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Making Hrithik-Aishwarya look gorgeous in Jodhaa Akbar

By Rediff Movies
June 23, 2020 11:45 IST
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Did you love Hrithik Roshan's royal look in Ashutosh Gowariker's Jodhaa Akbar?

Did you want to see more of Aishwarya Rai's fragile beauty as well?

Well, a lot went in to make them look the way they did in the 2008 film.

Costume designer Neeta Lulla writes about the difficulties she faced during the film, which ultimately won her a National Award:


'When I met Ashu (Gowariker) for the film, I was amazed at the meticulous and detailed research that he had put into the film right from his scripting phase.'


'As a director, he thoroughly goes into research and is an integral part of every aspect of the film.'


'On hearing the script and receiving the bound script, I did my research from libraries and books some provided by Ashu and some that I picked from various book stores.'


'On meeting with the progress of creatives and understanding his vision of aesthetics I was faced with a major challenge, Ashu wanted me to use only five colours to represent the Mughal Dynasty and five colors to represent the Rajput Dynasty.'


'With a careful research and choice we achieved the colours that did compliment the visual canvas. The entire film consisted of almost 2,600 costumes, 500 uniforms for each army and additional armours.'


'A group of assistance were designated to handle armours, female costumes, male costumes, footwear, pagris and jewellery separately.'


'The song Azeem-o-Shaan itself alone had 2,000 dance costumes for various performances within the song. The costuming of every character has been carefully planned in every scene so as to give a detail and narrative to the look.'


'An important aspect that I had to keep in mind while making the garments, was that the fabrics could not have a shine as the DOP (Director of Photography) Kiran Deohans was using natural light for the majority of the film.'


'While working on @aishwaryaraibachchan_arb look the challenge was to give a Matt yet rich look to her lehengas so we used organic cotton and mul for the base and embroidered it with details of Kasab and Resham work to create a brocade look then adding gota patti Kundan and metal embellishments to further add the ornateness of the details.'


'Jewellery was specially worked on for each look by Tanishq and coordinated with each outfit, the weight was so much that each piece had to be tacked in place carefully onto the dress post wearing the entire look so that it did not weigh down on the neck.'


'A film that taught me a great deal of technicalities of making Millenary and working with metal armoury, as an actor @hrithikroshan knows the first that complement his structure, so even if there is a centimetre difference on one side from the other he would bring it up.'


'While making the armour I decided to give him a fake suede achakan as the inner so that it buffered his body from the armour edges and had a substantial and mighty fall when he was riding or in the fighting scenes.'


'So the armour was sculpted and etched in Jaipur.'


'The fit, however, was a challenge so I had to take the structure shape on his body and etch it on my own, the edges that you notice have a black faux leather edging and is lined with thin sponge to make it comfortable for him.'


'Though it was a difficult outfit as it became hot in the heat and cold with the fall in temperature by evening.'


'Sometimes on the spur of the moment you work on technicalities with some knowledge and go with the flow through the process I did just that and was able to achieve what was needed. Looking back it makes me wonder can I ever achieve this again?'

Photographs: Kind courtesy House Of Neeta Lulla/Instagram

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