Barfi! is not a fashionable film, though it’s a fun watch. There is nothing special about the clothes, since the focus is on the characters. Gorgeous clothes would draw attention away from the non-verbal gestures and expressions in this largely silent film, in which a lot of emphasis is on body language, interaction among characters and the setting.
The movie is set in the 1970s and you would expect to see bell bottoms, polka dots and flashy prints and colours. But you won’t spot too many of these in the movie, because Darjeeling is far away from the frenzy of the seventies.
Ranbir Kapoor as Barfi
As a chauffeur’s son, Barfi wears the sweaters and shirts a small-town boy would be expected to wear. Costume designer Aki Narula has paid careful attention to define the character- while Barfi’s clothes are not fashion-forward, he’s a real charmer and a guy like him would be expected to pay some attention to his appearance. Hence you notice the neat look and careful layering. The clothes look neither too fresh nor too worn out.
Patterned and knitted sweaters and cardigans (argyle and plaid)
Small checks on shirts
Worn out jackets worn over shirts and cardigans. Ranbir wore a similar jacket on Indian Idol, and I can take a safe guess that it’s from Diesel.
Ileana D’Cruz as Shruti
As a fresh college graduate, Shruti (Ileana) dresses casually, wearing jeans, turtlenecks, sweaters and skirts, without flashing skin. Her key accessories at this period are hoop earrings- in dozens of sizes, colours and styles!
As a married woman, Shefalina GUpta has chosen Dhaka saris for Shruti in earthy colours and tiny prints. Her look is reportedly inspired by Jaya Bachchan in Mili and Guddi.
Priyanka Chopra as Jhilmil
Playing an autistic character, Priyanka Chopra underwent a magical transformation and skipped her usual glamourous avatar. Hats off to the team behind her Barfi look for the cropped unruly curls and no-makeup look.
Jhilmil’s childish appearance includes a midi-length dress/ skirt with strong feminine touches like a rounded Peter Pan collar, lace hems and old-fashioned bloomers! She wears Mary Janes with white socks- an apt finishing touch for a schoolgirl. In Kolkata, Jhilmil sticks to loose fit cotton blouses and skirts, with a few comfort clothes like loose printed PJs.
Touching sartorial moment
At one point in the story, Jhilmil develops a childish fascination with sensuality as she tries to ape Shruti’s sari, draping a bedsheet around her, looking very awkward but very satisfied with her achievement. That was one of the super sweet moments in the film.
(Pictures courtesy: UTV Motion Pictures)