Brand behind ‘Sultan’ costumes forays into Pakistan



LAHORE: The marriage of cinema and fashion is an old concept but no one saw its true potential the way Aditya Chopra of Yash Raj Films (YRF) and Sanya Dhir of KBSH did; perhaps, no one else had behind them the two veritable empires that they do.

While YRF has been the forerunner in Indian cinema, Dhir has leveraged her family business based on reviving lost Indian crafts. Their dream culminated into the brand Diva’ni and after three successful years in India, they are set to bring their store to Lahore later this month.

Diva’ni’s work in Sultan can be seen in Anushka Sharma’s look for a wedding scene. “Knowing that she’s from Haryana and a Muslim in the film, we styled a look especially for her in complete contrast to her look in the rest of the movie, where she’s playing a wrestler,” Dhir, the brand’s creative director,

The ensemble is an ivory coloured handcrafted traditional chikankaari dress, embellished with zardozi and elements of kundan, gota, dapka and naqshi. While it is from Diva’ni’s ‘Lafz’ collection, which is on offer at their stores in India, Dhir shared looks created for films generally do not make it to retail.

Besides working for films, the brand also does bridal couture, retail and celebrity styling. However, when the store opens in Lahore, they will only be introducing bridal couture, with plans of rolling out other elements gradually. In India, where they have a firm base, Dhir added they curate looks for celebrities for their personal wardrobes. “They end up investing in pure platinum and pure gold weaves as Diva’ni is the only brand in India that certifies the zari used.”

Speaking about the brand, she added, “Every actor in India says that you are not a heroine until you are part of a YRF movie. They believe this because Yash ji believed women are God’s most beautiful creation so it was his duty to present them beautifully on screen. The inspiration for the brand comes from his vision and not literally his films.”

The brand is not known to recreate Bollywood looks, but is inspired by the grandeur and the scale of the canvas of cinema. “People sometimes expect to see the same dress Kajol wore in Dilwale Dhulania Le Jayegaybut that is not what we do.”

Since glamour has been such an essential part of YRF films, we expect the brand to live up to the fashion legacy that the production company has created.

Flitz Fashion is Diva’ni’s partner brand in Pakistan, one that previously partnered with Feeha Jamshed for her first lawn collection earlier this year. It is evident that Flitz CEO Shakil Zindani knows potential where he sees it. He hopes that Diva’ni will also showcase a reflection of the common heritage shared by India and Pakistan, with regards to culture, fashion and Bollywood.

At the Sultan screening, Dhir shared that the brand was launched on September 27, 2013 for a special reason. “Diva’ni officially launched on this day because that is Yash ji’s birthday. Since the idea for it was conceived by him when he was alive, we wanted to launch it on his special day.”