The irrepressible Wendell Rodricks relives the unforgettable stars and their gorgeous garb which remains forever etched in memory.
Also Read: Guess who is the best stylist in Bollywood?
As 2016 comes to an end (where did it go?), we look back at the year that was. The hits, the flops, the stars that rose, those that faded, the clothes that dazzled, threads that got ripped… Let’s turn the clock back, way back, at the stars who stuck in our minds with garments that became a collective memory of a nation.
There are many stars that stay entrenched in our craniums so forcefully that their clothes pale into insignificance. As is the case with the super talented Waheeda Rehman. She shone bright and big and eclipsed the clothes. Yet there were stars as grand and yet, the costumes held their own. Remember Meena Kumari in Pakeezah…That dazzling dance in white where the clothes never left the drama. There are many such star-costume references. Let us go down memory lane.
Forever etched in memory is the bond forged between Mumtaz and that orange sari. Both came from the same DNA. Seductive, smiling, orange happy. That sexy sari drape matched Mumtaz to the core. As did the tight fit kurta on Sadhana in Waqt. That started a trend, apart from the effect on women’s fashion radiating from the screen to retail space.
Who can forget the atomic impact of fashion and style when Sharmila Tagore sizzled in that bikini in Evening In Paris! We can still feel the adrenaline water-skiing rush of the star and the swimwear. Is there anyone who can erase from memory Madhuri Dixit, dazzling smile in place, draped in the purple sari in Hum Aap Ke Hai Kaun? Or Neetu Singh in Rafoo Chakar?
At times a lack of clothing can also lead to a superglued nostalgia. Simi Garewal draped only in jewellery in Siddharth is one such case. Today the film poster will never pass the Censors. How they did it back then is unimaginable. While on Simi Garewal, we will always recall her in Karz.
Chic and fashionably swaggering through the film, she wore then what Gucci puts out on ramp today. A staggeringly stylish melange of leather, fur and knits topped with fashionable eyewear, boots and bags.
Like Simi in Siddharth, a shirtless Salman Khan in Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya got the tongues out and mopping the floor at the sight of that muscled torso. Many male stars ripped their shirts off after that. But Salman sticks in memory as the first shirtless, muscled marvel that sent men running to the nearest gym.
When it came to starting a tsunami of a trend in the retail space, we must give it to Sridevi in CHANDNI. The white salwar kameez with bangles to match, the flowing chiffon lilac and yellow saris breezing across the screen. Stunning and full paisa vasool at both box office and clothing stores! Pam Chopra repeated that special Yash Chopra fashion vibe in SILSILA. Here was a film that grabbed the attention of the public for the star triangle. In the process the clothes got their own spotlight.
Grabbing the arc lights, the charas and the whole hippie era vibe was a song, a film and a gorgeous model and beauty queen. Zeenat Aman in Hare Rama Hare Krishna. She slayed the look, the song and the film, in style.
What Zeenie did to HRHK, Dimple Kapadia did to Bobby with the knotted blouse, the mini, the platform shoes, the hairdo… Dimple, at a tender age under the wings of the legendary Raj Kapoor, showed us what a fashion look was. The full look. Head to toe. It helped the clothes that the musical score of the film and the story line made the movie a hit.
When on style-speak, no one will ever forget the supreme, shimmering gold look of Parveen Babi in Namak Halal. Between the gold ensemble and the stunning black gown, designers today should take glamour design lessons from veteran film costumer Xerxes Bathena. Xerxes will also stay in memory for the glam factor he lent Jaya Prada in Sharabi.
If Parveen Babi danced her way to fame in golden glory, the deliciously luscious Kimi Katkar did the same in Hum. With the Big B, she was the fabulous ‘Lady in Red’, lip-syncing kisses in an unforgettable red dress created by (hold your breath)… her Mom! When she told me this trivia detail at a party this month, I was open-mouthed. But yes, in those days ‘designers’ were often family members or friends who simply pitched in. They did not have the luxury of having a talented Neeta Lulla on hand to create fashion icons for Sridevi in Mr India. Or the watershed Manish Malhotra moment when Urmila Matonkar created a series of drop jaw moments in Rangeela.
If there is one star who has constantly married fashion to her star aura, it is Rekha. From the courtesan look in Umrao Jaan to the dramatic looks in Khoon Bari Maang and girl next door look (in plaits) in Khubsoorat, Rekha is a walking, talking, acting style manual.
Today there is little media attention and credit given to film designers who do not take part in Fashion Weeks. In lieu of this, it is pertinent to note a designer and a star who contributed in a large way to creating a certain look. What designer Anna Singh did, and does, for Jackie Shroff is commendable. Whether Texan cowboy or ‘fashion forward’ uber style, the designer and the star are a stylish team.
What Rekha did for ladies’ fashion on celluloid, ladies’ man and style impresario Amitabh Bachchan did, and continues to do, for men’s fashion. From hairstyle to Louboutin shoes, Amitabh can swing style like few can. He showed it to us in Shahenshah and he continues to show it today.
The New Year is around the corner. Time to cheer, ring in the new, pop the bubbly and dance. Yes, dance. So we must save the dancing ladies for last, but not least. From Helen and Bindu who were dancing ‘vamps’, to Malaika Arora Khan and Katrina Kaif who have given ‘hit item song’ new meaning and are creating a dance music fortune all in their own genre, these ladies have a look created for them. It blends sexy with skin show, with dance moves that titillate and most importantly get you out there on the dance floor and under the club lounge lights.
To the item girls and to everyone who loves fashion and films on both sides of celluloid… a truly stylish 2017!