Thursday, July 18, 2024

Aishwarya's costume prepared in one night: Dress made for Juhi Chawla in two and a half hours; Neeta Lulla said- Hrithik has a good understanding of clothes


Mumbai16 minutes agoAuthor: Ashish Tiwari and Abhinav Tripathi

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Neeta Lulla has a store on Turner Road, Bandra West, Mumbai. In his career spanning 40 years, he has done costume designing in more than 300 films.

You must have seen the grandeur of films like Devdas, Jodha Akbar and Manikarnika. The costumes used in the film play a big role in making it grand. Celebrity costume designer and stylist Neeta Lulla is behind the creation of everything from Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's heavy saree to Madhuri Dixit's heavy lehenga.

Neeta Lulla had made Aishwarya's saree for Devdas in a single night. Apart from this, on the demand of Yash Chopra, a dress was prepared for Juhi Chawla in just two and a half hours. Neeta Lulla has also received four National Awards for her work.

In this episode of Reel to Real, we understand the intricacies of costume design from Neeta Lulla. You will also know the background story of the films for which he has worked. We will also talk about how their tuning is with the stars.

Before going further, take a look at this graphics..

A dress was made for Devdas by combining three sarees.
Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali had given the responsibility of designing the clothes of Aishwarya and Madhuri Dixit in the film Devdas to Neeta Lulla. Talking about this, Neeta said, 'Three films had already been made on Devdas. Sanjay showed us those three films. I told him that the costumes used in these films are quite simple. Sanjay said that he has to make his film appear larger than life, for this the actors' costumes should be as rich as possible.

Then I said that this film will be based on Bengali background and the length of sarees in Bengal is only 5 meters. I made one saree by mixing three sarees. Meaning, I used three clothes each to make one dress. You will see that all the dresses worn by Aishwarya and Madhuri in Devdas have been made by cutting two-three sarees. It happened for the first time during Devdas that the costume designer also had an assistant.

A special type of embroidered dress was prepared in Jodha Akbar
Even during Jodha Akbar, director Ashutosh Gowarikar had given the entire responsibility of costume design to Neeta Lulla. Neeta had talked to everyone from the art director to the camera man about the kind of costume to be given in the film.

Neeta says, 'Jodha Akbar's lead camera man Kiran Devhans wants to shoot in natural lighting. Silk fabric shines very brightly in natural light, it was like a challenge for me to overcome this. For this I prepared a special cloth with zardozi work embroidery. This experiment was successful. By doing this, I have also developed many techniques in costume design.

Zardozi is a Persian and Urdu word. This is a type of embroidery, which is very popular in India and Pakistan.

A scene of Aishwarya in the film Jodhaa Akbar.  The saree worn by Aishwarya in this has been designed by Neeta herself.

A scene of Aishwarya in the film Jodhaa Akbar. The saree worn by Aishwarya in this has been designed by Neeta herself.

Hrithik Roshan has a very good sense of dressing.
Neeta Lulla said that there are some actors who have a very good sense of dressing. Hrithik Roshan is also a name among them. Neeta said, 'If there is even a little wrong stitching in Hrithik's clothes, he comes to know immediately. They also complain to me about this. When I check, what he says turns out to be true. Apart from this, Aamir Khan also has a good sense of fashion. He also understands these nuances.

Talking about the expenditure on costumes, Jodhaa Akbar is the film with the most expensive budget among all the films made between 2000 and 2010.

Talking about the expenditure on costumes, Jodhaa Akbar is the film with the most expensive budget among all the films made between 2000 and 2010.

A lot of money was spent on the costumes of the film Roop Rani Choron Ka Raja.
Neeta Lulla had a very good relationship with late actress Sridevi. Sridevi used to give him very good information about clothes. Neeta said, 'Sridevi ji also knew how many shades there are in white colour. She had very good knowledge of fashion and fabric. A lot of money was spent on costumes in her film Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja. This was the most expensive film of the 90s in terms of costumes.

Costumes for Devdas prepared in one night
How much time does it take to design clothes? In response, Neeta said, 'The film industry never gives you much time. You won't believe it, but in the last scene of Devdas where Aishwarya's saree burns, we had made it in one night.

The saree worn by Aishwarya in this scene was made by combining several sarees.

The saree worn by Aishwarya in this scene was made by combining several sarees.

In such fear, Juhi Chawla had to design the dress for the Tandav dance scene. I got an urgent call from Yash Chopra ji. He told me that it is the last day of the shoot and you have only two and a half hours, please design the dress by whatever means you can. I immediately called my workshop and instructed the tailor master to start the work. I picked up some chiffon clothes on the way. In this way we provided that dress to Yash ji within the stipulated time.

After Devdas, the trend of wearing saree started among girls.
Neeta said that after Devdas, she had received letters from many girls. Since there was not much access to phones at that time. Neeta said, 'Around 2000, there was a mentality that only women wear sarees. Kanjeevaram and Dharmavaram sarees were called 'Mummy sarees'. I felt strange seeing this. I am from Hyderabad, Kanjeevaram and Dharmavaram sarees are made in abundance there. Hands are mostly used in making these. To bring them back into fashion, I started making western dresses from the threads used for Paithani and Kanjeevaram.

However, the biggest change happened after Devdas came. The mentality started changing a little. Girls used to write to me in letters that after watching Devdas, they also took out their mother and grandmother's old sarees and started wearing them. In this way the myth that only women wear saree was broken.

It took many months of hard work of Neeta to make the costumes of both Madhuri and Aishwarya.

It took many months of hard work of Neeta to make the costumes of both Madhuri and Aishwarya.

People started taking costume design seriously
According to Neeta Lulla, after 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' people also started discussing the costumes used in films. People started taking interest in the clothes of heroes and heroines. Film magazines like Filmfare and Stardust also started writing about costumes.

What does Neeta pay attention to while designing the costume?
Neeta Lulla said, 'First of all I think about that character. Suppose there is a character of a king of ancient times, then I first research what that king would have worn in his time. Then I make a sketch accordingly. I design the dress according to the sketch. After this, the opinion of the actors also has to be taken. What type of clothes do they want? Which clothes will be comfortable for them, all these things have to be asked from them.

Neeta also designs male costumes.  The dress seen in this was made for South Star Pawan Kalyan.

Neeta also designs male costumes. The dress seen in this was made for South Star Pawan Kalyan.

Weavers expert in handicraft will have to be saved from extinction
Make in India can also be seen in the clothes designed by Neeta. Neeta wants that hand-made clothes should get maximum importance. He said, 'Handmade clothes are gradually dying out. Our weavers are not earning well. They are also hesitant in sending their children to this field. We have to save their talent from being wasted by any means possible. Handicraft is the identity of our country. This should not end under any circumstances.

Hand made clothes will also be seen at Neeta's store.  Neeta said that she likes working with weavers best.

Hand made clothes will also be seen at Neeta's store. Neeta said that she likes working with weavers best.

Neeta has also designed costumes for Hollywood films.
Neeta has also done costume design work for 4-5 Hollywood films. In Hollywood, the costume designer is seen more as a technician. Neeta said that there is no communication between costume designers and actors in Hollywood. Neeta said, 'Whenever I have worked for Hollywood films, I always discuss the craft with the director. Only the director takes the decision as to what the dresses will be. Actors have no role in this.

What is your role as a jury member at the Oscar Awards? In response, Neeta said, 'I have to watch a lot of films. They have to judge. Now apart from the jury, I have been given another role. I have been made a member of the internal committee to select which clothes to keep in the museum.

Neeta also offers courses in fashion and costume designing.  100 people work in his team.

Neeta also offers courses in fashion and costume designing. 100 people work in his team.

Neeta designs exclusive dresses on order
Neeta Lulla has three ranges of dresses. He said, 'We have three types of ranges here. You can get the dress made by placing an order. These will be made of such clothes which you will not find anywhere else. The second range is such that it can be easily afforded. The remaining third range is for children. Only designer clothes for children are available in this range.

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