Kangana Ranaut’s Manikarnika: Neeta Lulla reveals details about the costumes

Celebrated fashion designer Neeta Lulla is the costume designer for the movie
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A historical project takes a lot of spine, guts, intense research and authenticity to take form. One movie that everyone’s waiting with baited breath is Manikarnika. The Kangana Ranaut film has been in the news ever since the inception of the film. Costumes play a huge role in bringing the characters to life and create an impact. Manikarnika - The Queen of Jhansi is currently being shot in Rajasthan. Celebrated fashion designer Neeta Lulla is the costume designer for the movie.

A lot of leaked images from the sets have been surfacing on the internet and Kangana sure does look like a true blue queen. It is been reported that Kangana’s costumes were all made from khadi and were sourced by the designer from the government-run Khadi and Village Industries Commission. The four-time National award winner designer recently spoke in depth about the costumes of Manikarnika to an online portal.

Neeta Lulla explained in detail as to what led her to use khadi in her costumes, she said, "The way the fabric drapes is what draws me to it. It is comfortable and yet luxurious, and makes the wearer feel at ease even in the most elaborate ensembles." The designer further elaborated saying, "I feel Khadi embodies a lot of character. I feel everyone (not just designers but actors too) in the public sphere have a social responsibility to promote the fabric of freedom, not only because it involves history and heritage but because Khadi has the potential to employ the largest number of people in rural areas. Wearing khadi means paying homage to the craftsperson who spin the yarn on the charkha. Even in the machine-age, they work round-the-clock to produce the hand-spun fabric."

Neeta also believes that including Khadi in a major motion movie will create an impact on the audiences and also bring in a new breath of life for the heritage fabric. She said, "I think khadi needs to be popularized to a great extent and mainstream cinema will be able to do full justice in promoting the fabric to the millennial generation and the masses alike."

Lulla also spoke in detail about the importance of costumes in a period drama and how it helps the narrative. "Costumes, like the characters they embody, must evolve within the context of the story and the arc of the character within it. Film costuming serves two purposes: the first is to support the narrative by creating authentic characters and the second is composition, to provide balance within the frame by using colour, texture, and silhouette. If the dialogue is the melody of a movie, the colour provides the harmony, a satisfying visual cohesiveness," she quoted.

She was asked what convinced her to take up this project to which she said, “I have always been very intrigued by period dramas that dive into history, culture and lineage. There’s one thing being a fashion designer and there’s another whole new high associated with being a costume designer. It’s always challenging to experiment and not get typecast into a certain style which costume designing for period dramas allows you to do. It was incredible to explore the nuanced, heightened costume language of this genre."

Neeta Lulla said that she admires Kangana Ranaut and believes that whatever she dons, she brings it to life. She said, “I personally love Kangana Ranaut and think she is one woman who can bring to the fore, the character to every outfit."

Kangana apart from khadi will also be sporting a rich colour palette for the movie. Fabrics like paithani, raw cotton and brocade will be extensively used too.

Creating the costumes wasn’t an easy task as it took her team a whole of 8 months of intensive research before the commencement of the movie’s shooting. She further elaborated about the in-depth research and said, “All epic magnum-opuses require a lot of research of the era, characterisation, using the right fabrics to create the look and creating a style which the contemporary audiences identify with. My team undertook close to 8 months of intensive research before the commencement of shooting for Manikarnika. It all begins with reading and dissecting the script. I like to know the backstories of every character, where they are coming from, why they behave the way they do. I have multiple discussions with the filmmaker in general about the feel of the film, what the film is trying to convey, what each character stands for. The second stage is of research, reference, deciding on the palette, making sketches and mood boards. Once the look has been developed it's about getting the samples, doing look tests, making lookbooks and finally, the suppliers, tailors and assistants come in for measurements. The last stage is building a comfort level with the star cast," she said.

Well, we just can't wait to watch Kangana in the royal Queen avatar.


Happy holi my rani

Neeta lulla is doing a great job and I am so pleased to see her promote Khadi

Looking preety

Neeta Lulla did a fantastic job on the costumes for Jodha Akbar.

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