It was a mixed bag of fashion week with many veterans and experienced designer stumbling onto finding a contemporary footing with some traditions that are ingrained within their audience. The final and Day 3 was no different either with designers putting on a show. With Zaheer coming out on trumps with his succinct collection and Nilofer Shahid showcasing her technical finesse, balancing the interpretation and tribute facets within her collection, the concluding day rounded off with an interesting note of sorts; with a lesson for designers for the need to step up their game seriously instead of mediocre offerings.
So while I did do the Hollywood edition, my love for Bollywood movies forced me to have a similar list of fashion in movies. The clothes add in a certain layer to the movie so much so that if they blend in creating the character and representing the journey throughout the character that is where they win hands down. However these have to be noticeable for their effort to be in sync with the character. Bollywood usually resorts to a lot of glitz and glam, which though not bad (we get to see some fun clothes in credit songs and item numbers) it overpowers the actors. Fashion in movies need to support that act in actors and there were quite a few Filmi Fashun moments this year
When Madhuri the actress takes centrestage, Madhuri the DIVA makes an alluring aura around it. Even with others present, it is just her that you see in the frame Playing a Begum (a woman of aristocratic lineage) Madhuri brings in more than her grace and charm to the character which is styled to perfection in Lucknowi Nawabi (royal) look. Throughout the movie she has donned ghararas, shararas, sarees, anarkalis and churidaars, all in monochrome. Credit goes to Payal Saluja for keeping things interesting by executing the whole look but punctuating it through different silhouettes. Barring her wedding dress which was a mix match of red dupatta, green shirt and offwhite lehenga, Madhuri’s Begum never looks boring in monochrome with a perfectly draped dopatta and an aptly placed jhoomar. Muted Kalamkari, Jamawar and Kashmiri Shawls worn by the elder couple (Naseer and Madhuri) are a delight adding to the antiquity vibe of the movie. Off the fabrics Lucknowi Chikankari makes quite an appearance, in end credits, a beige anarkali number and in one of the saris styled to perfection so beautifully, reminded me of Maharani Gayatri Devi. It looked contemporary south asian vintage at its best.
The moments Madhuri had with Dedh Ishqiya, Tabu had in them in Haider. Adapting Hamlet and that too in a Kashmiri setting, with such cultural baggage, Dolly Allhuwalia had a lot of material to work with. However credit to her for exercising immense control in her designs and costumes for the cast of Haider. She kept things contemporary and conservative at the same time. Representing emotional angst through her clothes, be it Shahid’s Kashmiri pherans (kashmiri kurta/tunic) or having Tabu oscillate between brighter and darker color palettes depending upon the emotional situations. Layered with mens jackets, cardigans, layered uppers and floor tunics. Giving Shraddha a young spunk through florals or giving KK sherwanis, Allhuwalia excelled at playing the dressmaker with playing against the Kashmiri background. Using red and black menacingly in the ending climax sequence, she manages to pull off emotional and mental intensities of characters against the snow laden Kashmir.
When the fashionista of Bollywood is set to star in a movie, all eyes are on her and Sonam Kapoor did not disappoint at all. Cast as the misfit amongst the royals and aristocrats, the sprightly Mili in Khoobsurat was a perfect contradiction to the polished royal tone with her clash of vibrant hues, prints and bohemian silhouettes. Layered using jackets, with fun tunics and screaming prints, Mili seemed the perfect prodigy of her equally Masaba outfits strutting mom. Fawad as the prince made for the perfect Disney prince with his polished looked whether in suits, bandhgalas or kurta and Aligarh pajamas.
SHAADI KE SIDE EFFECTS
One of the best styled homes that I saw this year in movies had to be undoubtedly from this movie. Playing urban chic to perfection, Vidya balan’s look oscillated between the professional to boho chic with pieces from Dev R Nil, Anand Kabra and others with chunky bangles to offset the whole look. Vidya shows off her curves and does not make them an excuse to drape herself. Clever wardrobe choices and silhouettes from belted dresses to straighter printed kurtas work in her favour. With her makeup done to perfection, whoever said professional working women needed to look over polished. Farhan on the other hand kept it cool, urbane and casual as a musician in tees, and buttoned up shirts.
Probably THE movie of the year, Queen saw Kangana’s character Rani evolve from a shy over protected and timid to come into her own freedom and decisive woman. One of the best performances of Kangana’s career, the clothes with their subtle changes and hints evolve throughout the movie showcasing the journey of this timid one blooming beautifully coming into her own. From sporting shalwar kameez with her wild mane to coming to Paris and encountering Vijaylaxmi opting for kurtis with jeans, peter pan collared tops with floral skirts and ending on a high note with a pastel pleated maxi jamming to the tunes. Who knew we’d spot a Sana Safinaz at the end too.
A classic example of Kashmir to Kanyakumari…the unusual road trip movie that spans across wide geographical maps, had Alia Bhatt as Veera and her kidnapper Randeep Hooda as Mahabeer play the protagonists so brilliantly that one forgot the aura they carried off screen. With influences of clothes in every region that they travelled into, the progression of Veera’s outfits was both logical and organic. From donning kurtas and pagris from her sweatpants to oversized pherans, jackets, shalwars and oversized shoes. It all made sense because she was on the go and was kidnapped. Alia looked unconcerned but put together as someone would making the best of with whatever they could find. Aki Narula keeps things simple and evolving subtly. Yet even in those oversized clothes, Alia Bhatt shone brilliantly portraying Stockholm syndrome to a T.
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