Indian designers make their Hollywood debut with Life of Pi

Published: November 14, 2012

The movie features Indian actor Suraj Sharma in the role of young Pi. PHOTO: FILE

The movie features Indian actor Suraj Sharma in the role of young Pi. PHOTO: FILE The movie features Indian actor Suraj Sharma in the role of young Pi. PHOTO: FILE
NEW DELHI: 

Indian designer duo Shivan and Narresh, known for their stylish swimwear, have made their Hollywood foray with Ang Lee’s Life of Pi.

The movie, releasing in India November 23, features vintage swimsuits by the designers in a specific sequence.

The scene involves 81 Parisian women and men bathing in the Piscine Molitor (a swimming pool complex in Paris). “We designed swimsuits for all of the 81 people across different age groups, sizes and body type, who were involved in the making of this important sequence of the film,” Shivan told IANS.

Pi or Piscine, the title character of the film itself, is named after the pool.

The swimsuits for the scene were made using vintage fabrics, said Narresh.

“81 different designs of swimsuits were made using 81 different vintage fabrics impersonating various design details popular in the ‘50s. Working without using any elastane or lycra and avoiding any use of modern day closures such as zips proved to be some of the biggest constraints in getting everyone involved in the scene to look extremely elegant and nonchalant,” said Narresh.

“Silhouettes such as the apron-style maillot, playsuit, high-waist bandeau bikinis and halter style boy-short maillots dominated the entire collection,” he added.

The designers explored varied silhouettes of vintage swimsuits along with techniques on woven fabrics such as smocking, ruching, pleating, pin-tucking, corseting and piping.

The colours ranged from white, rosy pink, pistachio green, plum, sunny yellow and orange.

Life of Pi is an upcoming 3D adventure film based on the 2001 novel of the same name. The protagonist, Piscine Molitor Pi Patel, an Indian boy from Pondicherry, explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean, he finds himself on a lifeboat with an orangutan, hyena, a wounded zebra and a Bengal tiger. The movie features Indian actor Suraj Sharma in the role of young Pi. Actors Tabu and Irfan also have key roles.

Shivan-Narresh were brought on board for the movie by stylist Arjun Bhasin.

“The movie has been styled by acclaimed movie stylist, Arjun Bhasin. It has mostly been shot in India with an Indian star cast. Arjun’s idea of having an Indian brand execute the styling of this scene in the movie lead him to approach us in November 2010,” said Shivan.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2012.

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