The 2008 Bollywood movie Fashion was a classic Madhur Bhandarkar depiction of the ugly side of the fashion industry.
The storyline revolved around a small town girl, Meghna Mathur played by Priyanka Chopra, who rises to fame as a model. In the second half of the movie the arrogance of fame results in the protagonist’s downfall.
While predictable, what makes the movie worth a watch are the great performances by the actors and first and foremost, the exceptional Bollywood costumes. Being a fashion centric movie the lead actress, Priyanka Chopra, wore a total of 137 outfits throughout the movie! With a sequel in the works, we thought we'd take a look back at some of the memorable outfits from the first movie.
Ranging from a small town girl’s loud outfits to a model’s sophisticated attires and also the exaggerated ramp wear, the movie displays a transition of great Bollywood costumes through the life of Meghna. Rita Dhody and Narendra Kumar have styled the characters in an authentic manner. Apart from Priyanka Chopra, another ace actress who has made her mark in the movie is Kangana Ranaut as Shonali Gujral, a supermodel battling drug abuse, loneliness and the ills associated with fame. The third key cast member in the movie is Mugdha Godse, a real life top model who plays Janet Sequeira, a B-grade model in the movie.
We're going to take a look at the stunning Bollywood costumes of the movie Fashion as worn by the characters above mentioned characters.
Priyanka Chopra’s character Meghna Mathur shows five distinct phases of fashion. She starts out as a small town girl from Chandigarh with a vibrant style, which transitions to that of a model and then a supermodel displaying refined Bollywood costumes and lighter makeup. Meghna takes on an arrogant fervour as she becomes more famous and powerful. This stage of her life is exhibited through dark makeup and outfits. Her look gets a contrasting tone after she realises that she has hit rock bottom and sold off her dignity and values in the quest to reach her goals. The look is more subtle as she becomes callous about her appearance and displays a humble demeanour without makeup before coming back to Mumbai to start life afresh.
Her transitioning characters have been beautifully unfurled through carefully designed costumes in keeping with her changing personas. Designers Gavin Miguel and Rita Dhody have breathed life into the character through their realistic and relatable Bollywood costumes.
Here is a pictorial representation of Meghna’s changing life that directly affects her fashion disposition.
The Small Town Girl
Before The Comeback
Kangana plays the haughty supermodel, Shonali Gujral, who carries herself with lot of attitude. Shonali’s approach towards life is over-confident and reckless. She is also struggling with drug addiction and is unable to handle fame well.
Her Bollywood costumes and makeup convey the arrogance and sensuousness of the character. Kangana’s outfits in the movie’s ramp shows are elaborately embellished to give her the outstanding showstopper look.
Mugdha Godse, who plays a B-grade model in the movie, displays a chic personality through her Bollywood costumes. She also sports a grunge look with low waisted pants and metallic jewellery.
She plays the role of a girl who is comfortable in her skin and prioritises her dignity over maliciousness. She may not have been very successful as a model but she sure knows her way around the fashion fraternity. She familiarises Meghna with the ways of the industry and has her back when things get bad.
Janet’s style reveals a girl who is conscious of trends and knows how to carry herself with grace in any outfit.
Apart from the main characters, the movie also has a host of real life models playing themselves in its ramp shows. These models are Noyonika Chatterjee, Lubna Adams, Sucheta Sharma, Jesse Randhawa and others. “Mar Jaava..” a famous song from the movie, is the background score for an enacted runway fashion show.
Mar Jaava - Fashion (2008) is a fashion feast with scintillating Bollywood costumes.
The portrayal of trendy Bollywood costumes in the movie brings out the personality of the characters. Apart from the aesthetics, the outfits create the image and disclose the situation of the actors. Unlike ramp shows in which the models take a backseat in relation to their outfits, which are front and centre, in the movies, fashion is used to enhance the actor’s screen presence. The Bollywood costumes speak on behalf of the actors even before they start uttering their dialogues. In other words, fashion in film is fashion with personality.
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