I’ve been talking a lot about Manikarnika as a cinema lover and also, as an avid Marathi Fashion or Maharashtrian culture promoter. It’s my culture and I want people to know and enjoy it with me. 

P.S. I’m glad to see to Neeta Lulla to be enjoying the same 😀

My series on Marathi Fashion brings me to this article and rightly so about the fiery Maratha Queen. What better muse than Kangana Ranaut in मणिकर्णिका essaying the role of a वीरांगना. But that’s not it is it? Manikarnika – the role/character/inspiration behind Rani Laxmi Bai played many significant roles in her lifetime from being a मराठा राजकुमारी (Maratha princess) to a योद्धा (warrior) to a वधू (bride), a राणी (queen), a विधवा (widow) even and then finally, a क्रांतिकारक (revolutionary). Such is the life of a freedom fighter like The Queen of Jhansi. 

In a recent interview the costume designer Neeta Lulla said that she had to go through months of research behind creating looks for each of these phases of Manikarnika’s life. She further described to Mid-day that, “[For the scenes that see her] learn to fight, we used angrakha kurtas in light colours. Later, when we see her as a married woman, we picked sarees in happy and bright shades. We used vegetable dye for them. When she loses her husband, we created a sombre look, and used khadi sarees in muted tones. And, finally, as a queen, we used orange to showcase her authority.”

The shades of the clothing depicted various moods of मणिकर्णिका life – “One look has vintage shades, where we used khadi; one has got very pretty pastels, which is a very romantic look; one is a very fierce, dark dual tone look and the fourth is a pristine, white look…”

The jewellery and styling of the character also changed in a gradual fashion when Rani Laxmi Bai went from being a Maratha Princess to being the Queen of Jhansi. Reference was also made to images of war where she dawned a pearl necklace as a signature piece of jewellery. Neeta, had in fact stitched the leather amour/actors vests herself for all the characters. She even collaborated with Amrapali for creating custom jewellery for the entire film taking cues from various Indian traditions.

Amidst all these larger than life character stages of Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi elements of Marathi Fashion remains constant throughout the film. If you want to get your hands on details regarding the costumes/clothing, jewellery and styling as per महाराष्ट्रीयन परंपरा (Maharashtrian traditions) check –

    1. Marathi Fashion: Saree Galore | मराठीफॅशन: साड्यांचाभंडार
    2. Marathi Fashion: Top Blouse Styles | मराठीफॅशन: टॉपब्लाऊजस्टाईल्स
    3. Marathi Fashion: Men’s style | मराठीफॅशन: मेन्सस्टाईल
    4. Marathi Fashion: Traditional Maharashtrian Jewellery | मराठीफॅशन: पारंपारिकमहाराष्ट्रीयनदागदागिने
    5. Marathi Fashion: Traditional Maharashtrian Jewellery, Next Part | मराठीफॅशन: पारंपारिकमहाराष्ट्रीयनदागदागिने, पुढीलभाग
    6. Marathi Fashion : Five Quintessentials | मराठीफॅशन: पाचमुख्यटिप्स

Inspired by महाराष्ट्रीयन परंपरामणिकर्णिका I’m sharing my recreated look of a simpler Maratha Mulgi –

I’m wearing a नऊवारी (nauvari saree) with matching blouse and accessorised with a चंद्रकोर टिकली (chandrakor tikli), मोगऱ्याचा गजरा (mogra gajara), कुड्या (kudzu earrings), नथनी (nath/nathni), ठुशी (thushi), ढोलकी हार (dholki haar), पुतळी हार (putali haar), पिपिचोडी बांगड्या (pichodi bangels) and पैंजण (painjan).

[su_note]#ProTip Try imitation jewellery and then purchase real jewellery based on your liking.[/su_note]

Every look from the movie can be easily recreated. Be a warrior princess or a prince in your own way!

*Images used for representative purpose, contact for credits.*