When actor Kangana Ranaut asked fashion designer and stylist Gavin Miguel to come on board for a superhero film, he was more than a little sceptical. “Kangana told me it’s a very interesting project and I play a mutant. That’s what really got me interested,” says Miguel.
For someone who picked up all his fashion know-how at his mother’s studio, Miguel has nearly 14 years of designing and styling experience and a reputation of someone who always attempts the impossible. Having designed Priyanka Chopra’s look in Drona and worked on the robots for Shankar’s Rajinikanth-starrer Robot, among others, the demands of Bollywood are not altogether new for Miguel either. Kangana’s offer though, he admits, has turned out to be one of the most challenging projects of his career. For Ranaut’s character Kaya was unlike any other anti-hero seen in a Bollywood film, especially one based on India’s most popular superhero — Krrish 3.
Filmmaker cpet franchise required a look that would blend in with his action-packed saga. So, while the protagonist Krrish (played by Hrithik Roshan) had a custom-designed superhero getup designed by film stylist Anaita Shroff Adajania, Ranaut decided to rope in Miguel for a costume for Kaya.
While any conversation about a female action star generally veers towards references of Catwoman and Lara Croft, Miguel says he consciously steered clear of those stereotypes. “Kangana plays a tough character and has some hardcore action scenes, so I decided to look at Batman for inspiration,” says Miguel. Once his initial sketches were approved, he started researching rubber latex of varying thickness. “She needed the flexibility to do all the action sequences and wire tricks, yet the material had to be tough enough not to tear or split,” he says.
His team sourced the rubber latex from vendors in the UK, the US and Hong Kong and then dyed it as per requirement. Miguel not only managed to persuade the Krrish 3 team that electric blue would be the best colour for the bodysuit (they’d wanted a silver-grey avatar), he also pared down Kaya’s look. While he had initially designed a bodysuit, corset, gloves and various contraptions, he eventually kept it clean and only retained the contraption belt.
On the sets, getting Kangana prepped for scenes was a task. Her body had to be powdered and the body-suit was slipped on like a stocking, taking care to