Designing for contemporary films more challenging: Niharika Khan tells Sandeep Sharma
For many fashion moguls, designing costumes for period drama movies is a tough nut to crack. But that’s not the case with National Award-winner Niharika Khan, who feels designing costumes for contemporary films like “Fan” is “more challenging than a period drama”.
“As I come from a research background, every time I have to do a period drama, I prefer it more, as I have a reference point to start from,” Niharika, who has previously designed costumes for films like “Rock On!!”, “The Dirty Picture” and “Bombay Velvet”, said.
“When you are doing a film today, you don’t have that reference point. For me a contemporary film is a little more challenging than a period drama,” she added.
Niharika said that one can gain a “lot of confidence working on them as you have a lot of references”.
“The confidence of doing a period drama is very high, because through references I know I can do it with my eyes closed,” she added.
Niharika, who is married to actor Ayub Khan, however quipped that she likes to design costumes for all types of films.
“If you look at my work, I have been juggling between all types of film genres. I will not do something that is similar. I will always do consecutive and challenging,” she asserted.
“There is no point doing something with your eyes closed when you are in a creative field. If it’s not challenging and not making you better at what you do, I personally don’t feel I should be doing that,” she added.
Niharika’s work can also be seen in Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s “Fan”, which released last week.
Asked whether she attempted to redefine Shah Rukh’s look in the Maneesh Sharma directorial, Niharika said: “Of course, we did try to redefine his look. We had a fan who is looking up to a superstar, so we did look up at his (Shah Rukh’s) films and tried to create stuff that’s going to be slightly recognisable to his fans but not recognisable to people who don’t know him.”
“We do not break the imagination of the film with that. If I suddenly threw him a costume that you knew really well, then it will take you away from the story of ‘Fan’,” she added.
“Fan” features Shah Rukh in a double role of a superstar (Aryan) and his obsessed fan (Gaurav).
How difficult was it for her to feature the “Chennai Express” star in two different avatars?
“When you create looks for characters of a film, every character is built out differently. So what happens is that any film that you do, whether it’s expensive or not, your characters are built out very clearly,” Niharika explained.
“So I had built the characters of Aryan and Gaurav very clearly in my head. Knowing that Shah Rukh was going to play both of them, we had to very clearly define them. So, it was not difficult at all,” she added.
Niharika will also design costumes for actor-filmmaker Ajay Devgn’s “Shivaay” and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s “Mirzya”.
“‘Shivaay’ is a purely contemporary action film; so that will be interesting to make Ajay look handsome and sexy enough for people to go and see it. ‘Mirzya’, being a period drama, is completely different from that,” Niharika said.