New Delhi, Sep 8 (PTI) If there is one movie that has immensely influenced styling in Bollywood, it would be “Rangeela”, says fashion designer Manish Malhotra, who is happy that the outfits he created for lead star Urmila Matondkar continue to be popular even after 25 years.
Looking back at the fashion moment that the film would become for young aspiring women, Malhotra it was the coming together of “creative forces” that gave styling a strong standing in contemporary cinema.
“The film’s success and the popularity of Urmila’s look really stamped the fact in giving credence to styling in movies. Directors then started allocating decent budgets on the styling and understood its importance in the whole narration of the script. After ‘Rangeela’, styling saw a great impetus in contemporary films and I’m happy to have started this trend ,” Malhotra told PTI in an interview.
Released on September 8, 1995, “Rangeela” a Ram Gopal Varma film, featured Matondkar as a backup dancer with dreams of Bollywood stardom, Aamir Khan as her streetwise but emotional ‘tapori’ friend and Jackie Shroff as a famous movie star.
From its story, music to its costumes, the film is considered a game changer for realistically portraying the conflicts of an aspiration and confident middle class woman.
“A film is the vision of the director and it was also all of us coming together. Ram Gopal Verma who is a visionary director and Urmila who was willing to work hard and bring change for herself and me who also wanted to fulfil that vision, so it was a coming together of strong creative forces,” the designer said.
Malhotra, who started his career as a model, made a switch to costume styling in early 1990s. Prior to his work on “Rangeela”, he had styled for blockbusters like “Waqt Hamara Hai”, “Gumrah” and “Yeh Dillagi”.
The designer said it was during the 1993’s Telugu thriller “Govinda Govinda” when Varma first noticed his designs for Sridevi and reached out to him for “Rangeela”.
The 53-year-old couturier said he went to Hyderabad to meet Varma and was completely “blown away” to have a filmmaker narrating him the complete subject.
“I remember what he narrated was exactly what he made and Urmila also worked really hard during the fittings, discussions and the entire process. We all worked with our heart and soul which made it really special,” he added.
The success of the film and the popularity of the fashion trends the movie established, saw Filmfare Awards introduce a new category for costume designing, Malhotra being the first-recipient.
The movie was a career-changing experience for many bigwigs of the Indian film industry. It strengthened Matondkar’s position as a versatile performer, revamped Khan’s image, gave a new direction to Shroff’s career and marked the debut of music composer AR Rahman’s in Hindi movies.
The soundtrack of the movie is as iconic as the film itself and is still considered as one of the best works of the Oscar-winning maestro.
But what added on to the beauty of the songs was Malhotra’s modern and minimal clothing -- be it the chiffon sarees in “Hai Rama”, the tangerine skater dress in “Tanha Tanha”, pleated skirts and boyfriend shorts in “Rangeela Re” or the Chaplinesque look in 'Kya Kare Kya Na Kare'.
“What really came from ‘Rangeela’ was more minimal but impactful clothing. The audience saw a lot of smart casual, which was very trendsetting at that time and it introduced that much-needed realness to the dressing with a dose of glamour to it,” the designer said, adding both Varma and Matondkar were patient with him and shared interesting inputs.
For Malhotra, who this year completed 30 years in costume designing and is also celebrating 15 years of his eponymous label, working on one of the most fashionable Hindi movies was a magical experience where everybody aimed to achieve a “larger goal”.
“It was the coming together of a team which was charged with enthusiasm and passion... Everyone at that point, worked unanimously towards a larger goal – the movie. I would say, it was my hardwork and sheer involvement that helped create that magic people remember today,” he said. PTI SHD BK BK BK