‘Couture: All about expression’

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‘Couture: All about expression’

Friday, 11 June 2021 | Team Viva

‘Couture: All about expression’

Fashion designer duo Rimple & Harpreet Narula share their take on styling celebrities with Team Viva

Evolving as a designer is all about juxtaposing various layers of your life over your craft. At times, it involves research and technique exploration, sometimes, it is about interaction with artisans and creative individuals, and other times, it is more instinctive and spontaneous. Celebrities from various fields such as cinema, theatre, dance, music and sports make interesting muses for designers all over the world. These muses lend their own personality to the creations and tend to bring the garments to life. They are trendsetters that people admire and emulate. We have always strived to make a statement with our muses from various fields, Bollywood being one of them.

As designers, our design philosophy has always been “more is less”. We have never shied away from maximalism. RAH creations tend to have several colours, techniques, embroideries, cultural and historical references layered over each other. Recreating generic florals  and Mughal motifs alone have never been a way of design for us. Our take on design and its process is holistic and intuitive. The same comes into play when we make costumes for our Bollywood projects. Our love for both travel as well as vintage textiles provide us with a wide array of inspiration to draw upon and that reflects in both our couture collections as well as the work we do for styling Bollywood projects. We feel that whenever the audience sees our film costumes either on celluloid or in real life, they should take back something new from it every time and keep revisiting it in their thoughts even after the end credits have rolled. That is the underlying effect we want to have on the audience through the clothes we make.

Working on Bollywood projects such as Padmaavat and Housefull 4 is not just about creating stunning garments but also depicting the creative team’s vision for the characters and the storyline as authentically as possible. The costumes have to evolve in the same way the look of every character evolves through the film. Working with celebrities such as Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapur and Akshay Kumar means that we need to strike the right balance between the actors’ reel and real personas when it comes to styling them. These powerhouses of talent tend to dive in and wholly imbibe their characters. There are times, on set that, one feels that we are interacting with the character and not the actor; and the clothes have to be in sync with the characters’ moods as well as the overall flow of the narrative, bringing out the character’s arc, the underlying emotions as well the intricate nature of the plot. So the colour palette, fabrics, embroideries, prints and other surface ornamentations all have to be worked out accordingly. We do extensive research on the characters we are working on and always try to imbibe the cultural and historical influences into each character’s look and garments.

For all the films, we have done in the past and are currently working on, our endeavour has always been to not just make costumes but clothes that have subliminal layers, that speak a language, express the various nuances of the plot and bring out the cinematic journeys the characters undertake as they make their way through the narrative. As designers, we tend to explore new dimensions of detailing through the entire exercise of designing costumes and styling them for a film project. The process of creating the costumes for Bollywood projects is always one of constant evolution, a new learning experience every day. It is interesting for us, as designers, how our perception of drama in clothes also undergoes a change while working on these projects.

Besides working on the films, we regularly work with a number of celebs for their personal appearances. The idea of collaborating with people from various fields of the arts is always an exciting prospect for a designer. Couture is all about expression, and the synergy created by working with a fellow creative individual helps in creating fashion that is art. Dressing Bollywood celebrities definitely help us to connect with our target audience who tend to look up to celebs for their sartorial style and get inspired by them.

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