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Veer: Romancing an era

india Updated: Jan 21, 2010 18:40 IST
Jayeeta Mazumder
Jayeeta Mazumder
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

VeerIt was the film, Taras Bulba, featuring Tony Curtis and Yul Brynner, that made a deep impression on Salman Khan, which has now concretised into Veer. The story of Veer, with a setting that dates back to pre-independence India, was scripted many years ago. To create a look and give it the exact feel of the era through the costumes was probably the most difficult part.



Designer Anna Singh, who conceived three different looks in the film, says, "I had the liberty to experiment with the looks of the royals and the warrior tribe of Pindaris. But with the westerners, I had to stick to the original sketches that we obtained from the National Costume Gallery in London."



THE ROYALS

The photographs for creating the costumes for the royals in Veer were obtained from Jaipur, Jodhpur and Bikaner and through conversations with contemporary royal successors. If you notice carefully, the jewellery on Jackie Shroff’s headgear is similar to the one on King Kalgi’s.



The late 1890’s is the inspiration here. It’s fiction; so we couldn’t focus on one particular style. We borrowed styles from various kings and queens from that era and juxtaposed an element of style from each of them and tried to create an original look.

The pattern of the brooch and the sari embroideries on Zarine Khan and the queen are similar.

We tried to create something original by taking a turban from one king, jewellery from another and the flair for dressing of some other.

In the film, Jackie Shroff, Aryan Vaid and Puru Raaj Kumar are from one family— so you’ll easily notice the similarities in their clothing.

WESTERNERS
Veer is set in the time when the British ruled India. It was a very pronounced period, so there was very little liberty that we could take. Here we are not showing a particular prince or a princess of a particular era. So, the costumes are a direct copy of the original sketches we obtained from the National Costume Gallery in London.

The illustrations from their archives and also several old photographs came in handy while re-creating the look. Here, it’s more about the fabric and colours used... I think we’ve got it pretty much 10 on 10.

A long shopping stint at several vintage jewellery shops in the UK helped in giving the finishing touches— the hats, feathers, plumes, brooches etc.

THE PINDARIS
This particular one makes for the master look, as we had to get the feel of the 1800s. We referred to the costumes in the Calico Museum. Of course, we did a bit of experimentation, as we combined styles from North India, North America and Masai African tribes. Basically, we took the best of everything and added faux fur and hides to authenticate it.

There were about 4,500 outfits made in this look and all were treated with special ageing materials obtained from wardrobe supplies in New York. We collected about five to six styles, with about 15 embroidery patterns, and created this specific look for the tribe.