In the intricate world of Bollywood costume design, Rohit Chaturvedi stands as a maestro, seamlessly blending authenticity and artistry. Recently, sitting down with ETimes he delved into his work on the much-anticipated movie ‘Tejas.’
“‘Tejas’ happened as a surprise. I wasn’t prepared for it,” Rohit begins, reflecting on the unexpected turn of events.”You start attracting a certain kind of work. So, after ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ I was looking forward to not doing so many uniform films. I wanted to be in a place of doing ‘Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar’ and ‘Badhaai Do’ where you dress up real people and tell real stories. But then I met Sarvesh Mewara who is a lovely soul. I got to know that he was trying to make a film for the last 10 years and finally ‘Tejas’ happened to him. When he said that he really wanted to work with me I just didn’t have the heart to say no to him. It is a great story that people need to watch,” he adds.
Since Rohit was carrying the legacy of ‘Uri,’ where his meticulous attention to detail in military uniforms earned accolades, Rohit approached ‘Tejas’ with a sense of responsibility. “I did not want to lose that title, so I worked very hard on getting the technicalities of the uniform right,” he confesses. With the Indian Air Force setting the stage, Rohit delved deep into research, even consulting with the Air Force to ensure accuracy. “We did a lot of research and also had a consultant from the Indian Air Force to help us,” he shares.

Tejas | Song – Reh Jao Na

“At the ‘Tejas’ screening, the associate producer Zainab walked up to me and said the head of the Indian air force told her to congratulate the costume designer, he has got everything on point,” he expresses. A validation at the Tejas screening from the head of the Indian Air Force left him humbled and proud.
Further, navigating the delicate balance between military precision and civilian flair posed a unique challenge. “Where the tricky balance comes in is when you start dressing up these officers in their civilian scenes,” Rohit explains. The choice between Indian and Western influences, considering the character’s profession, required careful consideration. “You have to keep in mind that it is an Air Force officer who is dressing up and going for dinner or a date. Kangana is a beautiful woman to dress up. You can put anything on her and it looks nice. But then the choice is about whether it is officer-like or not. So, it’s about dressing up a character rather than dressing up a beautiful woman.” he adds, acknowledging Kangana Ranaut’s elegance in every ensemble.

Dressing up Kangana’s character in ‘Tejas’ was a collaborative journey marked by research and spontaneity. “I thought it was going to be challenging to work with Kangana,” Rohit admits, given her discerning taste. However, the collaborative process turned out to be delightful. “I met her through Sarvesh and we ran through the entire presentation and exchanged our ideas. She was Gung Ho and great to work with. She was very patience because some uniforms can be very technical and we took our time to make them and did multiple trials”.

“ It was actually quite easy and lovely to work with Kangana. I think all the artists of great stature because they have gone through public scrutiny have their guard up. When you work with them, you have to earn their trust and that can happen only if you know your job. If you put your best foot forward and do your job there can’t be much that can go wrong. And that is exactly what happened. Kangana was very professional,” he concludes.

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