Costume designing happened by chance for Ameira Punvani. Her life changed after she was spotted by filmmaker Shaad Ali at an exhibition in Delhi. The designer, who was nominated at the Filmfare Award’s Best Costume category for Guru in 2011, and for Rustom in 2017, has worked in films such as Bunty Aur Babli, Guru, Chalte Chalte, Fukrey and Why Cheat India and she’s not likely to shy away from challenges. A big foodie, the Lucknow-based designer speaks about how it was to work on, Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW). Excerpts:
What made you say yes to RAW?
When I read the script, I was blown over. There was so much scope for me to work on. The script was interesting, and layered, and I read it over and over again. John Abraham plays the role of Romeo, Akbar and Walter and they all have different styles and looks. I had to make the characters credible, as it’s a period drama set against the backdrop of 1971 war. Also, I read the script, and realised that the colour palette had to be on the same level.
How are John Abraham and Jackie Shroff?
It was a delight working with both of them. I have worked before with Jackie in the short film Teen Patti, and he is an outstanding human being. He is patient and gets involved in the character at an amazing level. The glasses he is wearing in RAW took a lot of time to finalise, but he was so patient.John’s brilliant physique made my job easier. When he is playing Walter, he wears a double-breasted suit, popular in the ’80s. It fitted him like a dream.
What kind of research was involved?
As the film is about a different era altogether, and the trends of that decade were quite iconic, it involved a lot of research. I took a lot of inputs from my dad — in fact, the double-breasted suit is an ode to him. I called up a lot of people, and updated myself.
Which of your films were most challenging?
Guru was my first big film, and in it, Abhishek Bachchan had to look like a 50-year-old, too. RAW too wasn’t very easy.