Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opuses, the set and attention to detail that goes behind each one of them need no introduction. The director and producer’s precision and technique in each department follow a ‘no holds barred’ approach, seeping and reflecting in one of the most important modes of narration there is—costumes. Through the use of craft, intricacy and colours, Bhansali’s films are famed for capturing the eye of the viewers and his impeccable use of costumes in the storytelling process deserves no less. When it comes to Bajirao Mastani, a film he had envisioned years before it finally became a cinematic masterpiece, everything holds true. Helmed by ace designer Anju Modi, also the name behind Ramleela’s costumes, the attires in Bajirao Mastani thrive and how.
In our latest in #FlashbackFriday, continue reading for details that went behind the making of the movie’s enthralling costumes.
Drawing from history and revolving around the life of Bajirao Ballal, a Peshwa who led the Maratha empire in the early 1700s, the film depicts his conquests and his personal life, the main theme being his love story with Mastani, a princess from Bundelkhand. Born to a Rajput king and a Muslim queen, Mastani’s heritage in the film is depicted through her costumes which borrow from both the cultures she is shown to be brought up in. Layered lehengas and anarkalis are both seen onscreen, with Deepika Padukone, who plays the princess, carrying off detailed costumes by Anju Modi. Though the entire array of attires comes from a place of research and elaborate details, one that stands out is the dhani-coloured layered anarkali worn with a gharara featuring embellished leitmotifs at the hem. Incorporating Persian influences, a matching headgear too is added to the look. Scroll to take a look at how it appeared on the big screen, along with the rest of the ensembles.
In complete contrast, Priyanka Chopra who played Kashibai, the Peshwa’s first wife, was given traditional Maharashtrian drapes that were in sync with the history on her. Nauvari sarees, the name given to the nine yards that the drape incorporates in lieu of the usual six, was at the centre of her wardrobe, tucked at the back and presented in a varying palette. As the plot progressed, Priyanka Chopra’s wardrobe turned towards softer tones, still rounded off with richly-embroidered shawls that were draped delicately around the shoulders as covers. Here’s taking a look at the best from her wardrobe, ranging from deep-hued sarees to those veering towards softer shades.
There’s no denying the extraordinary appeal of the jewellery seen on both the actresses. Further elevating the outfits while evoking a sense of the time period it is set in, the film used jewels to its advantage. In the case of Mastani, maangtikkas and passas worn on one side form the elaborate head ornaments, more often than not matched with elaborate chokers, nathnis and massively layered earrings. For Kashibai, multiple necklaces, though along with a subtler note, come centre stage followed with a nose ring, a small headpiece and often with flowers tucked in the hair. Take a look at some of the stills from the film which bring impressive jewellery to the forefront.
Does it get any more detailed than that? A costume depiction that’s as magnificent as it gets.
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