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Asian Paints builds a visual narrative for Netflix’s The Archies

  • Ideas & Inspiration
Dec 06, 2023
Classic blue house design – Beautiful Homes

In Zoya Akhtar’s movie adaptation of the iconic comic, explore the recreated world of Riverdale that’s been decorated with fabrics from Asian Paints

It’s been decades since 1941 when Archie Andrews first burst onto pop culture on his trusty red jalopy. Ever since, ol’ Carrot Top and his Riverdale buddies have become deeply, completely universalised. So, Archie and gang finding an Indian incarnation is about as surprising as Jughead inhaling a juicy burger—or 10—in one sitting. The only surprise is that no one thought about it before. Until Zoya Akhtar bit the bullet. 

The celebrated filmmaker’s Netflix movie, The Archies, has been creating a buzz for over a year now. In fact, that was around the time that Asian Paints too ventured into the world of Riverdale; it was in 2022, that Akhtar’s production house, Tiger Baby Films, approached the brand for an interesting partnership.  The idea was for Asian Paints and Beautiful Homes to be the main collaborator on fabrics used on the sets. The selection was from the brand’s headlining collections—Ador, Pure Royale, The Pure Concept for Nilaya and Sabyasachi for Nilaya.

 

Akhtar wanted to get the right look as she desi-fied, in her urbane style, a well-loved slice of pop-culture history. As is evident from the set designs, a well-thought-out curation of Asian Paints fabrics has certainly delivered.

Retro seating area design – Beautiful Homes

Merwanji opted for warm earthy tones and subtle ornate hints for the spaces within the Lodge home.

Dive into the Retro Luxe World of Archies with Asian Paints Fabric Collections. Carefully curated in collaboration with Tiger Baby Films, the world of Riverdale with its toned down opulence and quiet palette, is definitely an aesthetic to get lost in.

 

The Mise-e-Scène

As with any well-conceived production, the things that help propel the narrative pivot around location and look. Tiger Baby Films prowled around the country and found their location—Ooty. And Asian Paints provided the myriad fabrics to texture the look that production designer Suzanne Caplan Merwanji had in mind. “Once you have the location, it’s easier to start working with the look,” she says. For the movie, in order to drive the story forward, she settled on a retro-luxe look. “We wanted it to be quite decorative” but without the backdrop overwhelming the characters. “The narrative and characters are the most important, so I worked out a quiet palette.”

 

Retro hall design – Beautiful Homes

The fabrics in Veronica’s room were used across curtains, upholstery and other assorted soft furnishings.

The production design team found what they wanted in Asian Paints fabric collections to build a visual vocabulary that was toned-down opulence. This held true for all sets, including the mansion of the richer-than-the-gods Lodges. Fabrics that made the cut were from The Pure Concept for Nilaya, Pure Royale, Sabyasachi for Nilaya and Ador. The soft furnishings were used across the board, from curtains to upholstery, blending seamlessly into Merwanji’s canvas of hues. “The [colours] are very soft on the eyes. Nothing jumps off. Everything fits together.”

Dressing Up the Lodges’

The Lodge mansion, for example, features a multitude of fabrics in neutrals to underscore the muted nostalgic elegance. The foyer and ballroom, for example, have selections from Sabyasachi for Nilaya’s Soofah and Makhmal collections. While the former is all about neutrals, Makhmal fabrics add a lavish touch with velvets that pair with jacquards and silks. Then there is Hazaribagh Velvet which dials up the grandeur with intricate patterns. 

Veronica’s bedroom is, of course, the prettiest set of all, as is fitting for an heiress. It has been decked out in Pure Royale’s floral motifs and paisley prints, and solid shades, and Ador’s complement of muted colours and rich tones. The other sets, too, are eye-catching and showcase a pleasing mix of light hues and warmer colours, all in the service of Merwanji’s big-picture vision. Clearly, the contemporary colours and the subtle modern India aesthetic that these fabrics possess were just right for this particular version of Archie’s familiar stomping grounds.

 

There isn’t a generation in any part of the planet that has stayed immune (or ignorant) to the all-American teendom that Riverdale showed us. This movie, with its ode to Archie and his gang against beautifully layered backdrops, promises to renew fervour and interest into a comic icon. 

Retro bedroom design – Beautiful Homes

Veronica Lodge’s bedroom uses fabrics from Pure Royale’s Origins 8 and Bakshi ranges, and Ador’s Esplanade.

For a comprehensive look at the Asian Paints furnishing collection, visit https://www.asianpaints.com/furnishing.html

Retro wall painting – Beautiful Homes
Production designer Suzanne Merwanji wanted to create a retro-luxe look that didn’t overwhelm the characters but carried the story forward.
Classic blue house design – Beautiful Homes
The Tiger Baby production team scouted several hill stations before finding all the spaces they needed, including the perfect bungalow for the Lodge Mansion, in Ooty.
Retro furnishing designs – Beautiful Homes
The retro look continues through other spaces meant to showcase Riverdale, with Pure Royale and Sabyasachi for Nilaya fabrics as soft furnishings.
Retro decorative corner – Beautiful Homes
The neutral-coloured fabrics balance the dark blue wall of a decorative corner of one of the sets.
Simple chair design – Beautiful Homes
A toned-down set-up that emphasizes the element of nostalgia.
Floral wall design – Beautiful Homes
Asian Paints fabrics lend themselves as decorative elements for the set design.

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