Interview By: DEVANSHEE SINGH

Costume designers are responsible for making a character look more real in a film. One of the most famous costume designer of Hindi Film industry is Niharika Bhasin Khan who started exactly 10 years ago and made her place. We recently had a quick with her.

“If you think that you know everything then you stop learning and growing”

How challenging it is to reinvent yourself with every film?

Every film is a new challenge. Every time when you start you start with a new director and new vision. We are not fashion designers, we are costume designers. We design characters. With every film you start with a whole new vision. You read the script, you study what the director wants, you try to understand what actors have in their mind about the character. You have to collaborate together and then create your story in your head that how you think film is going to look. Every time it’s a challenge. You have to do it every time differently. You don’t want someone to say that “Oh! I have seen it”. Every character is different and that’s what people make unique. That uniqueness has  to come out in films, in the characters that people are playing. It’s all about to start all over again and reinvent yourself. If you think that you know everything then you stop learning and growing.

Which film do you think was toughest to do?

Every film is challenging in its own way. ‘Rock On’ was the first contemporary film that I did. First I did ‘Khoya Khoya Chand’ then ‘Rang Rasiya’ and after that ‘Rock On’. So, I was like can I do a contemporary film? ‘Khoya Khoya Chand’ had a base. It was about people who were there in the past, you see pictures and you recreating it. With ‘Rock On’, it was creating a look. That was my first big challenge. ‘Band Baaja Baraat’ was a huge challenge because I didn’t know how to make Indian clothes. ‘Rocket Singh’ was a huge challenge because we have to make it very regular yet they should have uniqeness. ‘ Mirzya’ was big for us because it was a folklore. It was about the story that have come down from so many generations that you don’t know where to start from. I didn’t even knew how to go about it when we started. You always have to think of what can be new and how can I make it better. I think money is also a challenge. Some films get money and some don’t. ‘Bombay Velvet’ was a huge challenge because we didn’t have the buget to fulfill period films.

Any big change you see in the costume designing in films from the time you came in?

I think commercially Bollywood costume is doing a lot better. It is becoming bigger venture commercially.

Please tell us about your work in ‘Mirzya’ and upcoming film ‘Shivaay’.

Doing ‘Mirzya’ was brilliant and exciting because of the folklore. The story you heard may be from grandparents. You think about the work but you don’t know how they are going to translate. The portion of outfits for folklore was very challenging. The good thing about this folklore is we got to do everything the flag, the horses. Basically, it was about the whole look of entire segment. On the other hand, ‘Shivaay’ is completely contemporary action packed film starring Ajay Devgn who is such a great actor. I have not worked with him before. We had to make him look really good. It was complete vast difference in both films.

“Doing 'Mirzya' was brilliant and exciting because of the folklore. The story you heard may be from grandparents. You think about the work but you don't know how they are going to translate”

How you make sure that your creation is new every time?

Every director has a different vision. Now if you say a Marathi lady, in your head Marathi lady would be different from my head. You have to catch standardised things to make it look standards. If you observe people on road, then you will find every one is different. You will have to catch small small details. Also time is also important. Because with time people change, fashion changes, new things come up. That’s what it is, the change.

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