Padmavati: Jewelry designer Queeta Rawat shares her experience of working on a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s much awaited magnum opus Padmavati, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor is all set to see a grand release on 1 December.
Shot on a reported Rs 170 cr budget, one can only expect flamboyant and theatrical elements from the upcoming movie. At the nucleus of this resplendence lies the jewelry that adorns the characters of Padmavati. Looking at Bhansali’s track record, we have come to expect the director to leave no stone unturned and pull out all the stops to deliver a majestic experience to moviegoers.
Firstpost spoke exclusively to the jewelry designer of Padmavati — Queeta Rawat (Design Manager – North at Tanishq) and got an insight into the vision that went into realising and bringing royal pieces of jewelry to life on the big screen.
Straight off the bat Rawat explained how months of extensive and detailed research went into designing the final pieces of jewelry for Bhansali’s film. She recalls how her and her team went through hundreds of pages of books, closely studied various artwork from the era and traveled pan-India for research in order to create authentic jewelry pieces for Bhansali’s much awaited venture.
Capturing the beauty and splendour of Rawat’s pieces on camera, Firstpost did a video interview with Rawat to get a better insight into what it really takes to design a key element such as jewelry, for a Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie of such a grand scale.
Here are a few excerpts from our interview with Queeta Rawat.
What is the core difference between designing a jewelry collection for the general public as opposed to that for a movie?
For a collection for the general public we take the customer as the focal point. We design the pieces according to the customer’s needs, requirements and the latest fashion trend. For a movie like Padmavati, the characters and the era that the movie was set in took precedence. A lot of research was put into designing the jewelry for each independent character. For every character me and my team did exhaustive research and designed according to the character’s community and which clan they belonged to.
What was it like working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali? We all have heard about his eye for detail in his movies.
Being a huge Sanjay Leela Bhansali fan, I was extremely prepared from the first meeting itself. I had done all my research and had all my notes on the styles which I wanted the characters to have. However with him, you can’t go prepared. Everything has to fall into his vision, and align with how he has imagined his character’s and settings. He shared the tiniest details that he had envisioned with us, and after a few meetings with him, we understood what he wants. His vision is very grand. We had to condense his vision into what was possible — jewelry wise. Being a perfectionist, his vision was crystal clear, right down to the colour and shape of the pearl. He was a very big part of the entire process, very hands on. I was also very impressed with the knowledge he had about jewelry actually.
Does the actor who you are designing the jewelry for influence your designing in any way? Knowing that Deepika or Shahid/Ranveer would be donning the pieces?
Majorly, it’s the director’s vision that we carry forward in the jewelry that is designed for their character. But yes, we do have a look test wherein the jewelry is worn by the actors and it is there that we understand the actor’s preferences. Some people have some dislikes — for Deepika Padukone we extended her maatha patti (head accessory) because we could see she didn’t like it to end above her ear. For men; most of them don’t have their ears pierced thus the earrings for their characters were designed like that, however Ranveer Singh preferred to wear a proper earring with a post, so we recreated all his earrings so that he would be more comfortable.
Stay tuned for the entire video interview with Queeta Rawat on her experience designing for Padmavati.