As the screen czarina sashays down the velvet-carpeted staircase, festooned in a garb that lesser mortals can only dream of adorning, a billion women who have lent their eyes as an audience to that charismatic visual can only heave a sigh! As the div a further descends on the celluloid set, with the camera caressing her intended moves, frustrations soar as every woman dreams of being in her shoes or may we dare say, in that dress.
What is it about the silver screen that sparks off furtive fantasies in people’s minds? The larger than life medium that sells dreams makes us want to emulate styles and moments dramatised by those icons. Imagine being adulated by the world and setting trends more forcefully than any other source of power! That is the potency of filmdom. Whether it is Preity Zinta’s red neck wrap top in “Dil Chahta Hai” or Rani Mukerjee’s collared kurtas in “Bunty Aur Bubblee”, the viewer wants to savour that movie moment in reality by being clad in a trendsetting style popularised by the adored actress. Objects of desire
Over a period of time, ever since films have become one of the most loved sources of entertainment, the clothing, hairstyles, shoes, bags and other pieces of on-screen accoutrements have become immensely desirable in the hearts of movie-going maniacs. You have always met somebody who freaks on Bipasha’s dusky skin and chic power dressing or Aishwarya’s coy and contemporary demeanour. Whether it is Madhuri Dixit’s sensational backless blouse in “Hum Aapke Hai Kaun” or Sridevi’s alluring blue chiffon saree in “Mr. India”, the women of our country have been influenced by their most-watched starry sirens. The wealthy young and fashionable lot are wired in to what’s new in the film world. It’s not just the girls but also the men who feel it is the epitome of flattery if their garmenture is recognised and identified as one of the idols of the super screen. From Shah Rukh’s shirts and twin ties in “Don” to Hrithik’s body gloves and Saif’s uber urban look, it’s all there. Just incorporate an element of their style and you are the next best thing right there.
Fashion from the movie world is not a recent phenomenon. Since films are by far the largest of the mediums available and because they have such a widespread impact, it is human tendency to aspire for what is depicted in a big way. Above all, film stars’ lives have always been magnified and glamorised. Yesteryear heroes and heroines, in fact, have had a bigger and a more enormous impact on Indian viewers. Who can deny Madhubala’s disarming smile and near puritanical styles or Asha Parekh’s sarees and hair-do? The tightly wrapped sarees and chudidars of Mumtaz still are attributed and named after her. Simi Garewal’s clear chic is a signature invention. The 1960s and 70s, dominated by the hippy and flower power culture, introduced to us glamour girls like Sharmila Tagore, Parveen Babi and Zeenat Aman. All fashion mavens in their own right, dispensing trends like no one else. The disco glam look of the 1970s was corroborated by flapping flared pants and tie-up blouses and bustiers. Even the men compelled us with their thick side burns, shoe-flower prints and bell bottoms. Rajesh Khanna’s trappings had all the boys trapped into his style and of course Amitabh Bachchan’s enigma had an almost hypnotic effect on the crowds. Shashi Kapoor’s casual countenance and Vinod Khanna’s machismo drove every man to re-introduce himself.
Not just the youth
It is not just the youth who have ventured to emulate Kareena and Katrina’s girly charms but also the older lot who do not hesitate to induct a component or two from the sparked-off, feminine, fire women. It need not just be the stunning apparel but also the way the eyes are made, a sleeve or the haircut that can bring about that movie star appeal. Let us acknowledge that it is the glory of the big screen that it can have multiple reactions on the masses. All over the world even the forecast services look towards the recent trends on the red carpet or awards night parties to get the pulse of who is wearing what, as that is the one night where every one is dressed to be seen. The fashion world is not anywhere uninfluenced as it is the movies that designers, manufacturers and producers look up to, to tabulate the current clothing behaviour. Designers working for stars in Bollywood have turned into stars themselves. Manish Malhotra is a clothier and friend to almost every young in-demand heroine, starting from Urmila Matondkar in “Rangeela” when he shot to stardom due to the very accessible and practical outfits that he designed and styled for her, to Karisma Kapoor in “Raja Hindustani”. He then went on to design for Madhuri Dixit, Shilpa Shetty, Preity Zinta and Kajol. Neeta Lulla needles out dreams for Aishwarya Rai who is by far the most scrutinised movie star of our times. The period epic “Jodha Akhbar” was one example of her capabilities. Then there is Vikram Phadnis who is yet another blue-eyed boy of Hindi cinema wardrobes. Then there is Rocky S whose name dates back to nearly 15 years of costume design in the movies. The popularity and the glitz of film fashion has also to be attributed to these costume designers who take complete responsibility for the way in which stars shape out on screen.
Indians all over the world are beauty gazers and celebrity worshippers and it is but natural that we want a piece of the pie; if not on screen, then we would like to believe that a bit of that stardom will rub off on us if we have similar clothing conceptions and conversations.
7 months ago