Deepa Mehta’s film, Midnight’s Children, which is based on Salman Rushdie’s novel by the same name and stars actors Shabana Azmi, Rahul Bose, Anupam Kher, Soha Ali Khan, Shahana Goswami and Shriya Saran, has costumes created by fashion designer Ritu Kumar and costume designer Dolly Ahluwalia. The director feels that the two played an integral part in the film by helping the actors get into their characters. Deepa says, “For the wedding costumes, I wanted a colour palette that resembled the feathers of a peacock — rich jewel tones. The intricacy and detail of each piece that Ritu created is breathtaking.” In order to make the outfits authentic, the designer did much research on the royal costumes of the Muslim families of pre-Independence India. The ensembles, worn by the Begums for their weddings consisted of a three piece ensemble — a kurta, a farshi pyjama and a dupatta or veil. Actress Anita Majumdar sports a bridal poshaak consisting of a kurta in emerald green, with a yoke in an angarkha style, which is embellished with butis, while Shahana Goswami’s ensemble has elaborate embroidered borders in strips of gota and kiran to give it a metallic sheen, which Ritu said was typical of the Rampur and Avadh courts. Soha Ali Khan’s outfit was hand-embroidered with natural silk cotton to give a look of jaali work.
Talking about Dolly, Deepa shares, “Dolly has enough experience to know exactly what the character needs to be wearing in each scene and she is one of the most talented people I’ve worked with.”