Movies have always been a huge source of inspiration for fashion buffs, especially Indian Bollywood movies. Whether it’s the heavy lehengas in Karan Johar’s movies or the gorgeous Desi Girl and Main Hoon Na sarees, people always look up to movies especially when it comes to possible options for a wedding trousseau. One such notable contribution to the film and wedding industry is the beautiful collection put together by renowned designer Ritu Kumar for Deepa Mehta’s upcoming release “Midnight’s Children”. The movie opened at TIFF this past weekend and is scheduled to premier shortly at the Vancouver Film Festival on 27th September 2012, followed by a worldwide release. “Midnights Children” features Soha Ali Khan, Shahana Goswami, Anita Majumdar, and Neha Mahajan among others. The film is based on Salman Rushdie’s Booker prizewinning novel. Ritu has also worked on the costumes for the male starcast including Anupam Kher, Rahul Bose, Siddharth Narayan and Samrat Chakravarty.
Ritu Kumar has been designing bridal wear for almost four decades and is famous for her ethnic and contemporary creations and is particularly known for the use of traditional handicrafts in her designs. A perfect choice therefore, for bringing to life the vintage costumes to reflect the way of life of India under the colonial rules, with all its grace and intricacies. Ritu’s fabulous creations are the ones adorning the characters in the scenes portraying three Muslim weddings in Northern India.
Although well versed with the Indian Bridal wear, Ritu had to do tremendous research for the wedding ensembles in those eras which were very classic, subtle and non blingy – unlike most of today’s outfits. Research included an indepth study of the costumes and textiles used by the royal Muslim families in the pre-independence India. Also assisting Ritu in her quest was director Deepa Mehta and the author of the Book “Midnight’s children”- Salman Rushdie who provided inputs on how the designs should be.
The “poshaaks”, or ensembles, worn by the Begums for their weddings consisted of a three piece ensemble – a kurta, a “farshi” pajama (similar to a divided skirt) and a dupatta or veil.
The actress Shahana Goswami is seen wearing a pajama where a deep teal blue brocade constitutes the upper half or “paat” and the lower half or “gote” is made of blue, emerald green and gold stripes of patched silk. Elaborate strips of “gota” and “kiran” embroidery around the borders give the entire look a metallic sheen. A hand embroidered dull gold brocade Kurta with a teal blue dupatta completes the ensemble. Also noteworthy is the bridal poshaak worn by Anita Majumdar consisting of a emerald green kurta with a buti embellished angarkha style yoke. The dupatta has multi-colored silk patchwork with a zarodzi border while the pajama is a farshi styled piece adorned with elaborate brocades and colored silks.
The regional garments include the white handwoven chanderi silk cotton tunic with an angarkha cut full worn by Soha Ali Khan which is a style consistent with North Indians. is worn over the tunic of white chanderi. The ensemble is hand embroidered with natural silk cotton ecru yarns to give a look of jaaliwork which is a reflection of marble and white effects used in North India on clothing. Neha Mahajan is seen in a “Phirin” which is a unisex garment used in Kashmir, and is also worn by the bride, for whom it is made out of red wool. It is embroidered in gold tilla or metallic thread in a design which highlights the front, with stylized mango motifs often seen on jamavar shawls. A gold velvet brocade salwar, cut wide in the traditional form, and a red dupatta completes the ensemble.
The film is scheduled for a controversial world wide release, late October this year. For those wanting to catch a glimpse of the outfits in real, can do so at Ritu Kumar’s flagship store at Raghuvanshi Mills, Mumbai from 30 October – 1st November 2012. The showcase will be a part of an Exhibition on Vintage Indian Textiles & Craft Forms, an attempt to give visitors an insight into the fading history of Indian embroidery techniques and fashion forms at the turn of the century.