With every segment of filmmaking finding a fresh new wave of revival, costume designing is not left behind. Thankfully in the recent years, the interest in the department has gradually taken a high note like other regional industries. A trend established from Bollywood celebrities, Sandalwood stars are also highlighting themselves in the way they dress in films as well as off screen. Sandalwood now boasts of a few number of good designers who have been working in the industry for quite sometime now. Among them are Sania Sardaria, Yogi, Deepa Prashanth, Bharath, Ramdas, Pavithra Shetty and others. The change in costume trend came to Kannada industry only three to four years ago, opined director Shashank who has hired three designers for his film Bachchan - The Angry Young Man. "Technically we saw so many changes happening including post production, DI, colour, toning, etc. which slowly became integral part of filmmaking. When directors thought about location backdrop and good artistes, it was but obvious that even costumes had to gel with the frame. That's when the growth of good designers emerged in Kannada industry too," said Shashank, who also asserted that he was the first director who hired a full-time designer for his film, Moggina Manasu. "Before 2008, producers used to hire designers only for songs. Since I had three heroines in my film, I wanted to style them better. That's when I hired a full-time designer, which was considered quite strange by others," he said.
Deepa, who is been doing costume designing from past seven years for Kannada movies, said, "The industry is getting more fashion conscious, which can be seen in most of the movies. "It is not today's case, even in the silent era, filmmakers paid lot of attention to costumes of every character. Today celebrities are getting more fashion conscious and stars feel that being stylish is a big advantage."
Designer Sania, wife of choreographer Imran Sardaria is designing costumes for stars from past 6 years. "I have designed for Puneeth Rajkumar in Jackie and I have styled Shivarajkumar in Andar Bahar and Radhika Kumaraswamy to name a few," said Sania, who entered the field with Ganesh's film, Hudugata. "Intially people didn't understand the concept of costume designing. Thanks to a few actress, who put their foot down and demanded for a designer to style them. To act well, you need to be framed well and the producers have realised it now," she added.
Deepa, who recently worked on Upendra's style in Topiwaala and actress Bhavana in Bachchan...felt there is a need for good directors with some fashion sense. "Fashion is not a one day or a month affair where they order a number of costumes and we deliver. We sit with the director from the day of scripting to design costumes according to the scenes.
Among them, 100 costumes will be chosen and then the best is selected," Deepa explained.Sania, echos in a similar sentiment. She said. "The culture of 80s and 90s, when filmmaking was about four fights and four songs, do not exist anymore. I was very clear with the producers and directors that I will need to read the script to make better costumes. I can't have a party dress made for an actor who is attending the funeral. The film crew thought that I was interfering but I did not budge. Once they got the knack that styling helps the story and the mood, directors came forward to give me one-liners of their script after which I started to make my own pointers."
As far as Mumbai designers getting more prominence in Kannada industry, Sania said, "Artistes who work for films in more than one language, usually prefer to have a designer from Mumbai. Though Mumbai is best known for fashion, Bangalore is equally good and we are happy that our hands are full. Like few actors coming from other industry to work here, in the same manner, we have designers who are keen on working in Sandalwood." Deepa added. "Right now I am also styling for some Malayalam actress. I don't see a threat with other designers coming here. But still we would love to work more with Kannada stars because we belong here."