BENGALURU : If there's a film that's caught the attention of people world-over in the last few days, it's been TJ Gnanavel's directorial Jai Bhim. While the story has appealed and interested several, many have been curious about the look that lead actor Suriya sports.
Interestingly, Suriya's courtroom look in the film, that released on an OTT platform last week, has been created by Bengaluru-based menswear designer Bassam Osman.
Osman, who has a studio - Studio Bas - in Chennai, in addition to one on Cunningham Road in the city, worked on the outfit for the Tamil star on the double. "We had to complete it within four days. We have a studio in Nungambakkam, Chennai, and we've been designing looks for Tamil actors over the years. In fact, I’ve been creating outfits for Suriya since his first film, Kaakha Kaakha, which released in 2003," says Osman.
For Jai Bhim, the designer and team were given a short brief, the outfit was required for the courtroom scene. "We weren't told the name of the movie... All we knew was that it had to be a courtroom look. In the past, we had designed the courtroom look for Ajith-starrer 'Nerkonda Paarvai', the remake of 2016 Bollywood movie 'Pink'. Having said that, the looks weren’t exactly the same either," he says,
"In a film set, there's always a costume designer, but having an external person with a new perspective to create a look for the hero/heroine gives the film’s costume designer the time to work on other stuff. That's where we come in," he adds. Stylist and costume designer Poornima Ramaswamy was in charge of Jai Bhim's outfit design.
The crisp white shirt and black jacket, the posters of which have gone viral, is what Osman's team worked on. Before this, he also designed the outfits for Suriya in Soorarai Pottru. "If you look at it, Tamil actors tend to style themselves like their Bollywood counterparts. For example, Ajit Kumar dresses like Amitabh Bachchan and Suriya as Shah Rukh Khan. The roles they mostly choose to play have a structured and formal look to them," says Osman.
On the other hand, he finds Sandalwood actors to prefer streetwear, jeans and hoodies. "That's mostly mass-produced which can be purchased at any commercial store," feels Osman. Having worked on several films, the designer is used to working in a deadline-driven environment.
"We're so used to being approached for a short delivery but it's still very hectic. For Jai Bhim, we were given four days. Even though we did just a few outfits, we had to make multiple ones...that’s how we do it for any film. Our team ends up pulling all-nighters to make the final product," says Osman, who also designed the crisp white shirt for Dhanush when he won the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for Asuran.
Osman has been creating Suriya's looks for several years, but each time he tries to do the different and challenge himself. "It's a great opportunity. When we were approached to design Suriya's look in Ghajini, we were told he was going to be a business tycoon. That's when we explored the vest, buttoned-down shirt and rolled-up sleeves that became popular. Then again, it's the film's costume designer who gives us the design approach and we get to choose the fabric and material to play around with," says Osman.
In fact, Suriya's wife and actor Jyothika also frequents Osman's brother's studio in Chennai for customised sarees. "It's the personalised touch we add to their outfits for both films and awards that has kept this equation going," he says.