Joined: 18 December 2008
An instant connect with the audience was generated when Sakshi Tanwar's character in Balaji Telefilm's Bade Achhe Lagte Hain looked her part by dressing up like most urban young girls do ' in kurtis teamed with denims and rather plain salwar kameezes. A far cry from her avatar in Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, where she fought domestic wars and slept in bright, blingy saris, Tanwar's simple look has impressed the viewers. "Ram Kapoor and Sakshi's style has played an important role in making them look the part. And there's ample evidence of that on the Facebook fan page," says producer Ekta Kapoor.
But Bade Achhe is only one of the many small screen dramas in which the women have shed the glittering nine yards for a sober and realistic look. Naina teams sleeveless kurtis with jeans and scarves in Sapnon Se Bhare Naina on Star One, Sameer Soni is seen in checkered shirts and denims in Parichay on Colors, while the women in Maayke Se Bandhi Dor, the new show on Star Plus, represent the middle class. Television stylist Neeru Shah, who's been around for a decade with shows such as Veer Sivaji (Colors), Sasural Genda Phool (Star Plus) and Bandini (Imagine), says that days of garish make-up and heavily-embroidered clothes are gone. "With shows looking beyond the realms of kitchen politics, fashion trends are changing," she says.
Shah feels that it was Zee that first hit the "realism" button during prime time and showcased the real middle class. She says, "It started with Pavitra Rishta where the protagonist Archana braided her hair and wore a simple cotton sari while Manav sported rolled-up sleeves, kolhapuris and tattered jeans." Zee then followed it up with 12/24 Karol Bagh and Aapki Antara.
In the recent crop of young serials, actors in Pyaar Kii Ye Ek Kahaani and Dhoondh Legi Manzil Humein on Star One, and Saas Bina Sasural on Sony, are seen in denims, T-shirts and skirts. This is also driven by the fact that channels are looking beyond sponsored wardrobes and have increased their budgets.
However, channels haven't loosened their purse strings enough. Designers have to play around with mere Rs 8,000 to 15,000 per show for the entire cast. "Only the period dramas enjoy a privilege where initial budgets are higher in order to establish the look of the lead cast, and can go up to Rs 1 crore," says Ritu Deora, who has designed television costumes for 14 years now.
Besides, producers do look up to Bollywood. "Deepika Padukone's look in the song Chor Bazaari from Love Aaj Kal and Vidya Balan's kanjivarams have been favourites," says Pallavi Sorte, who dresses up the men in Saas Bina Sasural.
But the designers have realised that the audience looks for fresh stuff and willingly apes what it sees on the small screen too.
|So the chic saris worn by Akshara in Star Plus' Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai|
, the vibrant bangles from Balika Vadhu, Toastie's lacy-net saris in Saas Bina Sasural ' all have a huge following. "We are flooded with orders, especially from NRIs," adds Deora.
However, unlike films, there are rules one has to follow when designing for TV. "Jeans and kurtis for young single girls are fine, but bahus have to wear saris. The mangalsutras and bindis are still there but have been toned down," says Sorte.
"Wanting to watch a show rooted in reality is one thing but at the end of the day, TV shows are costume dramas and will always hold an aspirational value," she adds.
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