From Kozhikode to Mani Ratnam's 'Ponniyin Selvan', Costumer Nivedita fulfills her dream


Ashmila Beegum

The people of Tamil Nadu are very fond of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s ‘Ponniyin Selvan’. Hence, it was very challenging to design costumes for every character. Lack of historic documents posed another major hurdle too. 

Nivedita Koliyot with Mani Ratnam | Photo: Mathrubhumi Epaper

Nivedita Koliyot, a fashion designer who got inspired watching Mani Ratnam’s ‘Iruvar’ is on cloud nine after fulfilling her dream to work with the director. She designed the costumes for Mani Ratnam's magnum opus 'Ponniyin Selvan-I' which is successfully running in theatres.

Born and brought up in Kerala’s Kozhikode, Nivedita currently works as an assistant costume designer at the south unit of Mumbai-based ‘Team E’, led by designer Eka Lakhani.

“Growing up, I used to listen to my mother and grandma’s conversations about sarees. I have always loved designing outfits and dressing differently. After graduating in commerce from Providence College, I went to pursue Fashion Designing course at Subhash Ghai’s Whistling Woods International. Meanwhile, I got an opportunity to design costumes for advertisements. That’s how I became a part of Team E,” Nivedita briefed her journey to the fashion world.

"The people of Tamil Nadu are very fond of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s ‘Ponniyin Selvan’. Hence, it was very challenging to design costumes for every character. Lack of historic documents posed another major hurdle too," said Nivedita while opening up about the challenges in 'Ponniyin Selvan' project.

“We gathered all the available documents and travelled through the areas which were once part of the Chola empire. We studied the dressing styles and then sketched the designs for each character. The fabrics were made by weavers in Tamil Nadu. Later, Mani Ratnam conducted a look test and the costumes were finalized," she said.

PS-I comprises a stellar cast including Aishwarya Rai, Trisha, Aiswarya Lekshmi and Sobhita Dhulipala. “For Nandini (Aishwarya Rai), we tied her hair in Andal Kondai style. The costumes of Karthi, Jayaram, Jayam Ravi and others were designed in different fabrics," added Nivedita.

The designer from Kerala is hoping to make an effort to popularize Kerala handlooms.

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