NEW DELHI: History beckons him like the proverbial magnet, epics capture his creative heart and the ephemeral world of celluloid leaves him totally spellbound. J.J. Valaya, couturier, costumer, design addict and history lover, who also happens to be ‘hooked on to the reel world and its enigmatic imagery’, had a dream fulfilled when Oscar-winning costumer Ruth E Carter reached out to collaborate with him for her Amazon Original movie, Coming 2 America.
Noted designer J.J. Valaya.Left to right: Lisa McDowell (Shari Headley), Semmi (Arsenio Hall) and Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) in ‘Coming 2 America’.Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and Lisa McDowell (Shari Headley) in the film.Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and Lisa McDowell (Shari Headley) in ‘Coming 2 America’.
A promising sequel to the blockbuster that had the world in raptures way back in 1988, when JJ was probably a teenager, the movie keeps the epic appeal and approaches the sets, design and costume with a certain grandiosity. Adding magic to it is our very own JJ, born to an army general, brought up in various cantonment towns of India and possibly raised in a culture where cinema and clubs were the only way to be in these distant towns and cities. No wonder then, his design journey is much influenced by epics that were shown as a staple to children raised with the army. Add to that JJ’s own passion for history, his love for opulence and his connection with royal and nomadic influences, and he possibly becomes the finest choice Ruth made from the circles of Indian couturiers. Full marks for that.
All set for its global premiere on Amazon Prime Video on March 5, 2021, Coming 2 America, like the original movie, will once again put the Afro-American world on the map of glitz and glamour. This sequel will also remain rooted in fashion. Ruth, known for her hand in cinema of grandiose proportions, has found a match to her sense of history in design. A costume designer with a Hollywood Walk of Fame star to her credentials, Ruth reached out to Valaya after seeing his body of work, instinctively finding a fit. Valaya calls it a stroke of the universe conspiring to make it possible to work on a film that he had been hooked on to in the 1980s.
A self-certified royal nomad at heart, Valaya’s intoxicating quest to bring to the forefront a diverse range of cultures globally through his work further sealed the deal and got him on board for this project.
Designing amidst a raging pandemic turned into quite a challenge but Valaya and Ruth mastered a virtual exchange of ideas. Valaya put together a set of 18 outfits for celebrated actors such as Eddie Murphy, Shari Headley and Arsenio Hall, to name a few. The initial designs, created by Carter, were subsequently interpreted by Valaya using his signature trademark prints and embroideries, coming out like a perfect symphony.
With a significant variation from his previous works, which involved seeking inspiration from a profuse number of empires and legacies around the world, Valaya believes that designing for a film is distinct in comparison to a collection as “the styles and silhouettes for a movie revolve around a storyline and the director’s vision, followed then by the DNA of the character in the film…all of which has to eventually translate into a visual drama”.
Valaya says, “The costumes, ranging from gowns and capes to various items of menswear, have been created with strong undertones of African society and are replete with bold colors, textures, patterns and interesting silhouette and the much-celebrated intricate Valaya embroideries…all of which have been used to bring alive this period drama.”
Valaya feels that understanding the plot, setting and the characters is a prerequisite to design, a process which was made exceedingly easy and transparent due to the constant support and inputs he received from Ms Carter. Noting a parallel with the theatrical production that a typical Indian wedding is, Valaya is a strong believer that the African society is quite similar to ours in terms of splendour and therefore, it was simpler to understand the scale that this project required.
The Daily Guardian is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@thedailyguardian) and stay updated with the latest headlines.
For the latest news Download The Daily Guardian App.
SIDDHANT BRINGS A LUXURIOUS HARLEY DAVIDSON HOME
MUMBAI: Actor Siddhant Chaturvedi recently brought home a luxurious Harley Davidson Sportster S, making him the first person in India to have the bike.
The ‘Gehraiyaan’ actor took to his social media to share the news of the same with his fans and followers. The actor, who rose to fame with MC Sher from Gully Boy, has certainly come a long way in the matter of just 3 years, which is a rather remarkable feat.
On the work front, Siddhant is currently gearing up for Shakun Batra’s next ‘Gehraiyaan’. He also has ‘Phone Booth’, ‘Yudhra’ and ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ in the pipeline.
SONAL CHAUHAN TO PLAY LEAD IN AKKINENI NAGARJUNA’S THE GHOST
MUMBAI: Akkineni Nagarjuna’s ‘The Ghost’ is a much-anticipated film ever since its announcement. Earlier it was said that the Bollywood star, Jacqueline Fernandez was cast for the film however, the word on the block is that the talented Sonal Chauhan will be playing the lead opposite Nagarjuna instead of Jacqueline.
That’s right, Sonal Chauhan fans are in for a treat as they get to see their favourite actress on the silver screen. A source close to the film said “Makers felt Sonal Chauhan was the best fit for the lead role opposite Nagarjuna in ‘The Ghost’. They felt both the actors Sonal and Nagarjuna would make for a fine on-screen pair and that’s when they approached her. The two are definitely going to portray some great chemistry in the film.”
SALMAN TO FEATURE IN GURU RANDHAWA’S NEW SONG
MUMBAI: Superstar Salman Khan will be seen flaunting his acting skills in singer Guru Randhawa’s new song ‘Main Chala’.
Female vocals of the track have been lent by Lulia Vantur, and the female artist who will be featuring alongside Salman is Pragya Jaiswal. On Tuesday, Guru Randhawa took to Instagram and shared the update with his fans.
“Love will be in air with #MainChala! Song releasing on 22nd January. Stay Tuned,” he wrote.
He tagged Salman Khan and Pragya in the comments. Produced by Salma Khan, the romantic track will be out on January 22.
ARJUN MATHUR TO ADARSH GOURAV: HERE’S LOOKING AT THE TOP THREE OTT NEWSMAKERS
MUMBAI: The past few years have been a revelation for Indian cinema with the influx of OTT content. From handling an out-of-box idea to bringing forth a crucial issue in the limelight – our actors are going all out with their digital ventures!
While we saw some of the finest performances on the streaming platforms last year, there are a few names that define the space with their path-breaking performances, unconventional takes, and impeccable cinema sense. So, here’s rounding up the top four OTT newsmakers.
ARJUN MATHUR: You cannot have a list of the ground-breaking stars without Arjun Mathur. The international Emmy Award-nominated actor has pushed the boundaries with his non-conformist choices, like playing a gay wedding planner in Made In Heaven or shooting a show in a lockdown with The Gone Game. Now, he has Made In Heaven S2, Gone Game 2, Lord Curzon Ki Haveli, and Lionsgate Play’s next series.
PRATIK GANDHI: Pratik Gandhi became a household name with his blockbuster series, Scam 1992. The actor earned massive acclaim for his apt and flamboyant performance of Harshad Mehta. Later, he stunned the audience with his brave selections – Bhavai and Shimmy. Coming up next for the actor are Atithi Bhooto Bhava, Woh Ladki Hai Kahaan?, and Six Suspects.
ADARSH GOURAV: With his solid performance in The White Tiger, Adarsh Gourav has made it into everyone’s watchlist. The new-age actor bagged the BAFTA nomination for his performance and is all set to step into Hollywood with his next venture, Extrapolations, starring Meryl Streep.
PANDIT BIRJU MAHARAJ WAS MY GURU BUT ALSO MY FRIEND: MADHURI
NEW DELHI: Behind every successful person, there are unfailing efforts of teachers. Kathak legend Pandit Birju Maharaj played the role of that guru in actor Madhuri Dixit Nene’s life.
After learning about the demise of Pandit Birju Maharaj, Madhuri, on Monday, took to Twitter and opened up about her relationship with him. “He was a legend but had a child like innocence. He was my guru but also my friend. He taught me the intricacies of dance and Abhinay but never failed to make me laugh at his funny anecdotes,” she wrote.
“He has left behind grieving fans and students but also left a legacy we will all carry forward. Thank you Maharajji for everything you taught me in dance along with humility, elegance and grace. Koti koti pranam,” she added.
Alongside the note, Madhuri posted a throwback picture of her doing mukhdas with Pandit Birju Maharaj. For the unversed, Pandit Birju Maharaj, who breathed his last on Monday, had worked with Madhuri in films like ‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai’, ‘Devdas’ and ‘Dedh Ishqiya’.
Bollywood in awe of Pushpa & Allu Arjun
Mumbai: Pushpa star Allu Arjun, the talk of the town, has absolutely impressed
his fans,audiences, actors in the South and also many bigwigs in Bollywood. The
stylish star with his emphatic performance has won the hearts of many in the Hindi
speaking regions. Now, Bollywood is all praise for Pushpa Raj aka Allu Arjun and
the movie, reiterate what the stylish star has said in the film, ‘Pushpa is not flower,
it is fire’. Completely entranced by Allu Arjun’s splendid work in “Pushpa”,
and also as the Hindi version in the North belt alone grossed Rs 100 crore
in box office collections in 25 days of its run, actors and big producers
in Bollywood have taken notice, and are now speaking about the
stylish star’s ability to charm viewers.
At a time when Allu Arjun has amassed a big fan following in
Hindi-speaking regions, there are reports of Bollywood producers lining up to cast him in their next Hindi films. Also, many
Hindi actors are showing interest to act in his upcoming pan-India movies. It is also reportedly said that producers are looking
to get Hindi dubbing or remake rights of the icon star’s upcoming films as they feel he will dominate the cinema space now.
The passion Allu Arjun put into his Pushpa Raj character is
so evident that people are just captivated by him.
Opinion1 year ago
South Block’s mistakes will now be corrected by Army
Sports2 years ago
When a bodybuilder breaks Shoaib’s record
News2 years ago
PM Modi must take governance back from babus
Spiritually Speaking1 year ago
Spiritual beings having a human experience
News2 years ago
Chinese general ordered attack on Indian troops: US intel report
Legally Speaking2 years ago
Law relating to grant, rejection and cancellation of bail
Sports2 years ago
West Indies avoid follow-on, England increase lead to 219
Royally Speaking1 year ago
The young royal dedicated to the heritage of Jaipur