Bollywood Style Awards 2016: Anju Modi for Deepika Padukone
Anju Modi for Deepika Padukone
After the sartorial hit, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and fashion designer Anju Modi wove a hauntingly passionate plot with antique textiles and extravagant drapery. As a result, Bajirao Mastani saw traditional, revved-up outfits in abundance.
While Ranveer Singh’s Bajirao clad in flared angarakhas and dhotis was a refreshing sight, Priyanka Chopra’s Kashibai gave a reboot to the nauvari, the nine-yard-sari, in light silks and cottons, awash with hues such as turmeric, lotus pink and purple. But the telling point of the movie most certainly was Deepika Padukone’s Mastani and her Persian ensembles; specifically the one she wore to Aina Mahal. Mastani, a warrior princess was the epitome of beauty, brains and brawn; and her dressing was a study in creative cohesiveness.
Modi says, “I had to give her larger-than-life costumes to do justice to her personality.” And when working with Bhansali, who does not compromise on creativity, Modi felt inspired to go the whole hog. “We used to discuss the colours, the backdrop of the set and what the background dancers and other characters would be wearing before finalising the costume. The headgear was designed keeping comfort in mind and the complete look was put together in such a way that it complements the grandiosity of the ambience. For instance, we did not want to dwarf the beauty of Aina Mahal with strong hues like reds and yellows. These are also very Hindu colours and would have clashed with her Persian character. But, since it was her first appearance in the Maratha durbar, it was important for her to look a little alien from the Maratha women.” Filtering through ideas, Bhansali and Modi came down to the ancient colour dhani that added to the charisma of the outfit. “She had to win Bajirao’s heart; she had to look mystical while she dances.” And she did, rightly so.
Jewels inspired from the Nizams and old paintings of Nur Jahan added drama to the ensembles as did the hair and make-up. The warfare headgears replicated the motifs of Mughal museum doors; and khadi handlooms, self-embossed zardosi, threadwork and antique borders were painstakingly sourced by Modi from remote villages near Hyderabad and Pune.
As a result, Modi ended up creating close to 80 nauvari saris for Kashibai, around 100 outfits for Bajirao and almost 40 ensembles for Mastani. While she singlehandedly anchored the wardrobes of the lead cast, Modi credits the actors for holding the story together. And though the project has drawn to an end, for the designer, the fever of periodic fashion is going to last longer than a runway season.
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