If one were to define a character in a film, their costumes would play an integral role. It defines a character, their mood and even their background. One doesn’t need words to specify where a person is from or is in a certain mood if the appropriate costume is given to the performer.
Some films use costumes as a way to communicate underlying meaning, in historical movies costumes are a major aspect of the film itself, in some films costumes just make the screen pop with colour. Silverscreen has put together a list of 5 costume designers whose work stood out in 2019:
1. Petta – Niharika Bhasin Khan
If Superstar Rajinikanth looked fabulous in both the flashback and his warden portions of Karthik Subbaraj‘s Petta, the credit solely goes to Niharika for it. The clothes she designed for the actor took into account the context of the character like the weather conditions without compromising on the style quotient in both timelines.
He slays in the traditional pattu-veshti as well as in the muffler and sweatshirt combo. Apart from Rajinikanth, she has also made the rest of the actors – Simran, Trisha, Sasikumar, and Malavika Mohanan – standout with their clothes.
If there’s a movie in recent times that’s made a special effort with costumes, it’s Thiagarajan Kumararaja‘s Super Deluxe. The female leads, Samantha and Gayathrie, were in solid colours reflecting their simple and calm nature. While Vijay Sethupathi was in a blue saree with a red blouse, two contrasting colours just like him and the society he exists in. And of course, we cannot miss out on the Schrodinger’s cat on Gaaji’s t-shirt that completes itself once he unites with the extraterrestrial being. Not to forget Super Deluxe has the honour of having the writing on a character’s clothes censored (just before interval).
3. Ispade Rajavum Idhaya Raniyum – Tina Rosario
Ranjith Jeyakodi‘s Ispade Rajavum Idhaya Raniyum featured a mercurial Gautham (Harish Kalyan) and a happy-go-lucky Tara (Shilpa Manjunath). Their clothes were a clear indicator of their personalities. While Gautham was always in checked shirts, tucked out most of the time, Tara wasn’t restricted to a particular piece of clothing. Add to it the fact that these looks stood out on camera, it was a perfect cocktail.
4. Ayogya – Uthara Menon
Uthara Menon’s work in Venkat Mohan’s Ayogya screams style. All the costumes have a certain high fashion aesthetic and beauty in them with Raashi Khanna‘s on top of the list. Vishal is always in dark-coloured shirts (the bad cop) while Parthiepan is all flashy clothes, a peek into the light-hearted villain that he essays.
5. Aadai – Kavitha J
If there was one question I heard a lot before, during and after Rathna Kumar‘s Aadai released, it was “Why do you need a costume designer for a film that doesn’t require clothes?”
What is not commonly known is that looking naked on screen requires a lot of planning and attention to detail, especially a film whose entire premise is that the actor will be “naked” most of the time.
We all know that an actor isn’t actually naked, but, is made to look that way. Amala Paul, with the help of Kavitha, managed to convince the audiences of the unclothed state perfectly. Even in the other portions, she’s cool and sassy with loose tops and shades.