Leepakshi Ellawadi, a costume designer, very well knew what she was getting into when she had been called up as a designer for Youngistaan, an upcoming flick featuring Jackky Bhagnani and Neha Sharma, which has the current political scenario of the country as its backdrop. “Having read the script, I had an idea of how most characters would look as several of them had real-life parallels. I started my research eight months in advance,” she says.
Leepakshi took inspiration from the wardrobes of Rahul Gandhi, Omar Abdullah and Jyotiraditya Scindia. “I paid careful attention to what these young politicians wear during campaigns, at outdoor events, when they are in their office or at a casual party,” she elaborates.
She also told us what efforts went into designing for Jackky Bhagnani, “The Nehru jackets were made from khadi to give them a sophisticated feel, while scenes where the soonto-be Prime Minister is seen playing golf, has Jackky in bright yellow and pink tees and white jodhpur pants.” Neha Sharma, playing his love interest, is seen in shorts and bikini tops and later khadi silk sarees as she slowly settles down in the political environment.
Boman Irani, Jackky’s father in the film, has been modelled on the seventh Prime Minister of India, VP Singh. “I designed crisp black and brown sherwanis with a pecy or the Gandhi cap to embody a certain level of seniority,” Leepakshi reveals.
On the other hand, the late Farooque Shaikh who is seen as the PM’s secretary, wears mismatched sweaters. “Farooque saab himself suggested that his wardrobe be slightly unpolished as it made his character more realistic,” says the costume designer. And that’s not all. Right from the pen politicos keep in their front pockets to the way their security guys are accessorized, Leepakshi’s attention to detail was never compromised. “I tagged along with Jackky when he went to meet different politicians to prepare for his role. I would scribble down my intricate observations in my notepad,” she says before signing off.