Re-creating Amer at IIJW Mumbai 2013

After successfully implementing a rare yet powerful replication of a train and a railway station on the ramp at IIJW New Delhi, it was the time to decide what is to be done now, when Birdhichand finally confirmed its participation for IIJW, Mumbai. Once the concept was decided and sealed that its going to be “Reflection of undying charm of Rajasthan in Indian Cinema” on the ramp, it was then left to explore the possibility of bringing some thing alive on the ramp that gels and substitute perfectly with the concept. This was basically an extended launch of new collection Amér  at Mumbai, a collection which is Inspired by the magnificent architecture of the Amer fort of Jaipur and other forts & palaces of Rajasthan. Hence it was decided to bring alive the magnanimous fort of Amer on the ramp with the life-sized  Ganesh Pole in the center, along with the beautiful arches and walls on both the sides.

Actual image of Ganesh Pole Gate at Amer Fort

Actual image of Ganesh Pole Gate at Amer Fort

Once the decision to go ahead with the life size set of Amer at IIJW ramp was taken, it was then time to consider the challenges and major issues related to building up of this set is concerned. The first and foremost was the time in hand. Building such a massive set from the scratch in just 15 days was next to impossible and that too in Mumbai which experienced unprecedented rains this year. Another challenge was the need of a large  space to fabricate this set. But the foremost requirement was the team who understands the true design and architecture of Rajasthan.

It was finally decided to align a core team from Jaipur only as they realise the importance and significance of this set and finally how authentic it should look on the ramp. After two rounds of meeting with the production team of IIJW, the actual dimensions and parameters were provided to us to proceed with the fabrication of final set. A team of 13 persons was put into action whose task was to build up this set and that too within the time frame.

A frame was made for the main gate of Ganesh Pole

A frame was made for the main gate of Ganesh Pole

Once the frame was made the next challenge was to make the outer body. The weight of this structure cannot be much as it was to hang on the existing indoor structure of IIJW at Grand Hyatt. Hence decision was taken to use ply boards instead of wooden boards.

Outer structure of main gate

Outer structure of main gate

Once the main gate structure was finalised, the next important task was regarding the look and feel of the gate which resembles the original. As the rains were continuing, it was not possible to paint the gate as per original design. Hence the decision to use synthetic vinyl was taken. Pictures were clicked of the actual Ganesh Pole in Jaipur and mailed to Mumbai for printing over there.

Prints on the Vinyl

Prints on the Vinyl

After successfully planning and implementing the front and center, the next most important part was fabricating and installing the sides. The design on ply-boards were made and were painted in the actual colours of the wall of Amer fort.

Side walls painted in actual colours of Amer Fort

Side walls painted in actual colours of Amer Fort

To give the actual and real look, the windows were made of thermocol so that there is minimum weight and they can be pasted with the glue properly on the ply-board. Small LED light strip was put inside to give that subdued light effect.

Windows made of thermocol

Windows made of thermocol

Once the entire side walls and windows were successfully made and painted, it was then time to give it an old, aged and rustic look so that it looks as authentic as possible.

Old rustic look given to side walls

Old rustic look given to side walls

Finally once the set was made, the real challenge was to install it successfully in 35 mins during the break between one slot to another. To make it easier, the side walls were installed at night prior to the show and covered with black cloth. The center and front was brought in 12 panels and assembled right there before the show. The lights were installed and digitally controlled. This is what it finally looked like just before the show

Final look of front and sides

Final look of front and sides

The side walls of the set

The side walls of the set

and the final look of the set from where the models and showstoppers walked

Final look of the Front

Final look of the Front

It was actually an overwhelming experience to see the real life set of Rajasthan so successfully created and showcased and that too in Mumbai. Birdhichand brings the country together culturally, yet again.

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