EXCLUSIVE: Ranbir Kapoor knew Sanjay Dutt in and out : Sanju’s costume designer, Eka Lakhani

Eka Lakhani is an acclaimed costume designer who designed the costumes for the entire cast of Sanju
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Bollywood’s acclaimed costume stylist, Eka Lakhani, spoke to Pinkvilla recently and shared with us the entire process that went behind designing the costumes for Sanju. The costume designer spoke at length about the brief that was given to her, how Ranbir and Rajkumar Hirani helped her design the costumes and the obstacles she faced.


What was the brief that was given to you for the movie?

Eka Lakhani: It’s a biopic so the brief that was given to us was to make sure that the looks should look identical to Sanjay Dutt; we have to make all the characters look like they belong to the people in his life. Ranbir Kapoor had to look like Sanjay Dutt, Manishaji had to look like Nargis Dutt and so on; so that’s the only brief that we started with.



Since its a biopic, what was the research that went into it?

Eka Lakhani: We actually started off with each era because it is such a detailed process and to top it its biopic, so it isn’t a regular film. This is my third biopic so when you’re designing for such a movie the plus point is that you have references for looks that you want to recreate. However, the difficult part is that the audiences already have an image in their mind so you have to match up to what they have already seen and the fact that they already remember. A movie like this, where there is an actor played by another actor and both of them are so well known, the audiences know their body language, they know each of their films. The whole point is that Ranbir couldn’t have looked like Ranbir because then the whole relatability would have disappeared. We had to do a lot of research of the entire era keeping Sanjay Dutt’s physique and personal style in mind and then recreating the same on Ranbir to make him look exactly like Sanjay Dutt.


(Ranbir Kapoor with Sanju's costume designer, Eka Lakhani)


Did Ranbir have any inputs? Or did he surrender himself completely?

Eka Lakhani: Ranbir is such a dedicated and sincere actor. He is extremely disciplined and had done his homework really really well so he knew Sanjay Dutt in and out, he had studied Sanjay Dutt so much before the film that we had actually discussed all the looks together. I always say that Ranbir is 40% himself, 40% Raju Sir’s and 20% hair, makeup and wardrobe. We’ve just matched up to the expertise that these two had already brought on board for the film. We have discussed every look with Ranbir before we actually made it and then we spent hours trying to match every inch; how loose or how fitted it should be. Not just the colour and the silhouette but the size of it also matters because we had to match different body types because Sanjay Dutt has had a different body type all throughout his life. In the 80s he was into drugs so he was a really thin guy, 90s is when he started building his body and he was compared to Muhammad Ali and then 2000s he became bigger in size. I actually matched that with Ranbir. He was ofcourse working on his body himself, he had a body transformation for the film but I had to make sure that his body, shoulders, waist, height, looked like a certain size, so we had to tweak around that.


(Manisha Koirala as Nargis Dutt in the biopic Sanju)


Today’s generation only knows Nargis Dutt through her movies, how did you mould Manisha Koirala and make her look like the late iconic star?

Eka Lakhani: Yes, today’s generation is not much aware of Nargis Dutt but still there are couple of iconic images that you relate to instantly. We have actually taken those iconic images and recreated a look based on that from every curl or twist in the hair to the way the body was or the makeup, everything was taken from these iconic images. I remember when Manishaji finished her hair and makeup and I went in to give her costume. We were extremely eager to see how the look turned out and when she walked out, there was no Manishaji, it was Nargis Dutt. We ourselves were blown away with the transformation we saw.


(Sonam Kapoor's look in Sanju)


You’ve also designed costumes for Sonam Kapoor and she being a fashionista, did she have any inputs?

Eka Lakhani: Before I was meeting Sonam I was quite nervous because she being the fashionista that she is and I am a realist who has worked on realist movies soI wasn’t sure if I would be able to match her expertise and I’ve always idolized her personal style, but when we met, we discussed the character and we really jammed on ideas and we knew exactly what we wanted and were on the same page. Ofcourse there were a lot of Raju Sir’s inputs and Sonam’s inputs that helped design the character. Instead of designing for Sonam Kapoor, it became designing for the character. We wanted her to look like a girl next door, pretty, giving out very delicate vibes. We gave her really soft fabrics, pastel hues, delicate embroidery; you’ll see lots of peter pan collars in all her outfits. We gave her all these elements to make her from that era but also at the same time we didn’t want to make her look like a fashion diva of that area. We wanted her to look more real.

Which look is your favourite? Comment below and let us know.

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Which designer are Sanjay Dutt and RAnbir wearing for Baba bolta hai song?

Flop film about a traitor

good work, hope movies works well

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