Indian designer duo ‘made over 300 outfits’ in a span of two years for ‘Heeramandi’

Rimple and Harpreet previously collaborated with Bhansali on his 2018 historical drama ‘Padmaavat’

Entertainment Desk April 07, 2024

Designer duo Rimple and Harpreet Narula, renowned for their exquisite creations, have once again embarked on a sartorial journey with filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali. After their remarkable collaboration on the 2018 magnum opus Padmaavat, where they crafted awe-inspiring costumes for the lead cast, the duo has now lent their talent to Bhansali's debut series, Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar.

Delving into the rich history of courtesans of pre-partition India, the designers meticulously crafted over 300 breathtaking ensembles for the series. The vibrant landscapes of undivided Punjab with a focal point on Lahore, in particular, inspired the duo who immersed themselves in extensive research to encapsulate the essence of the era.

Talking to IANS, Harpreet reflected on the project's significance and shared his personal connection to the historical backdrop and location: “It's set in pre-partition India, specifically in the undivided Punjab region, with a focus on Lahore. This resonates deeply with us because my family comes from Gujranwala in Punjab, so I've grown up hearing stories about that time from my grandparents and aunts.”

He furthered on, “Even though we can't actually go there, exploring the fashion of past times is really interesting to me. While we've seen movies about courtesans from places like Lahore, Lucknow, and Kolkata, Heeramandi offers a fresh perspective on Lahore's culture that hasn't been seen much before.”

For Rimple and Harpreet, Heeramandi presented an opportunity to delve into the intricate nuances of fashion from a bygone era, offering a fresh perspective on Lahore's cultural heritage. “We have made over 300 outfits for the series in a span of two years,” Rimple added.

The duo's dedication and attention to detail resulted in an array of meticulously crafted outfits that authentically captured the essence of the 1940s northern belt of pre-partition India. Their creative process involved extensive research spanning from studying prominent personalities and films of the era to sourcing vintage textiles from various museums and regions worldwide. 

Reflecting on their collaboration with the director, Rimple commented, “Every filmmaker has their own unique style, but Bhansali's cinema and aesthetic are exceptionally intricate and dreamlike.” Their previous collaboration on Padmaavat paved the way for a continued partnership, fueled by mutual admiration for each other's craft.

“Having collaborated with him before and stayed in touch since then, we always anticipated the day he would bring Heeramandi to life, as it had long been on his list of projects,” Harpreet remarked.

Despite the challenges posed by the scale and scope of the project, Rimple and Harpreet's passion for their artistry shone through, as they brought Bhansali's vision for Heeramandi to life through their stunning creations. 

For the designer duo, working on the project is “a dream come true.” “The process of realising his vision is a cherished experience for us, as we delve into his creative mind, while still maintaining the artistic freedom that every artist deserves. Working on Heeramandi with him has been another valuable opportunity for exploration and collaboration,” Harpreet explained.

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