally, Ritu has done a few outfits for Saba and Soha as well.

Manish adds charm to Bebo's outfits

Over the last two weeks, designer Manish Malhotra has been working painstakingly on the antique Pataudi gharara that has been restored by Ritu Kumar for Kareena Kapoor's wedding, doing the final fittings and adding a touch of embroidery here and there.

He has also designed Kareena's other outfits, and made clothes for her sister Karisma and her two little daughters, which they will wear at the various wedding functions including tonight's private sit-down dinner. The nikaah and registered wedding will take place tomorrow at the Taj Mahal Hotel, Colaba. After the roughly 15-minute long ceremony, Bebo will change into a Manish Malhotra creation for the dinner. "She'll wear a elaborately embellished gharara. I have given a very old world charm to all the ghararas she'll be wearing," says Manish.

Last night, the couple's sangeet and dinner, which was held at Saif Ali Khan's Khar residence, was attended by 50 guests, including their families and friends, and close associates of Sharmila Tagore. The theme for the party was 'Indian.'

On October 18, at the reception in Delhi, Kareena will wear a Manish Malhotra creation once again.

Manish Malhotra's take

Manish Malhotra seems to have had enough of other designers taking credit and hogging headlines for designing the trousseau of his 'best friend' Kareena Kapoor. In an exclusive chat, the designer claims that only he has designed all the outfits that the actor will wear during various functions around her upcoming wedding with beau Saif Ali Khan on October 16. MALHOTRA SPEAKS

The marriage, reportedly to be held on Tuesday, is planned as a quiet affair with only immediate family members from both sides being present. It will be followed by a reception in New Delhi on October 18.

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(With additional inputs)

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Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.