Category Archives: Period Drama

The Bengal Cotton Sari

Shabana Azmi’s cotton saris in Swami (1977) [X] set in rural Bengal. There is a long history of cotton clothing from Bengal and the woven cloth has distinctive patterns so that even most urban users can recognise a Bengal sari. … Continue reading

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The Tamil Historical Post

The illustrations for Tamil periodicals have a long history and some illustrators are nearly as well known as the writers. A number of serialised stories are historical romances (think Chola empire, Pallavas) and the drawings are fairly vivid in recreating an era, albeit … Continue reading

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The Period Film Post

The Period Film – 1960s Calcutta in Shadows of Time. Sleeveless blouses, updos, pale lipsticks and a focus on the eye makeup. The actresses: Tannishtha Chatterjee and Tillotama Shome. The movie: [X]

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The Historical Drama – Manthiri Kumari

The full Madras cinema treatment (i.e. also not very accurate) for a film adaptation (Manthiri Kumari) of the Tamil Buddhist classic, Kundalakesi. The attire includes a short embellished tunic (with a good degree of frills) and a jewelled belt for the leading lady. And … Continue reading

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The Historical Drama – Chitralekha

A few more posts on modern interpretations of Ancient Indian Costume where the productions depart from fidelity to historical costume, either because the production follows the norms of popular Indian cinema or modern theatre. The full Bollywood treatment (i.e. vaguely accurate) … Continue reading

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The Light of Asia/Prem Sanyas

mudwerks: Seeta Devi, 1925 (by pictosh) You can see an example of the breast band in The Light of Asia/Prem Sanyas. The film is about the life of Gautama Buddha with Seeta Devi playing the Buddha’s wife. There are a number of stills at memsaab’s site, … Continue reading

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Amrapali

Vyjayanthimala in the film on the life of Amrapali, the Licchavi courtesan who converted to Buddhism. Bhanu Athaiya (who also designed for Sahib, Bibi aur Ghulam and later won an Oscar for Gandhi) apparently based the costumes on Buddhist frescoes, though in the frescoes (as in the statues … Continue reading

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