The Multitalented Diva

‘Ramayan’ producer wants Seeta Swayamvar to be iconic – TOI article


Ask a woman about the day she will not allow another woman to outshine her, and in all probability, it would be her wedding day. Very evidently, it isn’t just the woman of today who wishes to look radiant and resplendent in her bridal finery. Centuries ago, it is well-documented that even princess Sita ensured that her beauty was unparalleled on the day that her father King Janaka announced her Swayamwar.

Ramayan is all set to showcase the iconic Sita Swayamwar sequence on Sunday, 23rd September. Naturally, to recreate the divine aura of Indian mythology’s most unforgettable bride Sita and to ensure that her leading lady Neha Sargam looks absolutely stunning, producer Meenakshi Sagar has decided to leave no stone unturned. She has roped in renowned fashion designer Archana Kochhar to specially create an authentic, traditional outfit for Sita’s Swayamwar that will be remembered on television for years to come.

While most television shows have their own in-house stylists who put together costumes for all the artistes, enlisting the expertise of a prominent fashion designer is still very unusual for Indian television as it entails higher budgets.

Speaking of her decision, Meenakshi said, “Sita’s Swayamwar is a landmark event in the story of Ramayan. It marks the union of Lord Ram and Sita. At the Swayamwar, Sita’s father king Janaka had announced a contest whereby the strongest prince, who would be able to wield the immensely heavy bow of Shiva and string it successfully, would get her hand in marriage. In order to embody the much sought-after, beautiful princess, I wanted Sita’s look to be glorious and memorable. And who better than Archana Kochhar to create the look? Archana luxuriously draws inspiration from ancient Indian regalia even for her contemporary bridal collections and all that stems from immense research. I know I can blindly follow her sensibilities and so I brought her on board for such an important look. I’m thrilled with the results!”

Designer Archana Kochhar said, “I am grateful to my friend Meenakshi for having given me the opportunity to re-create one of the most iconic bridal looks of Indian mythology. I have adhered to her brief of keeping Sita’s look as close as possible to the original classic. We have chosen a rich hue of red for the lehenga-choli and blended it with pink undertones. The intricate embroidery and the jewelry to go with the ensemble has been kept purely traditional for retaining the element of authenticity. My attempt, as a contemporary designer, has been to make the ornate outfit extremely comfortable for the actor to wear. Layers and layers of textured fabric, embedded with jewels have a way of making the dress exceedingly heavy. Smart choices of lighter crystals and substitution of materials have been made such that the look isn’t compromised, yet the artiste can move comfortably and perform. I think Neha’s looking gorgeous and I hope the audience loves our creation!”

Actor Neha Sargam, who has just made her first appearance as Sita on Ramayan, is as excited about her Swayamwar look. She said, “I am extremely fortunate that the creative team and particularly Meenakshi ji have gone the extra mile to ensure that I look divine as Sita at the Swayamwar. The creation by Archana Kochhar looks like a dream and is light and easy to wear. I honestly didn’t feel like getting out of it when I put it on at the trial itself. I look forward to shooting the Swayamwar sequence.”


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