Leela’s designer Anju Modi reveals her secrets

We are all well aware of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s penchant for extravagance. We pretty much know that his secret of a successful movie is a grand set, hotshot actors, a brilliant story line, crazy songs and of course expensive costumes. So when it was time to decide Deepika Padukone’s costume. Sanjay Leela Bhansali didn’t leave a stone unturned and selected a brilliant designer for the job.

Anju Modi was thrilled at this opportunity. When she was first given a brief gist of the story and the back drop, her mind was off creating beautiful costumes. Initially there were few glitches as to who will play Leela. Priyanka Chopra or Deepika Padukone? But once it was decided, Anju Modi went all out and created sexy costumes for our desi Leela. In a recent interview, she spoke about her journey and how exciting and enlightening it was to work for Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Lets see what she feels!

First things first! We all know this is her first job as a costume designer for Bollywood movie. How was it? What did she expect and what did SLB expect? “We all know about Sanjay’s passion for costumes and the kind of detailing he does in them. I was naturally quite excited about the whole thing. He is a man of his word and doesn’t really restrain or strain himself too much. He said this is the theme, use your creativity, go over the top if you want, but don’t restrain yourself. He gave me the script, which was the brief initially.” Seems like a dream come true to me! I mean how amazing is that? Being able to do things on a larger than life scale?

Like we said, there was one glitch. Who was the leading lady? Since there was a confusion, did it delay the process of designing clothes because Deepika and Priyanka are entirely different. “No. It was hardly a week’s time when the change from Priyanka to Deepika happened. There was nothing that I had to change in the look, as at that point it was all in the discussion stage. According to me, Deepika has more of that innocent village girl look; I somehow thought that she was more apt. If Priyanka had been there, the look would have been slightly different. One automatically starts thinking slightly differently. The thought process hadn’t even started, so I can’t say I changed it or anything. From the beginning, it was Deepika for me.” Anju Modi must surely be someone with strong instincts. Don’t you think?

I guess I’m saying this for the millionth time, but we really really loved Deepika Padukone’s bright red costume which she wore during the song, Nagada Sang Dhol. How difficult or easy was it for Anju Modi to select the color palette for the movie? “The colours are vibrant and at the same time we’ve discussed the set’s colours. That is, if the set is so and so colour, then the garment has to be in a colour other than that. All these things were according to the script, sets, stage and design.”

Anju Modi also designed Priyanka Chopra’s costume for Ram Chahe Leela. How was the experience “For Priyanka, I had to make her look a little more sexy. It wasn’t really difficult. I don’t think I found any costume difficult. It was something that was already figured out in my mind and then the creativity started flowing. I thought, let’s give her a dhoti, but it shouldn’t look like a man’s dhoti. It’s a very aesthetically well-designed dhoti that is revealing and at the same time, shapely. It gives a shape rather than looking clumpy. We had to show off her assets!”

Isn’t that awesome? First job as a costume designer for the biggest movie of the year and everyone is head over heels for the costumes? Looks like Anju Modi’s hard work has really paid off. But is she working on any other Bollywood projects as of now? “No, not yet. I just got free from this! I don’t know who else would use such beautiful costumes as a director, apart from Sanjay”

Well, if that’s the case, we guess you’ll have to wait for another epic movie from Sanjay’s kitty!

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