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Influence of Bollywood Cinema on Fashion
Influence of Bollywood Cinema on Fashion
31 st Jul 2013

Bollywood is one of the most commonly used terms when referring to Indian cinema, and now Indian fashion. It is a term that was coined to incorporate Bombay and Hollywood, and since then although Bombay has changed its name to Mumbai, the term Bollywood remains. Fashion and Bollywood cinema has always been related, with outfits worn by Bollywood actors and actresses given as examples to tailors in India to reproduce. The industry over time has reproduced outfits in bulk with film character names such as Anarkali, Jodha Akbar and Masakali. Recently, however, there has been less obvious influence of Bollywood cinema on fashion.

In the 1960 period drama Mughal-e-Azam, Madhubala performed as Anarkali and wore long kurtas and churidars which five decades later created the famous Anarkali kameez as a popular trend. In 1994 Madhuri Dixit in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun wore a green embroidered choli, white lehenga and purple embroidered saree that also became very popular with audiences. Furthermore the suits and the sari in Bunty Aur Babli worn by Rani Mukherji were recaptured over and over again in films such as Main Hoon Naa, Chandni and Dostana.

However, Indian fashion trends created by the film industry are now less common because Bollywood stars onscreen and off-screen are wearing items of clothing that follow the current fashion trends as supposed to extravagant costumes. This is to ensure that they are not recognised for making a fashion mistake or openly criticised. Moreover, as famous costume designer Payal Saluja (who has worked on Maqbool, Saat Khoon Maff, Ishqiya and Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola) says, the fashion in Bollywood has changed because of realistic filmmaking. Increasingly, the audience can relate to the narratives and characters so the costumes and clothes have to adapt to this change. As Saluja summarises, the costumes can never be stronger than the character otherwise the viewer will only remember the clothes and will not become involved in the story.

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