Royal sojourn

Designing for Bollywood

There is a sequence in Fan where Shah Rukh Khan is scheduled to perform at a billionaire’s wedding. But it is his obsessed look-alike fan, also played by Khan, who reaches before him and participates in the event. This entire song and dance sequence is pivotal as it adds twist to the narrative and also because of the extravagant portrayal of a big fat Indian wedding.

The responsibility of creating ensembles for this royal wedding was given to Diva’ni – a fashion couture brand of Yash Raj Film which worked exclusively with director Maneesh Sharma to conceptualise and design for the Bhutiani family. “The scene was for a destination wedding in Croatia. It had to shown as larger than life with the most opulent jewellery and clothes. The strategy was to dress the characters as though they were a royal family; each character was equally important and was dressed with focus,” Sanya Dhir, creative director, Diva’ni tells Metrolife.

The royal family of Baroda was used as a muse for the line which was titled as the Raja Ravi Varma collection.

“Each piece has been thoughtfully designed and handcrafted in house. The costumes use real zari, dabka, naqshi elements with 3D hand appliqué embroidery techniques,” she adds.

Diva’ni was launched in 2013 and its core philosophy lies in understanding “people, place and period” when they design for any project. The brand operates from its stores in the capital and Mumbai, and Dhir says their aim is to “bridge that gap between real and reel”.
“Films definitely act as a catalyst in promoting fashion but usually don’t define them at a large. Film costuming has a lot to do with the director’s perspective and not what’s in trend,” she says.

Elaborating on how different it is to design for films from mass production, Dhir says, “Producing for market is very customer-centric. It’s on a personal level and you have to satisfy a single human. While in a film an entire nation needs to be satisfied.”

“The costumes are made for the character alone; to heighten the audiences’ understanding of what is being portrayed. It helps in portraying the character’s age, gender role, profession, social class and so on. It is not film costumes that define fashion but the actors who play the parts that define it,” she adds.

The fashion couture house is also designing for the upcoming Salman Khan-starrer Sultan. Without revealing much, Dhir says, “It is again a very special film. It has a certain kind of flavour and essence attached to it. One of the most iconic looks of all times can be expected from us,” she says.

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