Bollywood's Award Winning Costumes

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Going by what Silk had said in The Dirty Picture, Filmein sirf teen cheezon ke liye chalti hain, entertainment, entertainment, entertainment… We can’t agree anymore. It is the gospel truth that bollywood films run on entertainment, but have you wondered what factors promote the entertainment? Well, there are acting, songs, dance, sets and stories. However there is another factor that contributes a lot to the entertainment value and that is Costumes. Yes, costumes are one of the essences of the Bollywood films and through generations, Bollywood has been able to create a wide reaching sensation with its trendsetting costumes and attires.

Below, you will find some of the iconic Bollywood’s award winning costumes.
     
     1.     Rangeela (1995)

Award Winning Costumes Rangeela Movie


Manish Malhotra – two words to describe an entire industry. With this film Manish Malhotra made his presence felt bigtime in Bollywood costume design spectrum. The costumes were a reflection of the changing society, of the western dominance over our culture; and it couldn’t have been better designed. Urmila’s knotted tops and hot pants kick started a crazy yet sexy trend among teens. Who can ever forget the killer combo of the tiny flowing skirt and Amrapali inspired bustier in pristine white? Indian fashion aficionados went gaga over the avant garde design of Urmila’s red dress which hogged the movie posters. The couturier who recently turned 49 won the Filmfare Award for Best Costume Design in Rangeela.

     2.     Lagaan (2001)

Award Winning Laggan Movie


Has there been a more perfect film than Lagaan? In every sense of filmmaking it did manage to hit the ball out of the boundary. The legendary costume designer and Oscar winner, Bhanu Athaiya designed the attires of the villagers to perfection using khadi and handloom. She went on to win her second National Award for Costume Design with this film which involved an array of village dresses, graceful evening gowns, red jackets for evening ball, British military uniforms and cricket gears. British soldiers were given shades of khaki whereas pastel shades were picked for the British ladies in stark contrast to the bright Indian hues. The English wardrobe had laces, voiles and pin tucks signifying the pre independence era.

     3.     Devdas (2002)

Award Winning Costues on Davdas Movie


If there is a film that was able to revolutionize the entire course of costumes and jewelry in India, then that was Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas. Yes, it is not an over statement. Neeta Lulla, Abu Jani, Sandeep Khosla and Reza Shariffi weaved dream-like dresses for this film and brought a new resurgence of saree and costume jewelry into the Indian market. They were duly honored with the National Award, but their legacy is far greater. While Shahrukh Khan’s lovelorn Devdas roams around in a white dhoti and kurta portraying the quintessential Bangali babu his heroines are seen in heavy sarees and lehengas. How can we ever forget Aishwaria’s regal blue sari with out and out zardozi work! The Dola Re saree popularized the traditional Bengali white and red combo!

     4.     Black (2005)

Award Winning Costues on black Movie


Understated costumes can create an impact that is rarely felt in an instant but in the long run, you start to appreciate the gravity of those costumes. Such were Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s National Award winning costumes in Black. The film was a fantastic creation of Bhansali where Bengali boy Sabyasachi proved how costumes can compliment the sets, the story and the acting. They formed their own identity in the film and that is a biggest achievable feat.

     5.     Jodhaa Akbar (2008)

Award Winning Costues on Jodhaa Akbar Movie


Neeta Lulla won her second National Award for this film and how well did she deserve it! She went for painstaking detailing into the costumes and brought to life the bygone royalty of the Mughal era. From its jewelry to the lehangas to the sherwani, all were just, sheer perfection. Intricate motifs, embroidery and embellishments on the best quality cotton and silk signify the opulence of the Mughal era. Zardozi, kundan and crystal stones embroidery formed a major part of the wardrobe of the Rajput princess Jodhabai. Large nose ring, earring and neck pieces adorned the flawless beauty of the Bachchan bahu. The Rajput culture got beautifully portrayed with her red bindi, elaborate lehengas and colorful dupattas.

     6.     The Dirty Picture (2011)

Award Winning Costues on The Dirty Picture Movie


Reviving the glamorous era of the 80s, Niharika Khan went to excruciating lengths to detail each and every costume worn by Vidya Balan which were designed to match the personality of south siren Silk Smitha. Keeping up with the trends Vidya’s costumes lead to a no holds barred midriff and bosom show. The sensuous lady did attract a lot of male gaze with her itsy bitsy red blouse and luscious red lipstick in the movie poster. The sweetheart neckline of blouses having polka dots and frills leading to a longer torso accentuated Vidya’s killer curves. Niharika won the National Award and a Filmfare Award for her contribution to this film in the form of more than 100 costume changes both for the normal screenplay and song and dance sequences.

     7.     Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2014)

Award Winning Costues on Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Movie


Designing costumes for the on screen portrayal of the legendary sprinter’s journey was no easy task. But when you have an award winning designer like Dolly Ahluwalia in the house, you can surely keep great expectations. Sonam Kapoor was made to look like a Gaon ki gori in loose kurta patialas of cotton with chiffon dupattas. With some casually left out mane, kada in right hand and floral printed attires she did manage to rule both the screen and our hearts. Farhan Akhtar’s transformation from the Punjabi munda wearing check shirts, black turban to sexy sports attires and finally classy suits was a sight to behold. Can we ever forget the yummy hero’s poster boy look in aviators, burgundy turban, brown shirt and killer body language? Well we sure cant!

     8.     Haider (2015)

Award Winning Costues on Haider Movie


The directorial venture of Vishal Bhardwaj came up with some breathtaking costumes in somber toner to match up to its tragic screenplay. Dolly Ahluwalia who won recognition as the costume designer of the movie inspired from Shakespeare’s Hamlet merged in strings of the 90’s turbulent Kashmir. Tabu looked like a quintessential Ghazala (school teacher) in elegant salwar kameez, pashmina shawl, hijab and a cashmere cardigan. Dolly utilized stuffs from her own closet like an antique phiran and also borrowed shawls from Kashmiri acquaintances to add layers to Tabu’s character.  This expert designer brought out the “wolf mode” of romantic hero Shahid Kapoor with a specially designed black and grey phiran. As Haider slowly drifts towards insanity, his costume reveals significant changes in the form of a cap with pomp pom additions.

     9.     Bajirao Mastani (2016)

Award Winning Costues on Bajirao Mastani Movie

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus was a clear reflection of the grandeur of the Marathas and the magnificence of Indian royal courts. The diaphanous dupattas, velvet drapes, farshi pyjamas and floor length anarkalis made Deepika look every bit of the Muslim origin Mastani. For the much acclaimed Pinga song, designer Anju Modi used the exquisite Paithani sarees in shades of maroon and aubergine woven in pure zari. The talented designer brought diversity with Maheshwari and Chanderi sarees apart from the traditional Maharashtra staple weaving. Priyanka’s Kashibai wore green bangles with pearl nath and rich silks with contrast blouses which signified the traditional attire of married ladies in Maharashtra. Ranvir Singh’s Peshwa Bajirao sported attires made of rich velvet with gold weaves, brocade, zardozi and a string of emeralds and rubies which was very common among Indian court generals and rulers of the historic era.  Huge rectangular shawls, tapestry woven Paithani saris and distinctively shaped headgear helped in creating the visual identity of militaristic elites of Maharashtra.


Don’t we all jump onto the bandwagon of fashion trends portrayed on screen by our favorite superstars? It becomes our everyday style statement by making its mammoth presence felt in all the spheres of life. So which of the above mentioned trend are you all set to follow? Don’t forget to let us know!

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