Abhishek Bachchan plays an unconventional superhero in Drona and his costume for the fantasy adventure film is unique, inspired by the traditional Indian bridegroom and medieval warriors, contrary to what most Western superheroes wear.
"The idea for Abhishek's costume in the film came from the Indian groom who wears a sherwani, an achkan and a churidar. We have kept a very vintage look for him that also gives a slightly 3-D impression of the superhero with an earthy appeal to it," said Anaita Shroff Adajania, who has designed the outfits for Drona along with Gaurav Gupta.
Directed by Goldie Behl and slated to release October 2, Drona narrates the story of Aditya (Abhishek), a descendant of a royal family who realises the purpose of his existence and how he lives up to it. Aditya, who is also called Drona, fights with powerful magician Ritz, played by Kay Kay Menon, in order to save the world from his evil intentions.
Elaborating on Abhishek's attire, the designer said: "He sports a linen coat with metal embroidery to give the look of his armour, a long crushed stole to symbolise power, a bracelet and a jewel on his forehead as a headgear.
"In fact, the headgear is inspired from the one Rajasthani women wear on their head. We have also used panels of the same fabric to give his coat much more dimension," said Anaita.
After dressing a host of celebrities like Saif Ali Khan in Being Cyrus and Abhishek, Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai in Dhoom 2,, Anaita experiments with the actor's looks and various fabrics in Drona.
Priyanka Chopra plays Abhishek's bodyguard and her costume, though distinct, has similarities to Anaita's work in Dhoom 2. The actress is seen sporting tight black pants under a leather detail as a part of her costume, which is similar to what Aishwarya wore in the 2006 hit.
"Priyanka's costume in the film constitutes an angarakha, slightly cut into a tiny waistcoat, with a brocade coat. She also wears boots with red heels to show the feminine side. As the film progresses, the colours of her costume keep changing, keeping the fieriness of her character in mind," she explained.
"In order to give her mobility and to portray her softness and energy, the fabric used for her is a contrast of chiffon, georgette and leather. She also sports a leather band tied across her head with matching armbands and a ring," added Anaita, who is also the fashion director for fashion and lifestyle magazine Vogue India.
The style expert claims that Kay Kay's character in the film will make audiences "uncomfortable" because of his appearance. "Kay Kay's character is the most quirky of the lot. We have blended a Shakespearean feel with a strong reptilian texture to it. He wears a cape that gives the impression of a lizard or a crocodile," she said.
"His wicked Mohawk hairstyle plays an important role in defining anti-gravity so we have spiked it up. Even the pointy metal ring that he wears adds to the uncomfortable feel. He also sports light coloured contact lenses. We have done everything to make him look slightly supernatural," Anaita said.
But styling the characters wasn't an easy job and she had to do a lot of research. "We spent a lot of time in our research for the characters, as everything that had to be created was custom made. While Abhishek's organic look has influences drawn from the medieval warriors, Japanese comics and Roman soldiers; Kay Kay's look has got a very strong Japanese comic book influence.
"On the other hand, Priyanka's look is a crisscross of contemporary international fashion and Indian myth. Her headgear was crafted from the turban influence of the sikhs," she revealed.
The research really paid off and work was done much faster. “We were very clear on the drawing board with whatever we were doing. I wanted to have a certain routine of dresses around the characters as their roles are defined," she said.
Anaita's other projects include Priyadarshan's Shah Rukh Khan starrer Billo Barber and Imtiaz Ali's untitled project that has Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone.