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Jyoti Madnani Singh reveals how she created a ‘Mumbaiya’ wardrobe for Santosh Sivan’s ‘Mumbaikar’

Costume designer Jyoti Madnani Singh’s costume does justice to the story setting that consists of characters from dark world of Mumbai and common Mumbaikar belonging to various strata of life.

Costume designer Jyoti Madnani Singh’s new film ‘Mumbaikar’ premiered on ‘JioCinema’ on 2nd of June. Mumbaikar boasts of heavy-duty star-cast that includes Vijay Sethupathi, Vikrant Massey, Sanjay Mishra, Sachin Khedekar, Tanya Maniktala and others. Jyoti Madnani Singh aka JMS, has dressed every single one of the characters in the sprawling cast. Jyoti’s costume does justice to the story setting that consists of characters from dark world of Mumbai and common Mumbaikar belonging to various strata of life.

Talking about how she landed up getting the assignment from a Kerala based production house, Jyoti said, “I have designed costumes for several realistic films in past like Rahasya, T for Tajmahal, Chaarfutiya Chhokare, etc, and had just finished shooting for thriller ‘420 IPC’. Makers somehow got a whiff of my work. As Mumbaikar is also a thriller with tinge of drama-action in a realistic scenario, I reckon, I fitted the bill.”

On experience of collaborating with Padma Shri Santosh Sivan, Jyoti said, “Santosh sir in my first interaction had said something that I remember word by word, ‘feel free to pitch your design, you won’t be judged’. He gave me full creative freedom. Luckily the colour palettes created by me were instantly liked by him. He was very clear with his do’s and don’ts and that made my work very easy. I can only say that working with him was a joy ride.”

When asked about inspirations from original film ‘Maanagram’, Jyoti said, “Albeit, I had adapted Hindi script with me I deliberately saw ‘Maanagram’ so that I don’t end up doing anything similar in terms of looks and styling unconsciously.”

Jyoti further elaborated, “The original film has story based in Chennai while Mumbaikar depicts ‘amchi Mumbai’, henceforth looks and designs organically changed. And as the myth about Mumbai’s underworld goes, it became slightly magnanimous like the look of Ranvir Shorey who wears gold tuxedo and gold embellished shoes.”

Jyoti Madnani Singh With Ranvir Shorey _ Pic Courtesy Twitter
Jyoti Madnani Singh with Ranvir Shorey _ pic courtesy twitter

About challenges faced in the project, Jyoti nonchalantly said, “Challenges always push a creative person to bring out their best. At least, this is with me. Mumbaikar was full of challenges. It all started when Vijay Sethupathi wanted his own team of designer and tailor, as he has a certain body type, and he has own reasons not to experiment with designer. But thanks to Santosh Sivan sir, he suggested me to make one look and I was flown to Chennai to do the trials. After the first costume trials, Vijay Sethupathi opened up and we had long chat about costume and his other upcoming works in Bollywood.”

“Another challenge was, a long list of casting in film specially goons, henchmen and people from underworld. I had to make them all look distinct. I made their sub character sketch in my head and designed costumes for them. Further I did costume trial and clicked their photographs keeping them in one frame as per the scene. The idea was that no two characters from the same background end up wearing same colour or style while being in frame.”

Jyoti Madnani Singh With Vijay Sethupathi _ Pic Courtesy Twitter
Jyoti Madnani Singh with Vijay Sethupathi _ pic courtesy twitter

“Another challenge was designing the costume of ‘common man’ inspired from the cartoon of great R K Laxman. In the film the ‘common man’ can be seen doing some random activity in the background while the drama unfolds. The ‘common man’ was not part of the script and one fine day Santosh sir randomly said that he wants ‘common man’ costume as he wants to shoot with him. In such a short span of time, we couldn’t manufacture or source fabric to stitch common man coat that has hand drawn asymmetric squares. So, myself and my team had to slog overnight to hand paint black squares all over the white coat to achieve the look. Another challenge was to make a body harness full of pearls for Tanya Maniktala. It was part of the dream song sequence in between Tanya and Vikrant, unfortunately it didn’t make it to the final cut, or the video may release later separately. I am unaware about it.”

Jyoti signed off saying, “I was lucky to work on Mumbaikar as while working on Mumbaikar Santosh sir introduced me to ‘Mohan Lal sir’ and I bagged his directorial debut ‘Barroz’ that is rumoured to release this year. I had the privilege to work as costumer designer, armour designer and jewellery designer in the project.”

Santosh Sivan's Mumbaikar _ Pic Courtesy Twitter
Santosh Sivan’s Mumbaikar _ pic courtesy twitter
Pic. Sourcejyotimadnani
Editorial Desk
Editorial Desk
The Editorial Desk comprises of content team members including Puja T, S Ghadashi, N N Sethi, who curate news-worthy content from various resources like the production house or their PR agencies, marketing agencies, etc.. Also, curate content from various domestic and international news agencies. The content team can be contacted on editorial-at-glamsham-dot-com and on @glamsham on social media platforms. Kindly visit for more information
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