Meters to Centimeters – How bollywood took its turn
Fashion obsession came into light when actresses like Madhubala, Nutan, Meena Kumari, Nargis Dutt, Waheeda Rehman and a few more were often seen in sarees with blouses with short sleeves or puffed sleeves and printed blouses with varied neck designs and colourful saree along with beautiful vintage jewelery like jhumkas, choker, bangles and kadhas. When all this put together was described for simplicity or minimalism. Legendary Actors like Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar, Kishore Kumar wore traditional clothes like dhoti kurta, kurta pyjama and when it came to formal western wear they opted for suits with tie.
During the 50’s we welcome the Era of Anarkali suits, chudidhar with fitted kurtis & Mumtaz Saree. Fashion took in its next level making every girl to dress up and look like a movie star. High hair updos, ‘Sadhna’ cut which was a name given to our new ‘bangs’, elongated eye-liner, big earrings, tight fitted clothes and the famous ‘twist’ dance. Asha Parekh, Mumtaz, Meena Kumari, Sharmila Tagore, Helen, Saira Bano were the top actresses in this time era influencing the fashion and the ‘eastman’ colour made there clothes look even more bright and bold.
Bold was the name given to the the 70’s fashion. where bell bottoms, platform heels, colourful sunglasses, psychedelic prints, butterfly collar shirts, big jewellery, Maxi dresses, tie-dye designs were in vogue not only in the movie but also in town. This is the “disco age” which left every bollywood fan with quiet an impression on minds. This age opened a lot of doors to re-create western fashion into our very own bollywood. The hemlines went up and the necklines plunged a bit bold, demure style followed in this era where actresses like Zeenat Aman, Parveen Babi, Neetu Singh, Hema Malini, Jaya Badhuri Bachchan ruled the time. The leading men in bollywood were seen wearing fitted Blazers which were a bit flared at the hip coupled with broad tie.
Exit bell bottoms, psychedelic prints, loads of colours and enter single shades and back to minimalism. Rekha, Sridevi, Jaya Prada, Shabana Azmi, Dimple Kapadia, Amrita Singh, Poonam ruled the silver screen in the 1980s. The saree in plain colours was a rage when Mr. India released. Bhagyashree made the white Salwar Kameez famous in ‘Kabootar Jaa Jaaa’ song from the movie ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’. The hair style meant more volume and people were simply crazy behind Dimple Kapadia’s hair do in ‘Saagar’ that every beauty salon put up a poster of Dimple in order to boost their sales.
Colourful Bandhni, shoulder pads, scarves, chunky jewellery, ankle high boots, tight fitted skirts, hair bands, big decorative bindis and matt lipsticks were a rage in 1990s. Menswear had also changed to a lot of extent with waist coats, leather jackets, baggy pants, loud print ties, dungrees, colourful denim making an entry into their wardrobe. Even if a guy is not all muscles he would wear a T-shirt. Shah Rukh’s dilwale dulhaniya le jayenge and kuch kuch hota hai made quiet an impact on the minds of the people and we could see G.A.P sweat shirts every where. Some of these movies also brought in designers which gave actress quite a transformation like .famously known was Manish Malhotra for transforming Kajol in DDJL, Kuch Kuch hota hai or giving a make-over to Karisma Kapoor in Raja Hindustani. Designers made it big and created a new path where the clothes were not required to be rented from the dresswala but to be picked up from a boutique. The 1990s era was a gateway for Fashion designers who were able to showcase their creations not just in movies but also on Ramp and international beauty pagents. Actors & Actresses became more image conscious with respect to what they wore on screen and off screen.
Bollywood actors & actresses started making more frequent appearance on the red carpet which in turn needed someone to style them both on and off the screen. We can consider Dhoom 2 as the best instance where stylist and fashion editor of Vogue India Anaita Shroff Adajania had made all the people look ‘ stunningly hot’ with her styling tricks. She was also a part of the cast of ‘Kal ho na ho’ which was another style forward movie. But people loved the ‘Dil Chahta hai’ gang that changed the way men looked at themselves in the mirror. Metrosexual suddenly became more popular hair well, wore designer labels only, went in for a regular manicure/pedicure & professional grooming, carried a pair of stylish shades. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukherjee, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Bipasha Basu are the front runners from the beginning of the 21st century. New faces like Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut are being looked up as the ‘next best thing’ in Bollywood fashion.