Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor are all set to show their royal side as warriors in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmavati’. The first set of posters have left movie buffs spellbound and they can’t wait to catch the first day, first show and honestly, we don’t blame them from the frenzied craze. The trailer looks spectacular with the magnificent fortresses, the gorgeous costumes and the extravagance. In fact, even the battle scene – with the two men clad in warrior costumes – looks brilliant.
It’s evident that just like any other Bhansali project, a lot of thought and hard work has gone behind the making of the film and doing their bit is designer duo Vipul Amar and Harsheen Arora. The founder of the Delhi-based design house ‘The V Renaissance’ combined their forces to create the warrior looks of Shahid Kapoor, who plays the Rajput ruler of Mewar, Rana Rawal Ratan Singh, and Ranveer Singh, who essays the role of Allauddin Khilji in the movie.
Shedding light on how they first got on with the designs, Amar revealed, “They first approached us to create one look for Ranveer Singh’s earlier battles in the film and then, they also asked us to create the armour for Shahid Kapoor’s final battle. After Mr Bhansali saw these armours he loved them so much that he then asked us to create one for Khilji’s final battle as well.” In fact, the armour for the final battle was revealed to them on Bhansali’s birthday and going by his reaction, it was the ideal birthday surprise for him.
The duo consulted an engineer to confirm the robotics incorporated in the armours. “Authenticity and mobility of the armours was our prime concern as it is imperative that the actor is able to perform stunts in them. Hence, we carried out thorough research on the armouries and weaponries of the era around which the film revolves. We employed actual historical techniques to create the armours such as cuirboilli technique, sculpting, chiselling, inlaying to name a few, while making sure they align with today’s standards of comfort and weightlessness,” Amar added.
Ratan Singh is an embodiment of love and patriotism while Allaudin Khilji embodies conquest and invasion. Interestingly, even though the same materials have been used in their armours, they have been treated differently to depict their opposing personalities. Both the characters are so strong and contrasting that the challenges while designing for both cannot be compared. The techniques used in armours for both of them vary drastically.
Revealing how the styling techniques for both of them vary, Arora said, “Once I was able to get into the psyche of Maharawal Ratan Singh it helped in bringing elements to his armour that represent nobility and honour. Even the colours used for Shahid’s armour show just that. The blood red depicts honour, love, and eagerness to serve one’s land and the deep gold stands for courage, generosity and passion.” Not only that, the design elements in Shahid Kapoor’s armour are inspired by the sun rays and the chest-plate is coloured like the Rajputana soil at different times of the day.
On the other hand, Allaudin Khilji’s armour represents the Sultan that he envisioned himself as. “The leather lions on his shoulders show his strong-headedness. The lions have been chiselled and hammered to bring into form – as part of the technique which is also symbolic to Khilji’s conquest. Also, the darkness of the character has been enhanced by engraving reptile scales on the lion heads,” she said.
When not in use, the armours rest on life-sized mannequins, which are then placed inside vintage closet trunks. These are no ordinary trunks since they are fitted with lights and wheels for easy transport when the armies are moving in caravans before settling at base camp. All this helps transport the actor psychologically into that time and era.
It’s not the first time the designer duo have provided their services for a film. Sushant Singh Rajput’s warrior look in ‘Raabta’, was also designed by them.