Designer wants Big B to ‘Don’ jacket

By Radhika Bhirani, IANS
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NEW DELHI - Ever since designer Nida Mahmood heard that Amitabh Bachchan was fascinated by her handpainted ‘Gabbar’ jacket, she has been itching to make the Bollywood mega star wear the ‘Don’ jacket.

Her quirky jacket, with actor Amjad Khan’s famous Gabbar avatar painted on the back and adorned with famous dialogues from the blockbuster “Sholay”, was being flaunted by restaurateur A.D. Singh at an event when it caught the eye of Amitabh - Bollywood’s origina “Don”.

Nida wants to customise the ‘Don’ jacket for the actor.

“I felt fantastic when I heard that Bachchan really liked the Gabbar jacket. I had made the jacket for A.D. Singh and he told me that Bachchan fell in love with it and went gaga over it. I would love to do a ‘Don’ jacket for him and gift it. The character is iconic,” Mahmood told IANS.

The beige jacket has the word ‘Don’ painted across the shoulder blade, with the famous dialogue - “Don ka intezaar toh 11 mulkon ki police ko bhi hai, lekin Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hai” - painted in Hindi. It also has two kitschy images of Don running, with an orange lotus in the background.

The jacket belongs to the designer’s Bioscope collection, which draws inspiration from Bollywood. It has a heady dose of the once-popular poster art.

Mahmood took cues from movie posters of the 1970s and 80s, and roped in poster artists to handpaint the kitschy designs.

The young Delhi-based designer says it was a task hunting for the artists and getting them to pick up the paintbrush once more.

“These artists were out of practice when I met them. Earlier, they used to pass on the art to the next generations, but now no one wants to learn it because there is no market for it. But it feels great to reinvent the art form through the collection,” she said.

It takes about a week to make a jacket. Mahmood says Bollywood-inspired merchandise usually proves to be a huge hit overseas.

“There is a lot of NRI population that is nostalgic about Bollywood, especially for the 70s and 80s. For them, these kitschy clothes and accessories are very special. Besides, I also have German clients and some in Tokyo who like these works.

“What’s important is that for many people abroad, Bollywood is very dream like, it’s not realistic. The rosy cheeks and fiery eyes that we saw in old movie posters are what they love about it,” said Mahmood, who claims to have catered to “orders and re-orders” for the Bollywood-inspired collection.

Recently, London’s popular Victoria and Albert Museum too expressed a keen interest in showcasing her design for an exhibition to be held next year.

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