The glamorous world of Bollywood is known not only for its acting but also its impeccable fashion sense. Always in the media glare, it’s no surprise that celebs are always on their toes, up to their noses on the latest trends while trying their best to not be the next fashion faux pas.
And then there are some celebrities who carve out their own identity and style regardless of what’s hot and what’s not, enter Kareena Kapoor Khan, daughter of Randhir Kapoor and wife of Saif Ali Khan, who needs no lineage to gain acceptance into the innermost style circle.
A self-professed jeans and t-shirt lover, the journey from Bebo to Begum of Bollywood has been a long and arduous one peppered with fashion mishaps and headline worthy outfits and Kareena Kapoor Khan; soon-to-be mommy has officially made it.
Over a span of 16 years, there have been plenty of hits and misses, but the style transformation of Bebo has been nothing short of extraordinary. Don’t believe us? Read on to see the style evolution of the Begum.
At the youthful age of 20, Kareena debuted in J. P. Dutta’s cross-border drama Refugee which kick-started her career. Her striking features sans makeup immediately made everybody sit up and notice her; another gorgeous starlet who had entered the film industry. Her couture gown days still a few years away, she showed up at the premiere dressed in an Indian outfit, light makeup and without her signature pout.
Post Refugee, 2001 was a year of experimentation for Bebo – Dupatta became an instant hit and her indo-western outfits and many hairstyles made her somebody to look out for in the fashion world. Kareena’s look in Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai was one which would be repeated in several movies after; Late 90’s casual, effortless and vibrant.
Asoka was a bold choice in purely sartorial senses, a complete opposite of the kind of movies, style and character that had been adopted by the vivacious young woman and it marked her transition from the girl-next-door to fiercely sexy woman. Tattooed all over her body, curiously futuristic folk outfits that showed off her figure, the industry realised that Kareena was a versatile actress who could pull off more outfits and characters than they would have imagined.
Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham portrayed Kareena as the fashion icon she would soon become and ‘Poo’ the sassy, conceited and sometimes obnoxious yet lovable diva marked a milestone in her style evolution. Strutting about in dangerously short skirts and crop tops, backless tops, fur accents, faux leather outfits and the now iconic red leather slit bell bottoms and sequined bustier marked with her signature attitude, the young actress spawned an entire generation of miniature Poo’s.
Mujhse Dosti Karoge marked a return to the girl-next-door character, the sexy diva hidden somewhere underneath sporty casual wear, frayed tops, and the awkward pairs of embroidered and jeans that never seemed to end, it was also the phase of the dark lip liner-light frosted lipstick which did no justice whatsoever to her full luscious lips- not a phase the fashion critics look back fondly at.
After a number of glamorous roles, Chameli was a distinct departure where Kareena played a forbidden one, the emotionally challenging role of a golden-hearted sex worker. The careless drapes of her sari, loud makeup, chintz blouses and side swept hair formed her image as Chameli. Devoting herself to her character, Kareena even bleached her hair, and It was this devotion that earned her numerous accolades.
Lightening her bleached hair even further for Hulchul, it was evident that the bleached look was here to stay. With rather unremarkable outfits, it was the voluminous hair that made the young actress look considerably older that distracted everybody in this screwball comedy. But single handedly increasing the sales of hair colours and products is no small feat for sure.
When a femme fatale shows up in a gorgeous embellished golden dress with a risqué slit, you sit up straight and notice. Kareena’s cameo in Don, when she tried to recreate the magic of Helen from the original, although short, was really memorable, and nobody can quite get the image of her in that fierce stance ready to seduce SRK out of their minds.
If there ever was a character which Kareena breathed life into, it would have to be Geet from Jab We Met, which considerably also affected her style journey. Her bubbly, spirited and adorable character was equally complemented with kitschy Indo-western combinations. Long t-shirts with Patialas, harem pants, typical Punjabi suits, were just some of the outfits that took the fashion world by storm.
When Kareena shook a leg to ‘Its Rocking’ in Kya Love Story Hai which started her affinity to special song appearances. Although the excessively contoured look wasn’t one of her finest moments, easing up on the bronzer was not an option for that bold red carpet look.
Tashan was a game changer for Kareena, for her personal life, for her style, and also for her lifestyle. The gorgeous harbinger for the size zero trend, she sported blingy outfits, skimpy thigh length dresses for her swimsuit sequence. The entire nation naturally wanted to go size zero after this movie and Bebo faced a lot of backlash for setting a bad example with her size zero.
Kambakkht Ishq marked Kareena’s arrival to the A-list as a bonafide fashionista. Her different looks in the movie were in accordance with the progression of her character. Here is where the glam goddess we know today started growing into her own.
A far cry from her previous glam avatar, Kareena was seen sporting a lot of frock-style Anarkali suits in the movie, Kurbaan was more traditional and conservative in its approach towards fashion.
In 3 Idiots, Kareena made looking geeky cool again, as a Medical student. Riding along on her scooter with her geeky glasses and casual mostly Indian clothes, it seemed to be a throwback to an earlier era. The last scene of the movie was both hilarious and memorable at the same time when dressed as a bride, she raced on a scooter along the shore of Pangong Lake, wedding goals for sure.
Heroine, meant to be a revealing film about the seedy underbelly of Bollywood and the life of an actress made Kareena the diva that she is and rocketed her into the upper echelons of style. While the movie failed to make as much of a mark as expected, the glamorous lead sure did.
One of her more recent releases, Kareena has really taken her style to the next level with the power-dressing and sophisticated colour palettes seen in Ki and Ka. Playing a strong independent career woman, she sure dressed the part which also started reflecting in her personal style as seen during the film promos.
Due to her choice in movies, Kareena has experimented with so many looks that while any other star would have been overwhelmed by it all, she came out on top developing her own distinct style to such an extent, she even launched her own book ‘Style Diary of a Bollywood Dive’ dedicated yo her style, lifestyle, diet and journey.
Post her marriage to beau Saif Ali Khan, Kareena has always stuck to elegant, refined yet utterly fashionable outfits. So when news of a baby started doing the rounds, there were speculations on how it would affect Bebo, would she shy away and hide her pregnancy like countless before her? Take a look.
Pregnancy has treated Kareena well and how, the expectant mother has never looked better, the glow on her face evident without any makeup. A statement on its own, Kareena is a voice for all the new mothers who are proud of their bodies and the magic of the life growing inside them and are also proud to show it off rather than hide it in over sized unflattering clothes.
Kareena has nailed maternity wear. From easy breezy maxi dresses to on trendy off-shouldered outfits, from designer gowns to comfortable jeans, Ethnic to Parisian runway worthy ensembles. She has seen and worn it all. And walking the ramp for ace designer Sabyasachi as the showstopper, Mrs. Kapoor Khan proves that she is still the ultimate diva.
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