Saturday , 16 December 2017
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How Kangy was shipped back to World War II era

For a period drama, costumes and styling are as important as the set designs to transport one to a particular era. Ask three-time National Award winner Dolly Ahluwalia, the woman behind the costumes in Vishal Bhardwaj’s ‘Rangoon’ set in the ’40s. Admitting that working on the film was not easy, she tells us, “I was scared because it is challenging to handle such a huge subject. But at the same time, without sounding arrogant, I would say that challenges excite me and so, it was lot of fun working on Rangoon.”

Dolly, who has worked with Bhardwaj for ‘Omkara’ (2006), ‘Kaminey’ (2009) and ‘Haider’ (2014), used multiple reference points for the three lead actors — Kangana Ranaut, Saif Ali Khan and Shahid Kapoor. “We sourced magazines from Mumbai and Delhi. Vishal and I have a book on World War that came handy. We also met someone who has done research on World War II.”

Talking about Kangana’s character, loosely based on a yesteryear actress, Dolly explains, “It was a challenge because she was tall and well built while Kangana has a different physique. Besides, there is more to her character. We used a lot of floral prints, and also checked out the varieties of velvet and other fabrics used back then and incorporated them into the look. We used a total of 40 costumes for her.” As for Saif, the Nawab himself opened his wardrobe to Dolly. “From brooches and watches to clothes and boots, he has a huge collection from his great grandfather’s days. In fact, Saif used his own dog collared shirt and a jacket in the film,” she says, adding, “He showed us a pair of knee-high boots that belonged to his great grandfather. We replicated it in a different colour. Saif, too, goes through 30 costume changes and looks impeccable. The kind of detailing he personally ensured was amazing.”

Styling Shahid was rather easy. His character was meant to be a Sikh man and look tests with the actor wearing a turban were also done. “Later, Vishal dropped the idea. Shahid will mostly be seen in army uniforms from that era.”

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