Rani’s Marathi Mulgi act

Rani Mukerji is back with a release after a fairly long time. The film is called Aiyyaa and if you’re planning to catch the film that releases today, you might want to know a thing or three about Rani’s look in the film. Rani plays a middle class Marathi girl who dreams of conquering the silver screen some day. And her item songs in the film (all of which happen to be dream sequences) have already generated mammoth buzz. The wardrobe for the songs has been done by ace designer Neeta Lulla. The promo posters with Rani in an orange Kasta saree (traditional Maharashtrian saree) worn with oversized funky goggles have already become a talking point. I chatted with Neeta and later Rani to understand what went into creating the traditional yet spunky look that Rani sports in the film.

 Her look in Aiyya:

Rani: I’m playing a Marathi girl. So I’ll be seen wearing the kind of stuff that a middle class girl Marathi girl usually wears – mostly simple salwar kameezes with a dupatta. At night, she wears a night suit — a pajama and a shirt. Normally Marathis wears the traditional Paithani saree. For the film, my director and I have personally shopped for the clothes in Dadar, Versova and Juhu in Bombay and sarees and jewellery in Pune. There were inputs from me for the look. But I can only dominate the style, the cut and the colour. How it needs to be worn is something the designers decide.

Neeta: She’s wearing a short ghagra, a saree which is casually worn, very short Amrapali numbers in Dreamum Wakeupum. The look in the songs is sensuous and contemporary. There are full length skirts inspired by the saree. There’s a dress made in gold and diamond hues and the Kasta sarees are in pink and golden yellow, hot pink and lime green and green and orange. So you will see a burst of colours on screen.

The accessories:

Rani: They are limited to a gold chain with a Ganesha locket, balis in the ears, two gold bangles and a watch on her wrist. As a Marathi girl ready to get married, her look is different. She has the nath and the green glass bangles which are considered very auspicious for the wedding day. She also wears gajra on her hair and the chandrakor bindi shaped as a crescent. A lot of thought went behind every outfit. I have worn a chain around my waist in the Aga Bai song and Kashmiri earrings along with a payzeb in antique gold.

Neeta: I gave her hand hangers delicate chain in the wrist held to the finger. There’s a bit of revival of the Calcutta jewellery. She’s wearing a jewellery piece on her ear called the kaan phool in the title song, which is typical of Calcutta. Thin chains embellish the blouses and hang till the waist.

 Favourite look from the film:

Rani: My favourite look is the one in the Aga Bai Halla Machai Re song. I have worn fusion wear to bring out the belly dancing moves in the song. The outfit in inspired by the dhoti of the Odissi dancers wear and the skirt worn by Mohini Attam dancers. It’s very Ajanta Ellora and Khajuraho inspired and I see it become huge among the youth in the country. Hopefully all the clothes worn in the film would become a rage. I’m sure the saree and the salwar kameez will become popular in Pune.

Neeta: In one of the songs, she pays a tribute to 90s heroines like Sridevi, Madhuri and Juhi. So she wears the blue saree with goggles from Mr India and Sridevi’s look in Chaalbaaz, and Juhi’s ghagra choli look in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. That’s my favourite.

Queen bee’s style off screen:

She claims that no one’s given her any fashion advise and no fashion offense of hers is so bad that it will come back to haunt her. She doesn’t rely on any brands and buys whatever looks good on her. In many ways, Rani’s the girl you can walk up to and talk to. She can never be too intimidating because she’s the girl you take home to mommy. She’s aware of the latest in trends, but not fashion obsessed.

Fashion preferences: I’m comfortable in both Western and Indian wear. I love track pants, jeans, shirts as I am the mostly comfortable in them.

Wardrobe essentials: A black saree or a black dress. Anything that has black in it never fails me.

Rani’s shopping fundas: I love shopping abroad as I get the freedom and the independence to go anywhere and try on things. As a shopper, I like to see stuff and I get that opportunity only abroad.

Favourite look from a film: The look from Bunty Aur Babli. It was youthful and became quite iconic.

Rani’s fashion advise to you: Please wear things that you feel you look good in. It’s not important that others think of it. It’s important for you to feel good in them and only then will you look confident.

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