You'd have seen her costumes in films like 'Sura' and 'Paiyya'. It's now time to meet Priya Manikandan.
Breaking the ice with Priya might be a slightly daunting task but once it is broken, there is no stopping her.
She is almost taciturn and tactful as she gauges the person opposite her. But once the preliminary questions have been asked, she slips into an easy conversational mode that reflects her flair for all things fun and lively.
Born and brought up in Chennai, Priya was pampered as a young girl. “I have three brothers and I'm the only girl in the house. So I was the pampered princess,” says Priya.
After completing her schooling from Padma Sheshadri Bala Bhavan, she went to Stella Maris to graduate in History. Her interest in fashion began at a young age. “My father was into the light and sound industry. He still does shows and that was where my interest for fashion gained momentum,” says Priya.
She started doing fashion shows when she was as young as 19. “My biggest inspiration was my father. I have worked with Trisha , Simran and Medha among others,” says Priya. What began as a passion soon turned into her profession. “I love clothes. And so I started my own tailoring and embroidery unit.” Many ad films later, including Pothys, Saravana Stores, Chennai Silks, RMKV, Panasonic, Chic, Vivaha.com and Medimix, she made her remarkable foray into costumery.
And then, 'Paiyya' happened. “I had met Lingusamy at an event and he asked me what I did. When I told him I was styling for ad films, he said, ‘Don’t you want to move to the big screen?’ I said I would if he gave me the chance. A few days later, I got a call from his office. And the rest is the proverbial history,” she says. Working for a film is quite different and difficult when compared to working on an ad film. “For one, in the ad you have to present the product while in the film, you have to present the character. Also, an ad shoot lasts all of two days while a film can go on for an year or more,” says Priya.
Working for 'Paiyya' was interesting as well as challenging for Priya. Since the scenes were longer, she had to make 5 pairs of the same outfit. “It was great working with Lingusamy. He knows how to get his work done without offending anyone,” says the mother of two.
Priya also did the costumes for Tamannah in 'Sura' and is currently working on '18 Vayasu' by Pannerselvam. “I want to take things slow and not take up too many offers. I have to devote time to my daughters as well, But one day, after I have created a name for myself in the South, I hope to enter Bollywood as well,” she says.