Helio San Miguel
December 1, 2014
Helio San Miguel
: Evolution of Fashion in Bollywood from 1960s & Now
Fashion has always been a constant impact in every culture and it has also evolved throughout the ages. One of the cultures that had a huge evolution was the Indian Culture, which inspired Bollywood movies from the silent films until now. In Bollywood films, many actresses and actors were involved in creating an impact in fashion in that century.
Bollywood and fashion are hand in hand mainly because there is no Bollywood without their fashion and there is not fashion without Bollywood. In the early 1950s, there were no professional costume designers, so the directors personally picked most of their wardrobe. In the 50s and 60s actresses wore cotton and chiffon saris with puffed sleeved velvet and cotton polka dotted blouses but with dull embroidery. One of the biggest icons in this era was Sadhana Shidasani, because of her haircut called Sadhana Cut, which inspired many Bollywood actresses to follow her footsteps. Sadhana and Bhanu Athaiya revolutionized the loose salwar kammez into a tight chauridaar-kurta in the film Waqt by Yash Chopra (Maur). Salwar were of loose trousers that were fitted around the ankles and kameez was what you wore on top which was a long tunic usually passed the knee. Kameez were also worn by men aswell. Just as women were inspired by Bollywood fashion so were the men in this culture. An actor such as Dev Anand was famous for his muffler, scarfs, jackets hats and checkered shirts. Raj Kapoor was also popular for his Charlie Chaplin look, and Rajesh Khanna who was famous for his guru kurtas. Guru Kurtas were a very important wardrobe in the Indian culture because it has been in their history for a long time; they come long and short and for all times of events. Kurtas are turned back collars and shirts with sleeves rolled back. Reason why the guru kurtas were so valuable was because they created a middle class fashion entity. At this time, both men and women were very conservative in fashion; they did not show so much skin, and definitely more for the women.
In the 1970s and 1980s had a lot of variations of make up styles as well as hairstyles and outfits. Many young girls were inspired by Dimple Kapadia’s outfitted when she played in Bobby in 1972. Actresses were wearing different types of clothes that were very different from the 50s and 60s. They were wearing figure fitted saris, knee-length dresses and bellbottom pants and accessorizing with long earrings, hairbands and over-sized shades were very famous at the time. Actress like Parveen Babi that was in the movie Deewar broke the conservative image of an Indian Film actress by wearing western clothing. As far as men, Jeetendra that played in many films during this time such as Himmatwala carried out a trend of wearing whites, as well as other trends that were loose pants and tight blazers with ties (Maur). In the movie, Parinda they followed a lot of those characteristics. Karan with his nice suits and lavish hairstyles as well as Paro with her voluminous hair and her colorful and bright dresses. In this time frame, both men and women were still conservative in fashion because a lot of their clothes covered most of their skin but definitely not as much as it was in the 50s and 60s; it was more toward to the fitted clothing that was more fashionable and more glamour with their accessories.
In the 1990s, the chiffon saris were still in mode since the 1950s. In the movie, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, Madhuri Dixit wore an embroidered purple sari that became very popular. Also in that film, many fashion statements were pronounced because most of the clothing in the film was inspired from the west. Fro example, High waist leather skirts with ankle boots, eye makeup was not so glamorous the 70s and 80s but dark shades in makeup as were used by many…