In a big up for Indian fashion fraternity, designer Neeta Lulla is all set to represent India at the 93rd Academy Awards. The membership invitations have been sent out to 819 artists across the globe and Bollywood stars Alia Bhatt and Hrithik Roshan are also included in it.
The designer confirmed receiving the invitation to join the Jury of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). The Oscars scheduled to take place in February this year has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and is slated for April 25, 2021.
"I'll have voting rights at the 93rd Academy Awards, scheduled to be held on April 25, 2021. This came as a very pleasant surprise; it was not something I was expecting. It surely, made me feel very happy and honoured and blessed to get such positive news especially in these testing times," Neeta tells Cosmo.
After facing criticism about the lack of diversity in the voting body for the Academy Awards, the new invitees include 45 per cent women, 36 per cent underrepresented ethnic or racial communities, and 49 per cent international artists from 68 countries.
3. Neeta, who was a part of Jodhaa Akbar (2008) and Devdas (2002) as the costume designer shares here memorable moments from the two films.
"For this, I travelled to Kolkata to meet with some families to understand the culture, went through books in the libraries and sourced fabrics and almost 300 saris of different weaves and amalgamated certain looks with Banarasi and Lucknowi as well," she says.
"Since Interpretation of Devdas required magnanimity and scale of visual I devised pre-draped Bengali saree that was anywhere from 9-15 yards and even 18 yards, which I am glad Sanjay believed in the look when we did our look test. Thus, the look of Paro and the female support cast came alive."
"The climax scene saree of Devdas was made overnight and that too in duplicate. The Dola Re song was shot over 10 days and the saree was 14 yards structured to look like a saree but have the girth of a lehenga. All the sarees were draped and structured by me to have the ease of wearing it within a few minutes, " adds Neeta.
"This film that taught me a lot of technicalities of making millinery and working with the metal armoury. The visual grandiosity demanded lots of characters in a scene and lots of garments to be detailed and styled. To dress every actor my team and I would start work at 5 am for a 9 am shift," says Neeta.
"In the opening scene, we required an additional armour and were shooting in the midst of the desert in Sambhaar ahead of Jaipur. So, I took an old aluminium trunk cut up the top, cut and structured it into armour in 45 minutes there itself!"
She adds, "The entire film consisted of almost 2600 costumes, 500 uniforms for each army and additional armours. A group of assistance were designated to handle armours, female costumes, male costumes, footwear, pagris and jewellery separately. The song Azeem -o-Shaan itself alone had 2000 dance costumes for various performances within the song. The costuming of every character has been carefully planned in every scene so as to give detail and narrative to the look."