How Pawan Kalyanchampioned the cause of the weavers as the pachekattu-clad Katamarayudu has been the talk of T-town this Ugadi since his political rival, Telangana's Textiles Minister KTR, applauded the actor recently. "Watched @PawanKalyan Katamarayudu. You have a sure winner Kalyan & @sharrath_marar Appreciate the subtle but strong promotion of Handlooms (sic)," posted KTR.
Turns out, it was the Power Star's idea to go completely 'swadeshi' when it comes to his styling for the film. "From day 1, Kalyan sir insisted on sticking to handmade, handloom garments for his look. It took us two months to lock in on the final look. After trying out four stylists, we zeroed in on Ishita Singh, who used very raw fabrics sourced from handloom weavers across the country," says Shalini Nambu, costume designer for the film.
Apparently, the costume team got sketches of PK done in a range of looks and got the same vetted by him. "The best part is, Kalyan sir knows what exactly he wants. For instance, he was very keen on wearing only handmade footwear from the beginning. This went on to become part of his signature look, along with his rudrakshamala, Lord Narasimha ring, black thread on his kada, green gamcha, and his used Hamilton watch," adds Shalini.
There's an interesting story behind the signature ring and the watch that PK sports in the film. "PK garu wanted a chunky gold ring with the lion face of Lord Narasimha on it to symbolise the power of his character. His mannerisms included a lot of aggressive hand movements, so he felt the ring would add to the effect. But the catch was we wanted the ring in two days flat. Every goldsmith we approached said it will take at least a week. Thankfully, we found a goldsmith from Krishnanagar, who was a huge Power Star fan. He agreed to deliver the ring in one day, provided we get him a picture with Pawan. We had the ring in a day, and he had his selfie," recalls Shalini, adding that PK hasn't taken off the ring ever since.
Talking of the vintage watch, which has become a huge style statement, Shalini says, "Kalyan sir wanted an authentic HMT watch — one that would look like his something the character's father would have gifted him. He had the exact details in mind — it had to have a big white dial, silver rim and a black strap. This was a style common in some of the early editions of HMT Janata watches — something you rarely find these days. Thankfully, our AD Srikanth managed to source a similar one from an old watchmaker his uncle knew. It had a silver dial though, and we had to run around on a Sunday evening looking for someone who could give us a black strap for it. When Kalyan sir saw the watch, he loved it!"