Wednesday, July 13, 2005

In case you were wondering about the fashions in India

I've been busy with writing this week, but I thought it might be worth taking a minute to make sure everyone knows what the fashions are like in India this year.

The report says that Bollywood has bigger draw on customers than any other medium. Each film is a brand in itself and with every new movie there is a fresh new brand of fashion and lifestyle products.

But film critic A C Tuli says "only those designs which can be worn daily by the masses become a fashion statement. Rest do not."

Tuli says in last decade or so, most of the new heroines are shown wearing skinny tops, skirts, gowns etc. They fail to become popular as they cannot be worn daily and by the middle class."

Agrees Ritu Sethi, a boutique owner, "we are getting lot of orders for Parineeta's blouses and Babli's fitted pathani shirts with contrast collars and cuffs." Also in demand are colourful kurtis teamed with baggy, equally colourful pyjamas and cloth bags for women and fitted sleveless shirts and denims.

"Bunty and Babli has defined hip street style this season," says Sethi.

The trend of Bollywood inspiring fashion is not new, Saystuli. In the early 50s, clothing materials were named after Suraiya and Madhubala.

Nargis, the lady in white brought to fore, white sarees -both embroidered and bordered. Raj Kapoor's trousers with folded up holes and scarf in the neck remained popular for a long time. In fact, those who did not adopt this trend were called backward.

"Dev Anand popularised full sleeves top collared shirts and puffy hair, Sadhna's fringe, leg-hugging pyjamis and no side split kurtis were a rage with college girls in 60s, even though they were very uncomfortable to wear," he says.

In 70s, as the heroes shifted from trousers to bellbottoms, so did the young crowd in cities. Rajesh Khanna's guru shirts (collarless) were popular with young men. However, he says most of these fashions last only a season or till another new hit comes.

I miss the guru shirts, man. And the Dev Anand puffy hair (though arguably we have a new bad hair guru with us; his name is Shah Rukh Khan). But what is a "no side split kurti"? And how on earth did white saris (i.e., widow wear) ever become a fashion statement? Clearly I am no fashionista. (Fashionisto?)

Incidentally, here is the trademark Rani Mukherji outfit in Bunty aur Babli referred to in the article. And here is the kind of blouse from Parineeta that (I think) they are referring to.

Ok, bas/basta -- back to literary theory.

5 comments:

Ms. World said...

Bollywood will always rule (fortunately or unfortunately depending on what side of the fence you are on)!

Amardeep- I had no idea you had a fashion stylist buried in your academic self! ;)

Rani is looking a little old in that photo.

anangbhai said...

What about the colored wife beaters inspired by Sunjay Dutt and Sunny Deol in the 80s and 90s? And those weird fishnet undershirts?...
Bollywood will always suck...unless I'm directing a bollywood film. Then its world masterpiece.

Ennis said...

Are you going to post a photo of yourself in a guru shirt ;)

Amardeep said...

Ennis,

No, I'll just keep posting moody shots of isolated beaches on Long Island.

And Anangbhai, what about taking it one step further: brightly colored fishnet tank tops? (I don't like calling them 'wife beaters')

Incidentally, for gaudy outfits, neither Sunny Deol nor Sanjay Dutt can compete with the master, GOVINDA.

anangbhai said...

Daaayuuum...
I bow down to your film knowledge. I forgot all about Govinda. Props to the man for wearing such gaudy fashion and still making it look good. And of course, can't nobody dance in bollywood like govinda. Friends in the industry tell me he's the nicest man around.