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AUTHENTICITY TAKES PRECEDENCE IN COSTUME DESIGNING

— RITU KUMAR

I enjoy designing for films that are not based on fashion per se. The edge a good script gives is one that throws challenges to marry the clothes to the characters so their identities are enhanced.

The difference from a runway showing is that one is not trying to build an image based on the designer's concept but that of a director. Ashvin Kumar's new film "The Forest"  brought about a challenge very different to the one which his Oscar-nominated film "Little Terrorist" threw up. The latter was shot in the desert region of Kutch and the story was of a boy belonging to the Muslim community and crossing over to a Hindu Barbari village in Gujarat. The areas are very specific about their clothing and their culture and therefore the language of their clothes was necessary to identify areas and communities and beliefs. For a short film it is really more difficult to do this so the costumes play a large role.
 
"The Forest" is a film about an urban well-heeled couple out on a weekend to the Corbett Park on the lookout for a glimpse of the tiger. They wear sporty designer wear accessorized with expensive Khaki boots and hats. I did Nandana's clothes in the look and feel of the Ritu Kumar Label line. The clothes worn by Ankur were sourced in the UK... mainly from stores which stocked high-end Safari clothing. The villagers and their kids were styled in the manner of the inhabitants from the Garhwal area (Himachal costumes with intricate woven patterns and Kulu headgear). The Police head wears casual woolen dressing and organic clothes like a poncho made of Garhwal blankets and the forest officers' clothes were sourced from forest officers' stores to lend the film its authenticity. The important factor in doing costumes such as these is that they should look convincing in the environment that they are worn. The designer's personal stylistic preferences are not the important aspect of designing a good International quality film as the personal preferences of the actors too are not taken note of. Authenticity takes precedence over design and drama!!
 
Nandana Sen's look in 'The Forest'
 
 
01-MAY-2012
 
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4 Comments
 
03-MAY-2012 mahesh dattani
I second Mandira Bedi
 
 
01-MAY-2012 Puneet Upadhyaya
Congratulations ma'am
 
 
01-MAY-2012 Aditi Takia
Lovely. Congratulations!! I will surely see this film.
 
 
01-MAY-2012 Mandira Bedi
Once veteran designers begin taking an interest in good films the quality of cinema will increase manifold
 
 
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