When it comes to Indian fashion, Bollywood movies have forever governed the trends.
From Sharmila Tagore’s onscreen winged eyes to Deepika Padukone’s chic, girl-next-door look in Piku, the style inspirations from Bollywood fashion are aplenty.
In case you are in a mood to emulate some of the iconic trends that Bollywood movies have sparked off, here is our pick of ten Bollywood characters that have redefined style in their times.
Sharmila Tagore as Deepa in the 1967 movie titled ‘An Evening in Paris’ changed the face of Bollywood fashion forever by appearing onscreen in a swimsuit. A first for any Indian actor in mainstream cinema, the blue swimsuit was a bold step for the actor at that time. Complete with her trademark beehive hair and winged eyes, Sharmila’s appearance in the movie is something that is etched in every cine goer's mind.
The original diva of the Hindi film industry, Zeenat Aman set the screen ablaze with her rendition of the song ‘Dum Maro Dum’. Her onscreen style as Janice in the movie is something that women draw inspiration from even today to put together a ‘hippie’ attire. Dressed in floral printed kurtas teamed with bell bottom pants, winged eyes, rose-tinted sunnies, finished with rudraksh necklace and a marigold garland - she exuded a devil-may-care attitude that made this look even more alluring.
Kajol makes an appearance on our list for her functional style in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and why not when this iconic Bollywood movie has been such a tremendous influence on Bollywood fashion. Simran’s style during her travel which included long and messy hair, nerdy glasses, maxi dresses worn over sweaters, coupled with knee length boots are all trends that are relevant even today, thanks to their practicality.
Urmila set the screen on fire as Mili with her sexy outfits in Rangeela. The movie that marked both the actor’s and fashion designer Manish Malhotra’s foray into the big league saw Mili in itsy-bitsy two pieces and inspired hordes of women to embrace miniskirts, knotted tops and hot pants. Manish Malhotra became an icon in Bollywood fashion soon after the release of the movie and continues to hold his undisputed position as Bollywood’s most sought after designer.
While Anjali’s clothing in the second half of the movie where she was famously dressed in the dual-tone sarees started the trend of ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ sarees, we are more inclined towards talking about her look in the first half. Her look in a bob, sneakers, a hair band and tracksuits with large branding is so likeable for being unpretentious and practical. This Bollywood movie is a landmark in Bollywood fashion since marked the emergence of two trends inspired from the same protagonist - so contrasting in their nature, yet so original!
In the movie Main Hoon Na, every time Chandini, played by Sushmita Sen walks along the school corridors, a song breaks out in Shah Rukh Khan’s mind, complete with orchestra. Such is her charisma in the film, thanks to her sartorial choices and unabashed style. Bollywood Fashion maverick Manish Malhotra draped her in breezy chiffon sarees that gave her a sophisticated yet sensual look. This Bollywood movie made sarees more fashionable, thanks to them being paired with stylish blouses that ranged from bikini to halter tops. Chandini in a red polka dotted saree with a sleeveless blouse is a sight that we won’t forget anytime soon.
Bollywood movies are known for all things crazy but Jab We Met was one helluva ride that makes it a cult movie. Kareena’s character Geet dressed like every regular woman her age and perked up her look with scarves, dupattas and striking accessories. Geet also brought wearing patiala pyjamas with t-shirts into mainstream - a combination unheard of in the fashion circles but followed by masses for the comfort it offers - that’s saying something about the power of Bollywood fashion.
As an aspiring writer in Wake Up Sid, Konkona Sen playing Aisha wore simple and ‘real’ clothes, the kind that you and I would identify with. Even though her style did not really set off any Bollywood fashion trend, the reason it finds a mention here is because she looked so good in day to day clothes - tunics, dresses, jeans - basic outfits that were teamed with some charming accessories to exude a unique ‘journalist-like’ style. The styling in this Bollywood movie stands testimony to the fact that it all boils down to how you wear your clothes rather than the label that you are wearing.
Sexy and effortlessly stylish, Veronica set the imagination of young women ablaze with her casual vibe and chic clothing in Cocktail. Aztec prints went on to become the national favourite following the movie, with them being splashed on clothes, shoes and bags. Deepika looked smoking hot in this Bollywood movie which went on to win major awards for style and fashion at various events.
In a stark contrast to her glamorous character in Cocktail, Deepika played the elegant and feisty title role with panache in Piku, wearing functional outfits that made her look like a girl-next-door. Long kurtas with palazzo pants, tunics teamed with denims - a mix of modern and ethnic that most girls can relate to. The movie inspired many women to jump the palazzo pants bandwagon - a trend that is now visible in every nook and cranny of the country.
Love Bollywood fashion and think there are other actors that deserve to be on this list? Do let us know!
Image credit: sulekha movies, alchetron, fashionlady, twowhitebirds, indiaforums, theasianfashionjournal, rediffspecials, youthconnect