"I met Mary Kom in January. Since the film is on her, I needed to know what she wore as a child, as a teenager, during her early 20s and later. Mary had left boxing for sometime when she had got married; I had to know how she dressed during this period," says Tangri.
The designer says that integral to the research was his trip to Manipur. He travelled to Imphal, Kangathei and other interior rural areas of the Churachandpur district to document the local culture, people and their daily life. "There are so many tribes in Manipur and each tribe has its own symbol and colour palette in which they dress. Kom belongs to a tribe whose descendents came from Thailand," he says. In Manipur, she used to help her parents on the jhum (local crop) fields. "She mostly wore a traditional phanek — a wrap-around skirt with a shirt or a top," he says.
The designer aims to recreate the look of the past. "Sanjay (Leela Bhansali) wants to make the film as close to reality as possible," says Tangri who feels Priyanka Chopra (as Mary Kom) can carry off any role with ease.
Being a sportswoman, the five-time World Box ing Champion, prefers comfort over fashion. "She has very simple tastes. Though, now because of all the media attention, she is glamming up a little bit.
Many designers want to work with her because she can really carry off so many styles with her athletic structure. I hope she gives me a chance in the future," says Tangri.