Chic Preview: Kai Po Che fashion is “nondescript” says Niharika Khan

Chic Preview: Kai Po Che fashion is “nondescript” says Niharika Khan

I’ve been watching the trailers of Kai Po Che over the past couple of weeks,  and  it doesn’t seem to be a movie high on fashion. The costumes are underplayed and “ordinary”, given that the story is about ordinary middle class boys in a semi urban setting.

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But like all (good) movies, there’s careful thought,  research and planning effort put in to make the costumes an integral part of the film, building characters and giving the story time and location context. I spoke to the film’s costume designer Niharika Khan about her approach to this script and how she dressed the lead actors. Here’s what she said.

The Fashion Look
You read the script,  have a long chat with the director and present to him the framework of the movie’s look. In the case of Kai Po Che, the film is set over a period of 10 years starting in 2000. We wanted the look to follow a certain pattern. The fashion was to be nondescript. There’s so much happening in the film and we wanted the focus to be in the film not the clothes.

The Lead Characters
Sushant Singh Rajput’s character Ishaan is an athlete,  a cricketer who has a bit more money than his two friends but doesn’t know what to do with it. He’s not interested in fashion and it would be his dream to play cricket in ganji and shorts.

Raj Kumar Yadav (Govind), on the other hand, is a typical Gujarati baniya, but he knows that how he looks is how he will be perceived.  So he goes out of the way to look good and though it’s nothing slick,  it is correct.  He probably gets his clothes done by a tailor. Amit Sadh’s Omi craves to emulate people like his best friend. He’s mostly in chappals since he needs to go in and out of the temple where his father is head priest.

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Costume Research
Since the film’s setting is lower middle class Ahmedabad in 2000, I studied the textiles and fabrics to see what was available for me to do the costumes. Everything was tailored according to the film’s context and the characters. The idea was to be as local as possible. For instance,  Omi would perhaps wear a block printed shirt with trousers. What emerged was a dark colour palette for the leads and their families. The only character in bright colours is Vidya, played by Amrita Puri. She is a tad fashion-conscious.

On the Actors
The three young actors are very talented and have distinct personalities. And when you have a successful movie,  of course people will want to look like them. So people  Ishaan would wear an India jersey,  or vest and shorts, while Omi would wear a block printed shirt with corduroys.


UPDATE (February 24, 2013):

My Take:
I saw Kai Po Che this weekend and thought that the costumes were just right given the characters and context. Most noteworthy was the arc of Amit Sadh’s character Omi. As a priest’s son, he wore locally made block print shirts in bright colours. But with his transition into an aspiring politician, he grew a moustache and began to wear long cotton kurtas. The uneven/ roughish texture of the fabric made it seem like hand spun cotton, for which Gujarat was once known.

Kai Po Che releases February 22, 2013 across India.

Bollywood Fashion: Inkaar’s style will make you want to work in advertising

Bollywood Fashion: Inkaar’s style will make you want to work in advertising

Inkaar’s fashion is kinda agency-style cool. You’ll want to wear Chitrangada’s pencil skirts or Arjun Rampal’s blazers. Either ways, it’s a stylish introduction to ad agency fashion though agency guys will tell you they dress cooler and way more relaxed. After all, they can get away with chappals to office and Simpsons tees on a regular working day.

Inkaar- Arjun Rampal and Chitrangada Singh

If you want to dress for success, join an ad agency, or just know how to dress like either of the two super-hot actors, read on.

Chitrangada Singh: Awkward junior to bitchy boss
Maya Luthra’s transition from a gawky copy writer to National Creative Director (NCD) is documented through varying levels of bitchiness and change in wardrobe.

Inkaar- Chitrangada-Singh

So from baggy printed peasant blouses, messy hair and chin piercing, Maya gradually moves to crisp blouses, designer accessories, formal dresses and blow dried hair. Her put-together look (by Nick Roy) and choice of accessories might be too jarring for a chilled-out work place. Statement neck pieces,  Louis Vuitton belt, and well-coordinated totes would stick out like a sore thumb among the Angry Birds slippers and Fab India kurtas. But hey, Maya’s NCD and I know women would want to dress like her (including me).

Inkaar- Chitrangada-Singh

The only fashion faux pas were the few “revealing” outfits Chitrangada wore. The unwritten “no-cleavage-in-office” fashion rule was broken, and the sari blouses covered way too little though there was good reason to highlight her sex appeal.

Inkaar- Chitrangada-Singh

Get Chitrangada Singh’s Inkaar look:
Team a pencil skirt with a pastel blouse that flatters your skin tone and figure. Accessorize with solitaire earrings (real diamonds if you can afford them), killer pumps in neutral or pop colours, and a statement watch.  Apply nude makeup with special focus on the eyes.

Inkaar- Chitrangada-Singh

My favourite piece: The pencil skirt!

Arjun Rampal: The suave, smart CEO

Arjun Rampal’s character Rahul Verma is a small-town guy who has made it to the top and is now “grooming” young talent (which involves sleeping with the new girl). He seems to be the serious type– staying aloof,  not smiling much, and wearing dark-rimmed spectacles. BTW,  those glasses make him look handsome in a geeky sort of way. The mature look by Niharika Khan suits the actor wonderfully.

Inkaar-Arjun Rampal

His workwear choice is semi-formal and smart casual, such as shirts with smart jackets and blazers. The colour palette is largely blue and grey with some additional subdued colours that a career man would wear. I especially liked the dull green blazer with elbow patches.

Inkaar-Arjun Rampal

Get Arjun Rampal’s Inkaar look:
Wear a lightly-coloured formal shirt with interesting detailing such as a contrast placket, collar or cuffs. Add a blazer in a colour of your choice with slim fit trousers or dark jeans (depending on where you work). Put on a pair of glasses that suit your face shape, preferably with dark rims. Skip the tie, but do wear lace-up or slip-on leather shoes.

My favourite piece: The glasses—they would make any man look instantly mature and sexy! 😉