How Bollywood fashion evolved over the years!

A lot has changed in the Indian Fashion Industry over time. All the years have been a big, big turnaround for the Indian Cinema and the designers, brands made their presence felt all across the globe!


Let’s take a look into the journey of the ebullient transformations of the Indian Cinema, over the years!

The ‘Classic’ 1940s-50s :

The very formal 1940s and 50s included most of the men clad in dhotis and women in ghagra cholis. There were few films starring urban characters like Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Guru Dutt who were seen wearing dapper suits paired with fancy hats which were sleek and streamlined to match the sophisticated look.

Be it beauty, wisdom or elegance, the Indian cinema has the finest set of actresses and when we look back into the Classic era we just can’t leave our praises undone for Nargis Dutt’s elegant silk ball gowns allied with gaudy neckpieces and earrings. It was then when The 50s brought with them the style icons like Madhubala, Sadhana and Sharmila Tagore. Madhubala looked effortlessly chic in loose, straight falling pants while Sadhana favoured tight, body-hugging churidars, puffed sleeves and refined sarees.


Adding more to the decade of Classics and Formals – 1960s-70s:

The few movies that would perhaps cross our minds while taking a look back to the 60s and 70s would be Mughal-e-Azam, Johnny Mera Naam, Bobby Isn’t it? The Anarkali Kurtas were first originated from one of the greatest epics of the Indian Cinema, Mughal-e-Azam. Madhubala starred as a beautiful courtesan in the movie added more elegance to the iconic costumes worn in the movie.

Well, one just cannot miss out the fringed hairstyle also known as the ‘Sadhana Cut’ which was so in vogue back in those days!

As for the men, it was entirely an aeon of the debonair Dev Anand who literally scripted a fashion statement with his uber cool yet classic jackets, scarves, mufflers and not to forget, his signature puff!

Gradually, as the industry got it’s very own coloured films started, the on screen fashion statement experienced a massive amalgamation of hep prints, bold styles, over-sized retro glasses, bell-bottoms, cropped shirts and polka dots, also known as the ‘Bobby Print’ named after Dimple Kapadia’s 1973 hit, Bobby.


Mix and Match for the very flamboyant 1970-80-90s:

With the Indian film industry taking a meandering course towards greater heights in cinematic brilliance, the bewildering yet bold 80s raised the glitz and glamour oomph too! The colossal transition from the 70s to the eloquent 80s was smooth and glitch free. There remained certain names and emerged few new who made the era of the 1980s not just known for its marvellous scripts but also for its unorthodox way of fashion.

The early 80s held the supremacy of bandit and hippie culture of the West. The cabaret singers swaying in gleaming gowns and twirling feather boas, to the men in neat and tidy suits just raised the appealing quotient higher and higher!

Audiences went gaga over seeing Zeenat Aman and Parveen Babi cladded in irresistible taffeta gowns with a tinge of hippie look swaying to the tunes of ‘Dum Maaro Dum’, ‘Raat Baaki’, respectively. Later, audiences lost their hearts to Hema Malini’s look in the ever green hit ‘Mere Naseeb Mein’ where she slayed in a black number!

Then there was the frenzy of fan girls for the ever dashing Feroz Khan draped in a tuxedo in Qurbani to the then chocolate boy next door Rishi Kapoor of Karz and also the timeless allure of Amitabh Bachhan, Rajesh  Khanna who enhanced the beauty of simplicity and embraced the cosmopolitan change in fashion in the best ways.

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Who could forget Rekha’s urban demur from Silsila to Sridevi Kapoor’s slender silhouette in Chandni draped in chiffon sarees?  Well, foreign locations, designer sarees and scintillating music were the new drifts of a blockbuster hit!

The Bold and Rebellious 1990s-2000s:

Groovy is the word that strikes our mind while we think of the 90s and 2000s!

To start with the same, the first movie that one would really contemplate is undoubtedly Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and it’s kicky outfits! Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was a milestone in the Bollywood fashion industry as it brought many international brands on the silver screen.

One of the major reasons that could not have had enough of couture craze was because of the magic Manish Malhotra created with the trio’s outfits! Talk about transformation from the tomboy next door to the gorgeous diva or plain chiffon sarees paired with lace blouses made the trio look like a million bucks and this created a lot of hush hush in the Bollywood inspired clothing market.

It was Manish Malhotra again who redefined Bollywood Fashion with his work in Rangeela which left the viewers spellbound and also turned Urmila Matondkar into an overnight sensation! Well, how can we skip the fine Indian works done by the extremely talented Neeta Lula in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam? Our love for ethnics got even more intense after the flashy and varicoloured costumes worn my Aishwarya, Madhuri in their biggest hits!


2000-Present : Going the Desi-gner way!

Because of the versatile outfits of our favourite stars, the early 2000s and the present has not left any chance to please us with an overwhelming reverence. Along with what to wear it’s also who to wear, isn’t it? Be it the Bunty aur Babli collared kurtis and patialas or the de-stressed, chilled out and airy outfits in Dil Chahta Hai or the pretty red flared long skirt in Jab We Met, Bollywood never failed to impress us and left magical trails of fashion with every decade!

Taking a look on the recent times the very very divine Deepika Padukone left us crazy with her outfits from the movie Cocktail. Probably if any movie is said to have set standards in the Bollywood Fashion Industry that would undeniably be Anaita Shroff’s chic work in Cocktail! With the oodles of confidence and free spirited spark in the way she carried the short skirts, skimpy tops, messy hair, blingy dresses is just so on point! And now we can see the retro fashion adventing once again- from over-sized glasses to crop shirts, from puffed buns to flared jeans and many more to come!

Be it the 40s or 2000s, the Bollywood fashion industry has always been upping the style quotient with it’s twists and stun!

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