Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bollywood ladies in need of stylists....

Bollywood Ladies in need of stylists!

Never mind what the fashion-illiterate , self-styled desi ‘Fashion Police’ say about our stars ( nothing very much, actually!), but even for those who don’t follow trends, it is becoming pretty obvious that by obediently wearing what stylists throw their way, does not a star fashionista make. Some of our former leading ladies are looking positively comical these days. All because of this current ‘fashion mania’ that has gripped Bollywood. Every female star wants to look ‘hot’. Every star mom’s secret fantasy is to be identified as a ‘Yummy Mummy’, even before her poor baby has been weaned. Assuming the baby is breast fed (“What happens to my figure? My boobs? Quick!Get that formula bottle…”), and the star mum still has to shed those extra kilos, shouldn’t a sweet and sincere girl friend tell her it’s okay not to squeeze into those dreadful, clingy, Bangkok ‘gowns’? The latest to fall prey is a woman ( no longer qualifies as a ‘girl’), Kaajol, who has never given a damn in the past as to what the latest craze was ( she left that to her younger sister). Kaajol was Kaajol. An absolute natural – untidy hair, smudged eyeliner, ill-fitting clothes…. and attitude. Loads of attitude - that was her best fashion statement and accessory. Her fans loved her for it. She rarely partied with the Bollywood set. Nor did her husband. And on the rare occasions when she did show up at a public event, it was in non-starry outfits, generally unflattering but altogether endearing. That’s what everybody loved and admired about this talented, feisty, individualistic woman. A few weeks ago, she showed up at a store promotion, clad in something so horribly wrong for her body type, people gasped in shock. Was that really Kaajol in that ghastly electric blue, short and exceedingly tight cabaret dancer dress? Yes, sir. It was. And one immediately wanted to summon her stylist ( does she have one?) and send the person off to the nearest fashion school for some basic lessons in how not to dress a client.

Ditto for the lovely Madhuri. Her smile is dazzling. True. But it is no substitute for a great outfit… a terrific saree. Madhuri never did project any specific style , even during her hey days. Then, all those years of staying away from Bollywood obviously hit home rather rudely . When she finally packed her bags, husband and kids to come home, she forgot to junk her American wardrobe… more Sear’s than Selfridge’s. She plunged into reality shows in which it is mandatory to dress in dreadful clothes and wear purple lip colour. One forgave her those early fashion faux pas. She’d soon pick up on what’s cool, her admirers reasoned. But that didn’t happen. Today, Madhuri continues to sport a rather dated and decidedly down market look, though she can well afford the best. Those lace and net sarees…. the OTT accessories. No,no,no. It’s not happening. Where is Manish Malhotra when we need him the most?

That brings us to Vidya Balan…. yes, yes, yes…. India’s Meryl Streep. The best actor around. Amazing. Gifted. Bold. Sab kuch. But please, someone tell her there are ways and ways and ways to drape those magical six yards. And she does not have to look like an amma , an aie, a gaon ki chhori, when she is off duty. For working an exquisite Kanjeevaram, there’s nobody better than Rekha to instruct her. And if she chooses to take the rustic route, there are ways to achieve a boho chic look, without appearing as if you have gone girlie shopping to a dhobi ghaat…. and walked away with someone else’s washing. Vidya is abundantly blessed with natural beauty, great hair, dancing eyes and a lovely smile. She can carry off ‘ Studiedly Simple’ like nobody else in Bollywood . Will someone convince her to ditch those donkey brown sarees, heavy velvet , three quarter sleeve cholis for something slightly more elegant and feminine? Her choice of sarees ( possibly picked by her favourite designer) don’t do her any justice. If anything, such stiff and heavy fabrics add kilos to Vidya’s plump frame. Her role model should be Shabana Azmi who used to get ethnic-chic completely right, till she too switched gears ( a recent phenomenon).

Rani Mukherjee is displaying genuine confusion in all aspects of her life, fashion included. Like Vidya, Rani is an authentic all- Indian, rustic beauty. Like Vidya, she is hugely talented and versatile. We know ‘Bunty aur Babli’ is a part of history. But vintage Rani always got it right, even when she did off-camera Bengali ‘Bahuma’, with such grace and charm. Today, Rani is seen in designer gear ( frightfully pricey, no doubt), which robs her of her natural charm, strips her off her real personality, and makes her look like any other wannabe. Rani in jeans? Rani in gowns? Whyyyyyy? Leave that to the newbies who are desperate to attract attention and make it to Page 3. Rani is Rani. She should dress according to her new found status. Oh oh… maybe not. We like our Rani in Bong-influenced outfits, traditional gold jewellery and a big red bindi. We hope she never resembles a prosperous Punjabi behenji-bahu.

So, what’s happening with these ladies? It can’t be panic? Surely not? Look at Karishma Kapoor. Just look at her. Bravely soldiering on as she weathers domestic storms and gets ready for her comeback. Look at Sridevi ( also poised to re-enter Bollywood). Lolo’s look and looks are getting better and better. She stays true to classic and that’s what suits her . Sridevi… ummm…. some cause for worry, there. She has a great body. But her personality is so fixed in our minds, it’s hard to applaud when she wears say, a Balenciega or a Halston. So not Sri! Next, we’ll have Hema Malini stepping out in a strapless,edgy Valentino. Aiyyyyo. God help us.

Stars who get it right almost all the time are Preity Zinta ( the Ness-effect, some call it), and increasingly, Kangana Ranaut ( let’s credit her own native instincts for what she can rock). For the rest on this list – we have a brilliant suggestion. It’s called a mirror.


Thank you Blogdosts, for your very enthusiastic thumbs up to the 'Savvy ' cover. Credit must be given where credit is due. It starts with a good make-up artist. I was working with one of our best - Ojas, on this shoot. He's the one who made Aishwarya look utterly divine in her movie with Rajnikant - Robot. But it is really the person behind the lens who can create magic. I have worked with the very talented and extremely pleasant Vikram Bawa several times. We share a great rapport. That helps. I like to shoot in natural light. I hate artificial studio lights! Vikram is game, though his preference is for lighting up a shoot himself since a photographer has better control over the images if he is designing the lighting . But Vikram is always considerate enough to accommodate me and shoot outdoors - as in this shot. So glad our efforts were appreciated!


WhatsInAName said...

I hope Vidya balan reads this and sticks to the way she dresses, so as to prove a point to high headed people like you!!!!!! That dress doesn't define character and actor.

Jyostna said...

I love Vidya's dressing...Although I think she can experiment with other designer's...she looks the best in Sabyasachi period
Kangana, yes shez trying it diff n almost getting it right everytime.
I think more than the dress, its the attitude which actually projects it right.

numerounity said...

Hmmmm...surprise did not listed Aishwarya Rai's name in your list!

goodluck said...

Now they are friends. Cant be too critical of the Bachchans and their princess.

Divya Virmani said...

Hahaha... laughing at the comment above! I kinda agree with you but I think Kajol only did this once or twice. Recently she wore a flowery sari and she rocked it completely. I like Vidya a lot but I also think that she needs to wear sari's in a way that she looks her age. She does go in to amma mode many times...

As far as Madhuri is concerned, I don't know what that lady is up to? She's lost all that charm except when she starts dancing! Her looks are not the same...shes' trying way too hard!

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Tsomo85 said...

Mz.Zenta and Kangana tops all. Zenta looking super stunning with her brother at Karan's big birthday party. And Rani's night gown and kajol's omg!!! Super funny and awkward!

Shwetha said...

delightfully catty, but bang on target observation of bollywood style, or lack thereof!

Anil Kumar said...

The obsession of this country with looks and chuttad life styles of these ladies who could have brought GB road laurels still baffles me.

Bollywood and media deserve Bharat Ratna to make the Indian society where it is today. Here are few comments from well known environmentalist recently - Courtsey - Timesof India. India Chuttad story and huge crack in the middle of it.

Environmentalist Robert Swan OBE, the first person to walk to both the South and North Poles, was in Delhi recently, and said that Delhiites would care about environment issues only if it sounds sexy

Make environment issues sexy, all men will follow it
Swan thinks that to make Delhiites take up to the environment in a big way, only if you make it sound sophisticated. "It's surprisingly irritating that wealthy people the world over will play $2000 to book a table at an upmarket restaurant, and not care a penny about clearing up the dirty lanes around them. This city's scenario is no different. But I'm sure the day I make caring for the environment very, upmarket, the rich Delhiites will start caring about their environment. If I could, I would get every rich Delhi girl into this initiative. Just make it sound cool, hip and sexy to care about the planet and the stupid men will follow this in minutes. See, anyway the posh, wealthy Delhiites "show off" that they care for extinct species. So, they will step out of their huge cars and donate to save tigers, animals, etc, because that sounds uber-sophisticated. I will perhaps set up an environmental education system at the venue where tiger-saving posh Delhiites are stationed, to get their attention. We have to find a sophisticated- sounding way to get their participation," said Swan, who was in the capital to launch phase IV of Project Search, a joint initiative by TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) and Tetra Pak to promote environmental awareness and sustainable lifestyles among students.

Wealthy Delhiites are lazy
"Delhiites are not stupid, they are terribly lazy. People of such intelligence, knowledge and wealth are lazy and ignorant enough to not think of their surroundings. It's sad - and I'm being honestly straightforward here - that the wealthy Delhiites are aping the West in terms of all the wrong things. For instance, taking to junk food, fashion, a fast and busier life, etc. In short, all the stuff that doesn't bring you any happiness. Go around the US and see - are they happy people? NO, they are not, owing to their unhealthy lifestyle. I find it surprisingly irritating that intelligent and wealthy Indians are being suckered into by the West. I'm not saying that everything in the West is bad, but Indians are being dominated by 'stuff' that the West is used to - watching their movies, taking to the same shops, the handbags, the shoes... aping the westerners to the T - that ain't making them happy."

Delhi is polished only for international dignitaries
"When I cycle through this city, I see that it's been polished just for the city's government and the international dignitaries. The embassy area is clean and green, the roads are smooth and the air you breathe there is fresh. It looks like Beverly Hills. But the moment you cross that, it's a different city - it's filthy, polluted. Delhi is clean only where it needs to set an impression to visiting global dignitaries, who'd come straight from their airports.

But the rest of the city is a bloody mess, there is a tidal wave of plastic, garbage and all the rubbish and what all the rag pickers are doing is not enough. The clean-up effort has to be massive."

What does Shikhandi has to say now - Will he make himself available for degrading the post of Prime Minister. Shame if someone can still sleep when everyone can see the mouth wide shut of this Napunsak/Hijda prime minister.

goodluck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pawan Pattery said...

i actually like the way Vidya balan dresses. She's whats in now, and saree's are sexy. It's a personal choice and she's rocking in her own style. Good article by-the-way..:)

Dreamlike said...

Vidya actually wears heavy saris to the extent it seems as if she is carrying their weight rather than wearing them...lighter material would make her look more comfortable...

lawyer delhi said...

i think among the current crop, Deepika Padukone has a good dress sense.
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Sam John said...

Kajol looked great in sarees and lehengas and with her heavy attitude. Madhuri looks gorgeous in any saree she is just beautiful. There was a time when fans liked to see their favorite film actress in sarees and lehenga choli, but now they want them to wear very short dresses like mini skirt, etc.

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