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Talented designer Nachiket Barve is the man behind Saif Ali Khan’s impeccable look as Udaybhan Rathod in the film Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior. Nachiket exclusively spoke to Pinkvilla and shared with us about the whole process that went behind designing Saif Ali Khan’s look.
Historical films have become the current hot favourite of Bollywood filmmakers. It takes all of us in a time and age which we haven’t experienced and only know of through books, museums and documentaries. Talented designer Nachiket Barve is the man behind Saif Ali Khan‘s impeccable look as Udaybhan Rathod in the film Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior. Nachiket exclusively spoke to Pinkvilla and shared with us about the whole process that went behind designing Saif Ali Khan’s look. Read on!
1. What was the brief given to you for creating Saif Ali Khan’s look for the movie?
The character of Uday Bhan has a dark and menacing personality, yet he is never a caricature or uni-dimensional. I wanted to create a look that is stylish, highly detailed, multi layered and yet with an almost gothic vibe.
2. Since we have already seen a dark representation in Khilji in the film Padmavat, how did you differentiate Saif’s character and what did you add more to his costume and styling?
Designing a character through his costumes is a joy and a massive challenge. The best and most honest way to approach this for me, was to look beyond cinematic references. I wanted to look at the history books, paintings, museum archives and really start from a clean slate. The whole look has a lot of detailing. There is a use of layered silhouettes. Variety of fabrics was developed specially for the costumes. I collaborated with leather craftspeople and we worked on recreating ancient techniques of leather punching and sewing to create the armour and footwear.
The character is dark but very sophisticated without any exaggeration. I have stayed away from the clichés of fur and cloaks and scars. The character is villainous but in a non-stereotypical way! He is handsome and well put together yet unpredictable and wicked. He is sharply dressed and handsome, never shabby or repulsive.
3. How much time did you take to create all the costumes?
The research for the designing took about a year or so, and the actual execution took almost the same time. There were specialised craftspeople for textile weaving, dyeing, embroidery as well as for headgear and footwear. Armour was developed in metal as well as leather. It took an army of people and challenging excruciating work to create the costumes.
4. Did Saif have any inputs when you’ll were trying the look on him?
Saif is very stylish himself! He has an innate understanding of clothes and accessories. He loved the look the first time I met him with ideas and he totally lived the character through the making of the film. His enthusiasm, willingness to try new things and the total trust he put in the character created by Om and the costumes and look designed by me made the whole process really enjoyable and rewarding. Saif was gallant and generous enough to actually take me through some of the ancestral pieces of jewellery that he had from his forefathers to use for inspiration for the research.
5. What was the most challenging part when you’re working on a period drama film?
The most challenging yet exciting part of designing for a period drama is to create a convincing universe where the audience is drawn into another era, and look beyond the actors they know and recognise to believe that they are the characters in the film! Creating this World which existed before photography was invented, and when there are very few surviving textiles from the period is challenging too! I believe a period film must have costumes that are authentic yet cinematic… and finding that balance is challenging and so fulfilling!
What are your thoughts about Saif’s look? Are you excited for Tanhaji – The Unsung Warrior? Comment below and let us know.
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