India is a nation obsessed with cinema. Hindi film industry, known as Bollywood, has influenced movie-goers for over a century. Here is a list of iconic fashion trends that permeated our daily lives when they first appeared on the screen:
1. Bobby (1973) – Polka dots
It was the Bollywood debut of Dimple Kapadia that took the nation by storm. Her fashion in this movie was prime 70s when donned the classic front-tying crop top. The crop top with full-sleeves had the popular polka dots design. It is still considered an iconic scene in the movie when she walks on-screen with the trend.
2. Chandni (1989) – Vibrant chiffon sarees
Men and women everywhere went equally crazy as Sridevi donned the vibrant sarees on screen. She started the trend of chiffon sarees with films like Chandni and Mr. India (1987). Karan Johar even paid Sridevi a tribute by bringing back the chiffon saree outfit in the movie Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.
3. Jab We Met (2007) – T-shirts with Patiala salwar pants
No one has ever been able to make T-shirts and Patiala pants look as cool as Kareena Kapoor did in Imtiaz Ali’s Jab We Met. For the longest time, everyone tried to embrace this desi fusion combo as their fashion mantra. In Jab We Met, Kareena created a new trend for girls everywhere by wearing T-shirts and Patiala pants. This iconic look is still emulated by many young women.
4. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) – College Cool
Everyone wanted to own (or already owned) a maroon jumpsuit, like the one Kajol wore in the song ‘Koi Mil Gaya’. KKHH is one of the most iconic Bollywood movies that revolutionized college into a whole new level of cool. Polo Tees, GAP sweatshirts, plastic heels, Kajol’s bob haircut, cheesy friendship bands, headbands… all became an instant trend! In fact, even playing basketball became a thing.
5. Dil Chahta Hai (2000) – Urban Chic
This coming of age movie is punctuated with fashion ethos of a new generation. It made graphic shirts and goatees look cool! The trio Aamir Khan, Akshay Khanna and Saif Ali Khan donned leather pants and metallic shirts and set the stage and our hearts on fire! A trend that was imitated by many boys. They also knocked out all-male fashion stereotypes.
6. Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gum (2001) – Millenial Fashion
A movie where Karan Johar is involved, cannot have a dull sartorial appeal. Kareena Kapoor is a fashion muse on-screen with a string of iconic dress- from her semi backless outfits to her traditional wear. The movie made Manish Malhotra a household name and the hottest trend of the year. This Bollywood film was larger-than-life, overflowing with—Good Looks, Good Looks, and Good Looks!
7. Rangeela (1995) – Ultimate 90s style
Urmila Matondkar became the collective crush of every desi 90s kid with her role in Ram Gopal Varma’s Rangeela. From looking like a 90s cool chick to a siren, she made a new fashion trend with every look. Denim shirts, chokers, giant men’s shirts, colorful straight-cut trousers, and the sexiest range of beachwear – Urmila was a bomb in everything!
8. Mughal – e – Azam (1960) – Anarkali Suits
One of the classics of Bollywood, K Asif’s Mughal-e-Azam is still considered to be one of the best films ever made. The entire film was a celebration of aesthetic grandeur and beauty. Madhubala’s, aka Anarkali’s beautifully detailed suits, became all the rage after the film released. To date, Anarkali suits remain a favorite ethnic wear trend for desi women.
We can thank all these Bollywood movies, for not only their memorable storytelling and performances but also the unique fashion trends they made that have stayed with us even today.