The making of any feature film involves a lot of effort. Even more so for a period drama made on a grand scale, where research and costumes play a pivotal role in recreating the era.
Take the case of Kangana Ranaut-starrer Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi which released on Friday. A lot has been said about Kangana’s look in the film — right from her costumes to her jewellery and the armoury used.
Fashion designer Neeta Lulla was given the task of creating ensembles for the cast members including Kangana Ranaut, Ankita Lokhande (Jhalkari Bai), Jisshu Sengupta (Raja Gangadhar Rao) and Danny Denzongpa (Ghulam Ghaus Khan). Coincidentally, Neeta, who has earlier won the National Award for Costume Design for historical dramas like Devdas and Jodha Akbar, is also the Chief Mentor at Hamstech Institute of Fashion and Interior Design in Hyderabad.
A team of four students from the institute assisted Neeta in creating the much talked about looks for the movie. Talking about her experience of working for the movie, 27-year-old Syed Nazneen says, “We assisted Neeta Lulla for the Hyderabad schedule of the film for two months. I was responsible for bringing Kangana’s look to the point as imagined by Neeta. The drape and the textiles played an important part as they were shooting for the war sequence.”
For 22-year-old Harshini Rasuri, it was a dream come true. “I was looking after the jewellery department, not just for Kangana’s look but also to ensure that the junior artists looked their part. The opportunity to work in Manikarnika gave me a sneak peek into the world of movie fashion designing. We had to research a lot to find out what sort of textiles, silhouettes and jewellery designs were used at that time,” shares Harshini.
While these two girls worked hard on the best looks for the movie, their two other teammates, Kiran Kumar and Sai Koneru were looking after the finer details like armoury and the uniforms of the British officers. “Every prop needs to be on point without any mismatch. So we sourced all the materials and made the costumes,” says Kiran.
Happy with the outcome
Students from Hamstech are well-equipped and know their craft quite well. For Manikarnika, we used lots of motifs and vegetable dyes and the team worked diligently on the project. The four were chosen based on their knowledge of the craft. I am really happy with the outcome and all the efforts the students have put in.