Fashion : How Baahubali aced the dreamy attire of Mahishmati women

There is something about period films that movie buffs relish. Extravagance, grandeur and the subtle hint of fantasy. That such films can teleport you to a bygone era in a span of around two to three hours is simply thrilling. But in order for that experience to be complete, the appearance of every character matters, with the focal point being their costumes.

You have often seen such magnificent representation of characters in Sanjay Leela Bhansali films. But down South, SS Rajamouli is no less. His mega-blockbuster Baahubali: The Beginning (2015), starring Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Ramya Krishnan and Tamannaah in pivotal roles, was premium-level grand. From sets to attire and of course, the plot twist, Baahubali is revered by film fanatics all across.

As Baahubali completes five years of release on July 10, we revisit the gatha behind the regal costumes of the characters in our Fashion Friday section this week.

Costumes for the characters were designed by Rama Rajamouli and Prashanti Tipirneni.

Take a look:

Tamannaah as Avanthika

Tamannaah in a still from Baahubali.

Straight out of a fairytale is the phrase that is apt for Tamannaah’s Avanthika in Baahubali. She was the epitome of elegance with her angelic costumes. The designer focused on light colours for Avanthika’s attire, made of silks and satins.

In a particular scene in Baahubali, Avanthika emerges in a sequined gold spaghetti blouse paired with a subdued white skirt of sorts. She completed her attire in almost every scene with minimal jewellery. Earrings, necklace and bangles – all in matte gold. The kamarbandh played an important role as it amped up her otherwise plain skirt.

Subtle make-up was used to accentuate her features. Mostly a dewy face, light kohl and nude lips. The bindi did all the talking.

Tamannaah in a still from Baahubali.

In the song Panchhi Bole (Pacha Bottasi in Telugu), Avanthika made an appearance in a dreamy, mustard yellow strapless blouse paired with a maroon skirt. Her jewellery was quite different here. The necklace, earrings, armlets, maang-teeka and kamarbandh were made of flowers. So pretty!

Ramya Krishnan as Sivagami

Ramya Krishnan in a still from Baahubali.

Sivagami, the ruler of Mahishmathi, was stern and uncompromising, and her attire spoke volumes about her character. Sivagami’s silk and handloom sarees were in dark shades with thick zari borders. Blouses were often printed with motifs or of a different material. Mostly checks. More or less basic.

Ramya Krishnan in a still from Baahubali.

She wore matte gold jewellery – earrings, neckpieces and bangles. Nosepin was essential as it highlighted the sharpness of her stature. In certain scenes, she also wore a septum ring.

The big red bindi and sindoor were the highlight of her make-up as it signified her bold and beautiful avatar in the film. Kohl-lined eyes and nude lipstick was basic.

Anushka Shetty as Devasena

Anushka Shetty in a still from Baahubali.

Anushka only ever appears as a prisoner in Baahubali: The Beginning. She is wrapped in a soiled saree that once was white but now is stained with the years of torture she’s had to endure. Her hair is grey and unkept, and is left open to lend her that fierce presence. Her make-up specifically added wrinkles to her face to keep with the age she’s portraying. An almost chalky nude lipstick added to that weathered look.

However, we know you will not be able to stop at just the first part. While we’re introduced to a younger Devasena in the end credits of Baahubali: The Beginning, it is Baahubali: The Conclusion that shows us Devasena in her full glory.

Anushka Shetty’s Devasena was all about grace and beauty. She opted for sarees in bright colours – magenta, orange and every other striking shade that you can think of. Her blouses were in contrasting, royal shades. With a magenta saree, for example, Devasena wore a peacock-blue blouse. Green saree combined with a lovely red blouse. Most of her sarees featured gold motifs and a thick matte gold zari border.

Anushka Shetty in a still from Baahubali.

Jewellery for Devasena was heavy-duty. Bangles, bracelets, kamarbandh, long earrings, multiple necklaces as well as maang-teeka and nathni. In several scenes, she also wore a tiara. Because Baahubali is a period film, her jewellery was also distinctive, archaic designs. Irrespective, Anushka stunned in every sequence as she exuded radiance.

Make-up was not over the top at all. Thick kohl-lined eyes, dewy base and nude lipstick.

Every piece of jewellery that the Baahubali women wore is indeed beautiful. Reports suggest that some of the necklaces and earrings are actually made of silver and were coated with a paint of gold. Pearls were used, set in gold, but stones were avoided in order to keep the theme in tandem with the era.

Prabhas as Baahubali and Rana Daggubati as Bhallaladeva

Prabhas and Rana Daggubati in a still from Baahubali.

Finally, to the men – Rajamouli’s knights in shining armour. Bright kurtas paired with dhotis, and matte gold necklaces and baalis are what the men wore in Baahubali. As for the action sequences, Prabhas and Rana’s costumes were reportedly made of leather and painted with metallic colours to represent the real deal.

Baahubali, also starring Sathyaraj and Nassar, released in two parts. Baahubali: The Beginning released on July 10, 2015, and the second part, Baahubali: The Conclusion, released on April 28, 2017.