For designer duo Rimple and Harpreet Narula, the magnum opus Padmavati marks their foray into Bollywood. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who’s known for his attention to detail and have worked with the likes of Anju Modi, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Neeta Lulla in the past, collaborated with the Delhi-based designers for the periodic drama and as we can see, the result is mesmerising.
Even though they have designed costumes for all three lead stars in the film, it’s Padukone’s extravagant lehengas that have caught our attention. Her portrayal as Rani Padmini, the Rajput queen would have lost its charm without the beautiful traditional wears and heavy jewellery. A lot of gota patti work can be seen on the lehengas which weigh almost 30 kgs.
Padukone’s look in the song Ghoomar has got us drooling. The colourful lehenga in which she is seen moving around gracefully took months to create. It had a lot of layering with the innermost layer being made of special gota lafa and the brocade work created by master weavers. It gave Padukone a royal look coupled with the layered necklaces, the gold jhumkis and the nathni.
According to a Instagram post by the designer duo, the odhna had Kota cotton specially hand woven by master artisans. They got a leheriya print developed that came from a 16th century textile sample which they came across at the Victoria and Albert museum. The leheriya print on Kota cotton thus developed was further layered with Varq ka Kaam and embellished with Raato embroidery (couching of gold metal flat wire with a red silk floss thread).
In another post, they mentioned about the main motifs of the ghagra and how they were derived from old Pichwai textiles, various mural and frescoes, rendered in delicate hand crafted kasab embroidery, kachhi pati work and the traditional Rajasthani Mukke Ka Kaam. “The motifs that have been used – the lady with a parrot, the tree of life, the sun and the moon, the lion and the lotus have a deep historical symbolism that is entrenched in the ethos of the Rajput culture. The symbolic Tree of life has connotations of divinity as well as man’s connection to the cosmos, the lion stands for a warriors strength and resolve, the lotus is a symbol of eternal beauty while the cosmic symbols denote the traditional sun and moon worship that is still practiced by the Rajput clans. The innermost layer of the ghaghra has a special gotta lafa that we got artisans from Nyla near Jaipur to weave using the age old traditional techniques. The brocades that were used in the ensemble were specially commissioned to master weavers after a careful study of old samples from Aurangabad and Benaras that have been archived at the Calico and Jaipur museums.”
It took 2 months to create this look, as the designer had to do an intensive research on how the royal costumes during 13th century were by studying various traveller’s accounts, manuscripts and historical texts on the pre-Mughal period. They decided to give the Ghoomar ghaghra a multi-layered look and colour-blocked the layers in deep rich jewel tones.
We also got a glimpse of her outfits in the recently released song Ek Dil Ek Jaan. We love the beige and gold number, which too has authentic gota embroidery all over it with the ghagra and dupatta made of gota laffas. We think it looks spectacular styled with the gold matha patti and haathphool.
In the next scene of the song she is seen wearing a pista green lehenga with heavy gold embroidery on the hem. The half sleeve blouse has beautiful gold work on the neckline. The matching nathni, earrings, bangles and the heavy neckpiece add to the charm.
According to the Instagram post shared by the designer duo, for the gota embroidery in the lehenga, they specially sourced badla, flat beaten metal wires, that were given to weavers to create authentic gota which had a high percentage of copper that was further electroplated to achieve the gold finish and then oxidised to age them. They also procured old gota and zari from specialist vendors while the ghagra and odhna were lined and faced with wide gota laffas that was developed specially for the project. Artisans were also specially commissioned to create Gokru, which is the crickled gota used in the edgings of the odhnas.
Here are a few other outfits which we think are simply brilliant:
Padukone looks like a quintessential beauty in a gold embroidered pink blouse with a dark pink lehenga and a mutli-coloured dupatta in gold, wine, green and pink. The heavy maatha patti, oversized Rajasthani nathni and a pearl choker adds to her overall look.
She looks splendid in an ivory and gold blouse, and a matching lehenga with a wide red and gold border as well. The beautiful striped dupatta adds grace to the look.
A combination of red and gold lehengas have always been classy, no matter what. Padukone looks stunning in this lehenga made of vintage textiles.
This lehenga has orange and gold sleeves on one side and green sleeves on the other side. The actor is seen teaming it with a printed orange dupatta, and accessorising it with a huge green and gold necklace and matching earrings. Also, the braided hairstyle works wonders for her.
It’s all about the details and months of hardwork. The gold gotta laffas used to edge the royal odhnas were specially recreated by craftsmen in Nyla and Jaipur to maintain the authenticity of the period. The designers had also used traditional embroideries such as Mukke Ka Kaam, which is an example of very fine intricate embroidery done by couching gold and silver metal threads over the basefabric. Golden Mukke ka kaam used along with red thread edging is known as Raato while silver mukke ka kaam with blue thread edging is called Dhaulo. For the ornate court looks of the actor, they gave it a vintage aged effect by mixing both Raato and Dhaulo.
The garments including the Ghaghras, Kanchalis and Odhnas were aged and treated with various concoctions and materials such as natural dyes, indigo, pomegranate and rose to achieve the natural colours that were prevalent then. A lot of pieces underwent tea-staining to give them an earthy, muted and organic feel, posted the designer on their Instagram page.
“A lot of techniques have gone into creating the detailed looks that are reminiscent of the era and each look had numerous processes that were used to achieve the overall effect. Special prints were developed from Sanganer and Bagru for the textiles used. Some prints have up to 12 different colors in one motif.”
“The vintage textiles we sourced and the replicas were created after careful study, then ornamented with traditional embroideries including Mukke ka Kaam, Pakko Bharat, Salma and Sitara, Silk Floss thread work using traditional embroidery stitches in Jaipur and Lucknow and rendered onto the elaborate Odhnas and Ghaghras befitting the queen of Chittor. The odhnas were specially foil printed and then decorated with small floral buttis to achieve a rich ornate look. The draping of the odhnas was done in the traditional way after careful study of miniature paintings as well as murals and frescoes that are still found in various forts/havelis of Rajasthan’s Mewar region.”
We think the costumes are magnificent! What about you? Let us know in the comments below.