“Yaay!” shrieks Niharika Khan when t2 compliments her on the fresh-looking promos of Abhishek Rock On!! Kapoor’s Friday release Kai Po Che!. We are not the only ones complimenting the bubbly costume designer. Chetan Bhagat, whose best-seller, The 3 Mistakes of My Life is now Kai Po Che!, also loves the costumes, shares Niharika over the phone from Mumbai. The best compliment? The actors telling her that they became the characters when they slipped into the clothes.
Niharika had to time-travel 10 years back to get the look right. “We studied textiles and silhouettes from Gujarat and Ahmedabad. You will see a lot of cotton,” she tells t2. Though she read the book about two years back, “when Chetan was planning to make a film”, the characters came alive for her once she read the script. “That’s when I am creating,” she says.
Styling for adaptations is a multi-level process. “When you are reading a book, you have your own imagination as to what the characters look like. Then you end up having a director’s viewpoint on how he wants to create the characters. And then when the actors come in, you look at them and you feel that this will work on them and this won’t,” says Niharika who remembers sketching gnomes and fairies from the pages of Enid Blyton in her mind, as a kid.
Some of Niharika’s favourite adaptations include Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, Life of Pi and The Lord of the Rings.
Here, she decodes the various Kai Po Che! looks for t2...
Text: Saionee Chakraborty