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At one of the screenings in the "Director's Fortnight" segment at Cannes last year, a pink stretch of cloth attracted spotlight. Not only did the humble gamcha enjoy a fair share of screen space in both parts of the crime saga, Gangs of Wasseypur, the cast and crew also made it a point to drape it around their necks at Cannes. In fact, so prominent was gamcha in the film's promotional campaign, that it came to best represent the rustic touch in the movie. "Since the film is set in a small town under Dhanbad district in Bihar, it was important that I dress up the male characters with a gamcha. It is, after all, a staple item of clothing in that part of the country," explains Subodh Srivastava, costume designer for the two films.
With the rise of script-backed films that boast of well-etched characters, costumes too have had the scope to come into their own. Last year in particular threw up an interesting variety of films that offered true-to-character costumes. So while Srivastava's costumes transported the viewers to Bihar, Roorkee was the playground for Sachin Lovalekar, who, along with Namrata Jani, worked on the costumes for the biopic Paan Singh Tomar. Emphasising the importance of research, Lovalekar says that when he came on board for the Irrfan-starrer in 2010, the first thing he did was refer to the actual photographs of the titular character. "Also, there was a lot of footage from Asian Games that I could dwell on for the sports scenes. I also consulted retired Colonel Raj Rawat, who helped me extensively. It is only then that I could manage to put together the military uniforms. Apart from this, I sourced a lot of materials and insignia from Roorkee," he points out.
Apart from research, glamour and effortless style enjoyed a lot of attention last year. Cases in point are Cocktail, which saw Anaita Shroff Adajania portray Deepika Padukone as a glamazon, Barfi! and Ishaqzaade. The last two relied heavily on the charm of simple clothing to make the movies' characters relatable.