Actress Mrunal Thakur made her debut as the Lakme Fashion Week Grand Finale show-stopper for the very first fully virtual event amid the coronavirus pandemic. The finale showcased the collection of two labels, Rimzim Dadu and Saaksha Bhat & Kinnari Kamat's Saaksha and Kinni. Mrunal was first seen in a coulourful attire that paid tribute to India's artisans from Saaksha and Kinni's collection. She then stunned in a metallic silver Lehenga by Rimzim Dadu.
Talking about the experience, Mrunal told News18, "It is such an overwhelming situation for me. I am so excited to be walking for Lakme Fashion Week's Grand Finale as the showstopper and it is the first digital show ever. I miss the crowd around me. But I am happy that as an entertainer, as an actor and showstopper for Lakme Fashion Week, I am happy to be able to entertain my audience sitting at home. Thank god for the social networking sites where we can be showcasing this fashion show.
"I was very overwhelmed the first time I heard that Lakme is considering me to do the Grand Finale. What is interesting is that after the lockdown, Lakme and I did a collaboration on the Spotlight campaign. I was happy to get to know that they wanted to carry forward the Spotlight theme for the LFW 2020. I almost had tears."
Talking about being muse to two young labels, she shared, "Saaksha and Kinni and Rimzim Dadu started their careers with Lakme as Gen Next designers. They blossomed gracefully and I am very happy that the beginning of my career is also with Lakme Fashion Week. It is very lucky to me and I collaborated with these fabulous designers. Rimzim's unique style of making outfits with chords, which is sculpted and her research is very futuristic and way different from what we've seen before. As far as Saaksha and Kinni is concerned, I really loved the jacket that I was wearing in the grand finale. I am the kind of person that owns half of a wardrobe full of jackets. I never leave home without a jacket. I really liked the vibe, the thigh high slit, the frill, the colour and the feel of the outfit. The Karigar has taken around more than 200 hours to make that jacket. It was a very comfortable outfit and I'm happy that I got a chance to wear Rimzim and Saaksha and Kinni."
While the event itself was held virtually, Mrunal had to shoot for the event during the pandemic. When asked if there were any hindrances, the actress said, "Yes, it was difficult but team Lakme made sure that there were minimum people on set, that everybody was tested, following the protocol, maintaining social distancing and wearing masks and gloves. Obviously, since it's virtual, I miss the audience around me but I'm really happy that the Fashion Week is happening. There is something to look up to, for the audiences and designers sitting at home. Through this, I want to say that even though the times are gloomy, the designer in you needs to come out and this is the time to bring out the best, especially for budding designers. Many are thinking that this is the end but no, this is the beginning."
"I have walked LFW before, but not as the grand finale showstopper and it was honestly a dream come true. For my family, it was a big deal. But I'm happy that Lakme did not stop because of Covid-19. Lakme gave a hope to all those budding designers, models, actors and the audience to look up to the Fashion Week," she added.
Mrunal is also excited that all the films she has shot have been from different eras and different regions. "Love Sonia was very rural and through that I got to wear all types of outfits. The journey of being a girl to a teenager and a woman. That transformation was impeccable. Jersey is something that I'm looking forward to because I'm such an old-school person. In Jersey we are shooting in that era of 1986-1990 so I love wearing the jackets, the A-line dresses, the hair and makeup and the curls. It's really a lovely combination of high-waisted pants and those block-printed shirts. Batla House is also very close to me because Sheetal Sharma made sure that Nandita looked chic, elegant and classy at the same time," she shared.
Mrunal, who is one of the busiest actors currently, has an impressive line-up of releases. She will be seen in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's sports drama Toofan with Farhan Akhtar, Umesh Shukla's comedy Aankh Micholi with Abhimanyu Dassani and Gowtam Tinnanuri's Jersey with Shahid Kapoor.
"Toofan is a deadly combination as we have Farhan and Rakeysh sir and they made sure the journey was so fruitful. I think I have become a better actor because I was blessed to have the entire team, be it Jay Oza sir as my DOP, Farhan as my co-actor, Supriya Pathak as my co-actress and Rakeysh sir as my director. It's a deadly combination when they come together. I went through a massive change, I chopped my hair to a long bob and it taught me that it's not necessary for Bollywood heroines to have long hair. Sometimes comfort also matters and the character I'm playing is very comfortable with herself. The length of the hair doesn't matter. The people she is with, who they are and where they come from, don't matter, as long as the heart is at the right place. So Toofan is something that I'm really looking forward to," Mrunal gushed.
"Jersey with Shahid is a learning experience for me. I just finished the second-last schedule and can't wait to finish the film so that the audience can watch it as soon as possible in the theatres. Gowtam is a very calm and a very passionate director. Everyday I learn something new about the character I'm playing and it kind of surprises me. When I enter the set I come with a perception and when I leave the set, I'm like 'oh my god, this is something I didn't even imagine and look what we made.' The scene turns out to be so good that I just want the film to release tomorrow. It is so good," she said.
"When it comes to Aankh Micholi, it is a fun film. It was earlier set to release during Diwali but looking at the pandemic situation, we're waiting for the film to come out. Toofan and Aankh Micholi are ready. Working with Abhimanyu was fun and Umesh Shukla was fun too. It's a comedy film, so I cannot wait for you to hold your guts and laugh out loud with your family especially," she signed off.