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Padmavati: All That Went Into Designing Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor's War Armor

Here are a few rare details of Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor's war armor in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati.

Kriti Tulsiani | News18.com@sleepingpsyche2

Updated:November 7, 2017, 3:52 PM IST
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With the trailer and a recently unveiled song, titled Ghoomar, the grandeur and magnificence of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s yet-to-release Padmavati have already left viewers in awe. Much has been written about Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor’s costumes designed by Rimple and Harpreet Narula. However, here are a few rare details about Shahid and Ranveer’s war armor that might interest you.

Designed by the Delhi-based design house, The V Renaissance, the armor for both Shahid (Maharawal Ratan Singh) and Ranveer (Allaudin Khilji) have been created following processes of extensive research and detailing.

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“They first approached us to create one look for Ranveer’s earlier battles in the film. During this time, we had just finished work on a bridal lehenga in leather, they liked the technique that we had employed in that piece, and thus they also asked us to create the armor for Shahid Kapoor’s final battle. After Mr. Bhansali saw these armors he asked us to create one for Khilji’s final battle as well,” says Vipul of the designer duo Vipul Amar-Harsheen Arora.

Quite interestingly, while Vipul is the artist among the two, Harsheen is a psychologist and following a brief from Bhansali, the duo realised that despite having to use similar materials in their armour, the treatment would be different in depicting their opposing personalities. Ratan Singh is an embodiment of love and patriotism while Allaudin Khilji embodies conquest and invasion.

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“The design process has been infused with subtle nuances in the armor, keeping in mind the analysis of the characters. For instance, the colors used for Maharawal Ratan Singh’s armor represent nobility and honour. The blood red depicts honour, love, and eagerness to serve one’s land and the deep gold stands for courage, generosity and passion", said the duo.

Adding,“In fact, the elements in this armour are inspired by the sun rays and the chest-plate is coloured like the Rajputana soil at different times of the day while inlayed with brass to showcase strength and bravery."

On the other hand, Allaudin Khilji’s armor represents the Sultan that he envisioned himself as. The leather lions on his shoulders show his strong-headedness. The lions have been chiselled and hammered to bring form - as part of the technique which is also symbolic to Khilji’s conquest. Also, the darkness of the character has been enhanced by engraving reptile scales on the lion heads.

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On being asked about the techniques employed, the two share that they’ve used actual historical techniques to maintain the authenticity. To create the armor, they employed techniques such as cuirboilli technique, sculpting, chiselling, and inlaying to name a few, making sure they align with today’s standards of comfort and weightlessness.

The creators also added that it’s not just designing, but even the storing of these costumes is in a unique way. “When not in use, the armor units rest on life-sized mannequins, which are then placed inside vintage closet trunks. These are no ordinary trunks since they are fitted with lights and wheels for easy transport when the armies are moving in caravans before settling at base camp. All this helps transport the actor psychologically into that time and era,” noted the duo.

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Given that Bhansali is extremely particular about his character’s detailing, including their costumes, and since Padmavati is a period drama for which the research had to be spot on, a lot must have gone into the planning and execution. To this, the duo says, “It was imperative for us to understand Mr.Bhansali’s vision of his characters, along with the personality of the actors and the historical data available to incorporate the right design elements in the armor."

"Authenticity and mobility of the pieces was our main concern as it is imperative that the actor be able to perform stunts in them. Hence, we carried out thorough research on the armories and weaponries of the era in which the film is set, in order to understand the mechanics and the authenticity of design elements," they said.

The designer duo added that Ranveer happens to be a "thorough professional and a larger than life actor."

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The film, a dramatized account of the 1303 siege of Chittor fort in Rajashtan, is set to release on December 1.

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| Edited by: Kriti Tulsiani
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