(2006) Not A Poster Girl

Aishwarya Rai offers an insider’s account of how Anna Singh and JP Dutta conceptualised the look for ‘Umrao Jaan’…

Anna and me

“We first came together for my debut film ‘Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya’ and since then we’ve wanted to work together. ‘Umrao Jaan’ gave Anna the perfect premise to express her creativity. Being friends, we were also happy to spend so much time together.”

Essential embellishments

“Accessorising has always been Anna’s strength. She enjoys it as though she’s dressing up a doll. The jewellery for Umrao was customised. Adhering to the research and yet retaining practicality is Anna’s achievement. Whilst performing mujras, Umrao had to be embellished as she had to be noticed! Otherwise, I’d simply be Amiran. For me, less is more. JP sir didn’t want the costumes to take away from the emotion or the mood of the scene. For Anna too, the film was not about displaying her shop or having a picture book. It wasn’t about becoming a poster girl or a clothes-hanger for me either. Anna gave me a liveable look.”

Colours of life

“JP sir got a special colour palette created as colours reflect the emotional space and the mood of the character. The red burgundy mujra attire reflected the character’s anguish. It was interspersed with a ‘real moment’ where I was made to wear a virtual colour to show the contrasting feelings. The peach outfit expressed the first flush of love just as the black correlated to the period of Muharram in the film. The gold outfit was heavy, but Anna wanted to create the first impact with it.”

Understanding Umrao

“Umrao impressed me with her triumph over her emotional tragedies. To retain her soul and still not be embittered is amazing considering the magnitude of her experiences right from her childhood. She expressed this in her conversations with the world, her poetry. This is an eternally female quality and transcends time.”

Designer speak

“Unfortunately, there’s nobody like Ash who can take your art to that level of celebration. For most people, you break your back to give a look that speaks. But with Aishwarya, the look blends into the person and the person becomes the character.” — Anna Singh, designer

Copyright © 2004-10 Aishwarya Rai Bachchan - Aishwarya-Spice.com - All Rights Reserved
Powered by Wordpress, this website was formerly known as Aishwarya-Forever.com.