So one of the most awaited Bolly films this year releases today! I’m sure all of you will join the beeline to the theatres this evening to catch the Ranbir Kapoor-Priyanka Chopra-Ileana D’ Cruz starrer Barfi. I couldn’t think of a better day to share with you vignettes from the fashion conversations I had with the stars of the film. They are all style mavens in their own right. Besides talking about sporting the 70s look in Barfi, they gave me an insight into their style personas. Look out for them in the forthcoming posts.
Sit back, relax and enjoy!
THE 70s LOOK RETURNS WITH BARFI
Ranbir: The film is based in the 1970s Darjeeling and Calcutta. We had to stay true to that period. Having said that, we didn’t want to make it very pop culture-ish. When we make period films of the 70s, you only see bell bottoms, big collars and big sidelocks. We wanted it to be more real. The character of Barfi has the potential of becoming memorable. He has a ponytail, a beret cap, and a thin moustache in parts of the film, which were all my idea. There are three different looks over a period of time and I have to give credit to stylists Aki Narula, Shefalina Gupta and the director of the film, Anurag Basu. Styling has come a long way in Hindi cinema. We have tried to stay true to the world of the 70s in Barfi and not just make a fashion statement out of it. Instead of keeping the character simple and look like Ranbir, I wanted him to look different. I hope you take some fashion from the film. Films are a huge fashion statement. As an actor, you have a huge responsibility towards where you’re leading the youth in terms of fashion.
Ileana: We didn’t want to go all out, but keep it as realistic as possible. My character Shruthi is a sheltered Bengali girl. We kept it feminine, which is why we got woollen skirts, scarves, colours, knee- high boots. We didn’t want too much of prints. If we did prints, it had to be simplistic. The look is very young. When she gets married, she wears Dhakai sarees and winged eyeliner to bring out the 70s era along with the bouffant hair. We kept her eyes as pronounced as possible because she’s a Bengali girl. She wears her hair in a side ponytail. When she gets married, she plaits it with a little front lock to frame the face and make her look more feminine. I have worn shrugs and nice big head bands.
Ranbir: The styling came out instinctively out of my influences which have been my grandfather Mr Raj Kapoor, Charlie Chaplin, Mr Bean and Buster Keaton.
Ileana: The director took inspiration from his mother and his wife, Tani. There were times they bought sarees from Calcutta.
Ranbir: I’m wearing Batik kurtas in the parts that have been shot in Calcutta along with a thin moustache and leather chappals they used to wear at that time. In Darjeeling I’m wearing knits and sweaters. The pants are really narrow and short and have a certain pattern in them, so you could see another layer while the character is walking. I just wore two pairs of shoes through the film. I enjoyed the Bengali look the most in the film.
Priyanka: I had to look autistic. The look is central to what the character required. We went round in circles because there was no reference to what Jhilmil, my character, should look like. First we started with braids, but because the character developed into someone who becomes severely autistic, we realised she won’t be able to maintain braids. My director then suggested that we should keep her hair really short. I said, that’s a cool idea. When I was a kid, I had ringlets, and thought that might work, since I had that hair. We started with trying prosthetics on my face, but it didn’t work. The only thing I have done is worn a little denture on my gum which lifts my lip a little bit, so it looks like I have buck teeth. It looks cute because it’s subtle.
I’m not wearing any make up in the film. The clothes go through a progression. Everything in my styling had to do with my character and what she went through. She’s supposed to be 19 or 20 in the film and goes to a school. She wears a skirt with a tucked in tee and sweaters because it’s Darjeeling, Bata shoes, beads she has made herself and hair bands. That was my favourite look in the film.
I’m a lot in Batik printed Pajama kurtas when the film moves to Calcutta. My style in the film is technically not influenced so much by the 70s as it is by the character. The interesting aspect of the styling is that Jhilmil wears bloomers inside her skirt, because as an autistic you out your legs up, sit down. I wanted to have the freedom to be able to do all that.
Ileana: After Barfi, I have found a new found respect for Dhakai sarees. I have never tried cotton sarees in the last six years I have been acting. I didn’t realise how beautiful they are before the film. We give so much importance to the chiffon, net and georgette sarees. But the beauty in the Dhakai sarees is in its femininity, regal nature and elegance. They probably might have a comeback after this film. Maybe high- waisted trousers will come back too. We have seen so much of the low –waisted style that it’s time they came back! It suits the Indian woman better because of her curvy body.