Mumbai: Ace designer Anju Modi was earlier doubtful about designing for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus "Bajirao Mastani" due to its grandeur, but eventually took up the challenge.
Anju earlier collabroated with Bhansali on his 2013 love saga "Ram Leela" and earned laudits for her work, especially Deepika Padukone's outfits.
The designer said the filmmaker had confidence in her skills and offered her "Bajirao Mastani" while they were working on "Ram Leela".
"I was doing 'Ram Leela' when Sanjay Leela Bhansali offered me to do his next film 'Bajirao Mastani'. He had confidence in me as there is good synergy between us. I was contemplating whether to do the film or not," Anju told PTI.
"It (doing 'Bajirao Mastani') was going to be a tough task as it would take lot of time, energy and lot of hard work is required. But I decided to take up the challenge. The project is huge that required lot of hard work," she said.
Anju got emotional when she first heard the script of 'Bajirao Mastani'. "We all were there at the script reading session... I was in tears... The story touched me emotionally. The film had a huge impact on me. I had to understand all the three characters then work accordingly on the looks," she added.
To get the nuances right, the designer had to do lot of research for all the three main characters Bajirao played by Ranveer Singh, Mastani essayed by Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra as Kashibai, first wife of Bajirao.
"I went to Pune, Nashik to understand the culture of Maharashtra. I had to start going to villages, meet people. I had to travel in the past, transport myself to 17th, 18th century."
Anju said while she got 'Navhari' sarees for Priyanka, shararas, anarkalis were designed for Deepika.
"Priyanka Chopra plays Bajirao's wife and her look had to be Indian. We got her 'Navhari' sarees and blouses, shawls.
"Deepika plays Mastani, a Muslim character. So we had sharara, anarkali, long kurti, gharara. While for Ranveer ..He is Peshwa Bajirao so the look had to be royal. He was given kurta, turban, dhoti, long jackets," the designer added.
Designing for all the three characters was a herculean task for Anju. "It is difficult to single out any one of them because all three of them posed their own set of unique challenges. They all are looking best in different attire," she said.
"The costumes had to reflect the nuances of the characters being portrayed, but also represent the grandiose of that period in our history," she added. Bhansali is known to be temperamental and is also a task master but Anju does not think so and feels he is a director, who does not compromise on art.
"He is a very detail-oriented person. He is methodical and has clarity on the way he wants the characters to be portrayed. He is not temperamental. He is loyal to his work and would not compromise on art," Anju said. The film will hit the screens on December 18.