Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani has been raking in the moolah at the box office and apart from its foot-tapping tracks, and stellar star cast, the movie has remained the talk of the town for Alia Bhatt’s streak of gorgeous chiffon sarees. Detailing his “roller coaster of creativity” throughout Karan Johar’s directorial, Manish Malhotra, in conversation with PTI spoke about his thought process behind this craftsmanship. The designer stated upfront that “bringing back that old-school cinema vibe into her (Alia’s) look was the aim”, which was evident in the movie.
In a bid to portray Alia Bhatt’s “character of a bright Bengali journalist”, Manish Malhotra used colours symbolically. “With the play of colours and chiffon sarees, I wanted to showcase not just her journey but also the golden era of rom-com cinema.” He also wanted to make the most of “delicate yet expressive” chiffon fabric. Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani’s track Tum Kya Mile proved just that. In one frame of the much-loved song, we witnessed Alia in a spell-binding bright red saree, which was synonymous with Alia’s Bengali character and Malhotra’s vibrant sartorial leanings. Alia’s flowing six yards was matched with a velvet blouse, featuring a square neckline and large cutout detailing at the back. Her minimal accessories and light makeup allowed no attention to be diverted from her flaming red chiffon.
On his love affair with chiffon, Manish confessed that “when it comes to sarees, nothing beats my all-time favourite, chiffon.” But bringing a more current, modern and contemporary feel to the old look was a challenge. One way he chose to achieve that was by reflecting the bold “fearless vibe” of Rani’s character in her looks. That meant going all out with bold, bright, vibrant hues which were “the soul of these sarees.” Just like this rainbow-style multi-colour saree in the party anthem of the year What Jhumka? The riot of colour featured pink, parrot green, sky blue and violet. He styled it with an equally colourful strappy blouse, exaggerating dense floral embellishment and embroidery. Of course, in keeping with the track, her ensemble was paired with oxidised jhumkas. Carrying Rani Chatterjee’s signature look forward, Alia’s look got a final touch with kohl-rimmed eyes and a nose pin.
Manish Malhotra said that with his creativity he aimed to “paint stories” by “mixing and matching” and creating a vibrant colour-blocking style. How that translated on screen, was through this out-of-the-box pairing of royal blue and yellow drape with muted equally bright red blouse which added a pop of colour.
Bollywood’s favourite designer wished to “capture the essence of Alia Bhatt’s character” through ombre numbers. Abiding by that rule, Rani wore bubblegum pink, lemon yellow and parrot green ombre saree with a parrot green strappy blouse.
On his creative process, Manish revealed, “Once we had the idea down and knew what worked on screen, it was just a journey of experimentation, a smooth sail, full of colour, fabric, and a whole lot of creativity.”