Films in Fashion – 2016 – Bollywood edition

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It is that time of the year that we look back on the past year to see who made an impact on fashion, who set trends and who aced it in terms of costumes in movies in Bollywood. From fabulously styled to chameleon character looks transforming the actors, this year Bollywood dabbled in both regional and contemporary themes with its costumes within movies. From looking fab to getting down and dirty, the hindi movies explored it all in a range of movies. While there were many like Neerja and Dangal where the costume meshed so well with the character that you hardly notice it (the best thing a costume designer could do), it was the following movies that made statements with their looks

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
Probably the most fabulously styled contemporary movie of the year, the costumes accompanying beautiful people, were just as reflective of their characters were down to a T. Admist all the gloss and styling and some uncertainties, the movie worked on many levels. Ranbir’s transformation was seamless from a man child sporting cardigans, layered looks and sneakers to transitioning to a musician with a rock edge with torn denim and jackets – Anushka’s boho chic look with a rebel streak was on point with leather jackets, long tunics paired with torn denim and boots and those exquisite shawls and the wedding prep scene of a shirt paired with a sabyasachi lehenga was just epic perfection, a shoutout to her makeup person for those perfectly kohl lined eyes –

and Aishwariya Rai as the perfect seductress exuded that charm perfectly with sensuous metallic numbers, along with a masterclass in trenches and jackets. from temperly london to burberry, she sported them all – I did not know that the job of being a poetess made that much – and who knew Fawad could be a bad boy that easily Manish Malhotra kept everything just right for the characters. Shoutout to Ranbir for breaking southasian male stereotype by applying Henna.

Set in Paris, while Ranveer Singh was pretty ‘basic’ in the move, it was Vaani Kapoor’s wardrobe as Shyra was anything but that. Shyra as the Parisian-Indian, Shyra’s wardrobe was a class in minimal chic with just the right pieces and stylist Natalie Yuksel managed just that. High waisted skirts, minimal accessories, classic pieces, sneakers with many, front zipped skirts, stripes, trenches, shorts and tops Yuksel being familiar with the geography brought out the Parisian flavor while keeping it contemporary. Statement but minimal jewelry pieces added to the flair without overbearing it. Restrained by bollywood glitz standards, this movie gave everyone a lesson in less being more.


Dear Zindagi
Bohemian, relaxed and unperturbed, Dear Zindagi got its costume just right with Alia Bhatt’s Kaira wanting to break away from social norms is something we all have struggled at one point or the other. The outfits spoke just that. Ripped denims, kimonos, utility jackets, relaxed shrugs, breezy dresses, maxis and fringy sling bags were all relatable, easy and summer layered outfits. From her lounged looks to her PJs to her strolls on the beach , Anaita Shroff Adajania put thought into every look that progressed as the character’s journey. Slogan tees, soft layering, relaxed plaids to breezy pants, all made an appearance in the movie. The color palette going from darker nuetrals to quirky to light, as with the materials, prints and pairings, the best being the frill top paired with a fringe kimono jacket. Shroff brought out the the perfect ying in Kaira to Shahrukh’s Yang.

Set in Kashmir, the adaptation of Great Expectations might not have reaped the same benefits as its source material, but got talked alot for its styling, especially Katrina Kaif’s red hair and Aditya Chopra’s physique. The stylized version within the setting was just so theatrical in terms of costume that sometimes it is difficult to go past houw pretty these people are. Katrina Kaif as Firdaus (Estella in original) was clearly styled as a woman who liked to show off her previlige and the one who enjoys attention. The costumes oscillated between ethnic when she was in Kashmir to some really hot dresses playing off and with her auburn hair. The biker jackets, the lace dresses all worked but my favorite has to be the green shirt paired with pearls and an embroidered full skirt by Sabyasachi.

A powerful actress combined with that of a killer wardrobe, especially if that is Tabu, one could just stare at her how the chameleon actress carries herself seamlessly as the bitter lovelorn Begum (Miss Havisham). The sharara pants, the kurtis, the set design surrounding her, her jewels, all brilliantly portrayed the timewrap she was stuck in as the beautiful but detoriating mansion she stays in.  In an ode to the original Miss. Haversham, there is a white/cream thick lace duppata that she wears very often throughout the movie. She is magnificently frightening with her open red locks cascading down her shoulders. As the story gathers momentum and she is finally nearing her warped revenge, she is seen in red at Firdaus’s engagement and she looks spectacular. This is only topped by her appearance in London at Noor’s show, where in theatrical cape and manicured curls she is truly frightening and cements her role of an eccentric old heiress bordering on insanity.

Ki & Ka
Modern, fun and contemporary for every working woman, Kareena gave every woman more than just power suits and button up shirts as a workwear option. Driven and focused, Kareena’s outfits were chic and structured punctuated with relaxed silhouettes to give that confident power look. Sleeveless trenches, crop jackets paired with dresses, printed tie up blouses, easy separated military jackets and plaid dresses – her outfits were corporate but not boring with an effortless air about them, which is where they worked wonders for her. Sure to find their way into every modern woman’s outfit be it India or Miami, they worked wonderfully.


Udta Punjab
4 stories intertwined with 4 characters each with their own distinct look, within their setting and circumstances. Shahid Kapoor as the rockstar Tommy Singh, went for a tattoo look with elaborate and laid back high as sky attitude with leather jackets, ripped denim, statement tees and lots of jewelery. The long colored hair added to the persona and character to the elaborate look. Alia Bhatt’s Bihari migrant who is assaulted sexually and emotionally got down and dirty with the looks. From anti fit clothing, darkened skin and all dirty armed with a hockey stick, Payal Saluja did her research nailing that look for Alia. Kareena kapoor’s demure look as a doctor is shalwar kameez paired with a hoop earrings and minimal makeup keeps it down to earth and a perfect compliment to Daljit’s police officer who is seen in, apart from his uniform, in slacks, cardigans and button up stripes and checks , a very typical Punjabi guy.


*All images belong to their respective owners


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