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Designing a different identity

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Ready for a shot Rama gives the finishing touches to her designs.
Ready for a shot Rama gives the finishing touches to her designs.

Y.SUNITA CHOWDHARY

Designing for movies comes easy if you are there from the conception of the plot.

I BELIEVE THAT FASHION IS ALL ABOUT SELF-ESTEEM AND VALUE FOR YOUR SELF

Rama is different. You figure that out when you watch her husband Rajamouli’s films.

Her career path was sort of decided by her acute and immense interest in fashion and clothes.

She says, “My mother tells me that right from my childhood I was experimenting with clothes, if I had found a small piece of cloth I would pin it up somewhere and do all sorts of silly things. I noticed I had a flair for clothes when people around would ask me to select stuff for them or compliment me when I would go to work. I never made an effort to look different or create offbeat or outlandish clothes. I take the body of the person and the mood of the scene into consideration before I start designing.”

How did she begin designing for films? “I would carry lunch for my husband during Simhadri and I noticed that he had difficulty conveying what he wanted to the costume designers. I helped them out twice or thrice and then everything fell in place, it was easy for both the director and the costume designers. Later Rajamouli insisted that I take it as a profession from Sye onwards. I’m there 24 hours with him, when he conceives the scene, his first expressions help me grasp the character and I mentally decide the kind of look I need to give the artistes from lead to single dialogue artistes.”

“When we were shooting Nachore song, the director in the evening asked me for four costumes for the next day morning shoot and I said that last minute orders was not possible.

Actually we do keep some extra stuff handy but we shouldn’t give in so easily otherwise the director gets into this habit of making sudden demands,” she says and adds, “finally I grabbed what was available and the end product was very good.”

Is costume desigining easy? “It becomes easy when artistes co-operate, they should just leave it to me. The lead artistes never give me a problem, but the rest are under the impression that we don’t give equal importance to them.”

Will she work for other films too?

She says, “No. I need to spend time with my family. My daughter Mayukha is only three. I also have a son Kartik who is in the tenth standard. He is apparently inclined towards cinematography. It takes around eight to nine months from start to finish. Rajamouli wants to do only one film a year, because technically we have only two months to spare for the family.”

Rama likes to walk the tightrope balancing family and career, “It’s very competitive and tough to survive and create your identity in the industry but I like to do my work passionately and quietly. I believe that fashion is all about self-esteem and value for your self.”


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