Nalini Sriram is a costume designer based in Chennai whose entry into the professional field of fashion was like destiny’s big game plan. An English literature post-graduate and a freelance writer then, Nalini did not have the slightest idea even by the time when she was in her 30’s that the Tollywood fashion industry was waiting for her to make it big in the field.

Nalini attributes her success in the arena of costume designing to the constant support of her family during her learning years in the job. Even after more than 22 years of work experience in her field of work, Nalini is still struck with a sense of nostalgia when she remembers how she received just Rs.5000 as the salary for her first film, Roja. Nalini started out in the field of costume designing during the time when it was still in its infancy, but since then, she has continuously progressed making both herself and the Tollywood fashion industry bloom.

Throughout her career, Nalini has worked with great film directors like Mani Ratnam, Gautham Menon, Saran, Suriya and several other and she has given the film film industry and its characters some wonderful outfits in movies like Ek Deewana Tha, Asal, Ayan, Bombay, etc. According to Nalini, it was, in fact, the film Bombay that made her realise that costume designing was the career for her.

Talking about the movie industry and its various aspects, Nalini acknowledges that it boasts of a very dynamic environment with a lot of chaos and last minute changes in everything, but the very fact that even in such a place, she has gotten her way through so smoothly speaks a great deal about her skills and talent as a costume designer. According to Nalini, Manisha’s costume in Kannalaney, Aishwarya’s in Kandukonden Kandukonden, Vijay’s clothes for the songs shot at foreign locations in Pokkiri and Rajini’s costume as the Egyptian king in the movie Kuselan have been some of the best works of her career. Talking about her dream, Nalini Sriram wishes to do a period film sometime in the future as a part of her career as a costume designer for the film industry.

Nalini’s story and the way she made her way into the fasion industry is an example of how things that are meant to happen somehow find their way through the most unexpected places. Hopefully, she will continue to give life to the characters with her immense of fashion and costume.



Veena Sankaranarayanan
Eka Lakhani
Deepali Noor
Neeraja Kona
Chaitanya Rao