Wedding Fashion: Some serious style tips from Bollywood

When Salman Khan’s sister Arpita got married recently, a host of Bollywood actors attended the Mumbai reception, some looking great and stylish, others not so much. But each of them had a style tip to share, and here’s what they were.

Sonakshi Sinha

Red is a great Indian festive colour. Sonakshi toned down the brightness with a light lip colour and minimal jewellery (the bare neck also showed off her recently-acquired sexy collarbones!).

Lara Dutta

A well-draped sari can easily cover up post-baby bulge. Brighten up an all-gold look with coloured gem stone jewellery.

Dia Mirza

A sharara is perfectly-acceptable wedding attire and a shaded one adds to the charm. While Dia Mirza chose a pastel palette, the embellishments and jewellery ensured she didn’t look washed out.

Huma Qureshi

With a dramatic silhouette, you don’t need too much embellishment. A bold border and accessories should do the trick.

Malaika Arora Khan

Malaika Arora Khan Arpita Khan's Wedding Reception

She’s sexy, she’s fashion forward, she’s from the bridal party and she’s not afraid to make a statement with a dhoti-sari and mesh blouse.

Karisma Kapoor

An off-white anarkali can be as regal as any bright colour, especially with a high collar. Give it a royal touch with the right shoes, and go easy on the accessories. BTW, the statement watch is a nice touch!

Jacqueline Fernandes

Yes, it is okay to wear black to a reception, and a bindi can brighten up your look instantly.

And a useful tip on what NOT to wear: Zarine Khan

Avoid tacky embellishments, please. Some designers are trying to use mirror work in wedding fashion, but it DOES NOT WORK! Also, you may want fuller lips but don’t go overboard with your lip liner and look like a clown.

All Photos Courtesy: TheCreativeAccess.in

Fashion lessons from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

I’ve been hooked to The Hunger Games series since I first read the books four years ago. Fashion has played a key role in the films, highlighting the contrast between the impoverished District 12 folks and the privileged Capitol dwellers. Jennifer Lawrence’s costumes (she plays Katniss Everdeen) make a significant and often startling statement about her background, her situation and her firebrand nature.

Mockingjay poster

In Mockingjay Part 1, the rebellion is gaining strength and Panem is on the brink of civil war. The costumes in the movie contribute greatly to the mood of the film and there are plenty of style inputs for everyone, if you watch closely. Here are my top fashion lessons from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.

Androgyny can be good.

Everyone in District 13 (where most of the action takes place) has to wear standard-issue grey shirts and pants, so the women seem devoid of curves. But there’s a pragmatic touch here. The multiple pockets add a functional element, the outfits are designed for practicality (a woman wouldn’t want to get evacuated while worrying about her flying skirt), and the high-waisted pants are flattering and comfortable. So ladies, why not give androgyny a serious shot?

Mockingjay Gael

Always, always, always personalise your look.

Personalising doesn’t always mean adding your initials to cuffs or ripping your jeans. It could mean a small detail that only you notice or a noticeable accessory. For example, the cold and calculating rebellion leader Alma Coin (played by Julianne Moore) wears her standard-issue ensemble with her top button fastened, while Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) keeps it unbuttoned. Effie (Katniss’s stylist- Elizabeth Banks) is dissatisfied with the military-style clothing (she calls the outfits “jumpsuits”), but she personalizes her look with a printed turban, or by wearing long shirts as dresses. Cressida (Natalie Dormer) has a half-shaved head with a tattoo snaking down her scalp, shoulder and arm. What could be more striking than that?

Natalie Dormer Mockingjay

Effie Elizabeth Banks Mockingjay Part 1

Develop a memorable trademark look or style.

While appearances are often deceptive, they are also the most impactful. If you show consistency in your look, it reinforces your personality and your public image. For instance, while on the brink of war, President Snow speaks to the nation looking well-groomed, calm, composed, and dressed in his luxury suits. While Caesar (TV host played by Stanley Tucci) asks questions about violence with his trademark backcombed hairdo and flamboyant styling intact. People will always remember how you’ve been dressing, so even a slight deviation is likely to be noticed and can lead to confusion or doubt.

Caesar Mockingjay Part 1

Accessorizing is crucial.

Accessorizing is not just about jewellery. The Mockingjay (Jennifer Lawrence) in action is never seen without her bow and arrow, while her close friend Gael is always with his crossbow. Effie ensures she is wearing at least one of her accessories, such as hand ornaments or cuffs, while Philip Seymour Hoffman is always with a messenger bag. Whatever your tools are, trade or otherwise, you need to make them visible so people can identify your personality traits. For example, at a job interview, would you rather be seen carrying a dark leather folder or an Angry Birds file?

Film Still 1 Mockingjay Part 1

Most important: What you wear says a lot about who you are.

For Katniss, the key accessory of her exclusive outfit is the Mockingjay pin-it is what makes her the Mockingjay. President Snow’s granddaughter looks up to Katniss and so wears her hair in a plait (like her heroine), and Effie (Katniss’s stylist) feels misplaced without her grandiose wigs. So even if you don’t realize it, your “personal” statement may have a larger impact than you think. You can show your solidarity with a cause, express anger, or protest an ideology with your clothes. Think of ordinary people wearing Modi jackets or caps that state “I am Anna (Hazare)”- they are making a very strong public statement about their ideological choices. So whatever you wear, you are saying something. Choose carefully and wisely.

President Snow Mockingjay Part 1

May the odds be ever in your favour!

Parineeti Chopra’s fashion disaster in Kill Dil

I had the misfortune of watching Kill Dil over the weekend. The movie was bleh, and Parineeti Chopra’s wardrobe was a major FASHION DISASTER. Styled by Aki Narula and Poorvi Mohan, her costumes were a poorly-done job. Surprising and disappointing, since this was supposed to be her most glamourous role yet (she plays Disha, a rich girl who drives a Ferrari). #EPICFAIL. BTW, the picture below is one of the rare moments in which she has been styled well.

Parineeti Chopra Kill Dil trench

There was one thing fundamentally wrong with her costumes in Kill Dil:

Parineeti Chopra was NOT dressed for her body type and size.

Two basic fashion and on-screen styling rules were broken.

Rule No 1: Firstly, the camera adds 10 pounds and the silver screen magnifies everything 10 times. So if there’s an extra centimeter here and there, it’s going to look like several inches.

Rule No 2: Second, as every aspiring stylist knows, ALWAYS dress for your body type. If you don’t, be prepared for a debacle.

Here’s my take on what comprised Parineeti Chopra’s fashion disaster in Kill Dil, and how the stylists could have done it better.

Tight and short dresses: In the song Happy Budday, Parineeti’s arm fat was spilling out from the strapline of her dress. Yep! Quite a sore sight. Much as I hate to say it, body-hugging dresses are meant for slimmer, petite women. While dozens of fashion brands sell bodycon dresses for larger sizes, most women cannot carry them off well.

Could be replaced with: Instead of these non-flattering silhouettes, Parineeti would have looked great in a sequined sheath dress or a well-fitted bustier with slim pants (without slippage!) for party nights.

Parineeti Chopra dress in Kill Dil

Shorts and skirts with boots: The super-short shorts and mini skirts, paired with the thigh-high boots plumped up Parineeti’s calves and thighs, and that’s not a good thing. I believe girls of all sizes should wear what they want, but come on, not on the silver screen (check out Rule No 1 above).

Could be replaced with: Knee-length skirt dresses accessorised with pumps or ankle-length boots.

Tight choli, low-waist lehenga: The orange Diwali ensemble comprised a tight cropped blouse with a keyhole neckline, and a lehenga that showed way more than it should have. Parineeti’s role was of a super-rich hotshot’s daughter, not a wannabe trying too hard to look desirable. While the outfit was lovely, it was the wrong one for someone like Parineeti.

Parineeti Chopra Diwali in Kill Dil

Could be replaced with: A heavy flowy anarkali or even a gorgeous lightly embellished sari would have looked great on Parineeti. Or the look could have been more tasteful with a strategically draped dupatta.

Round neck textured knit: Textured knits look great on skinny models but just look bulky on other women (especially the top-heavy ones). While the white sweater was cute, it wasn’t right for Parineeti.

Could be replaced with: Instead, Parineeti could have worn a V-neck lightweight knit in a darker colour for a refined look.

Crop top: A midriff-baring crop top with a mini skirt for a pear-shaped girl… seriously? Parineeti’s character Disha was a high-class Delhi girl, who’d know the difference between chic and Silk from The Dirty Picture.

Parineeti Chopra in Kill Dil-  crop top

Could be replaced with: High-waisted pants or skirt instead of the mini.

Given a chance, Parineeti Chopra would have looked lovely in these looks:

  • Sharp blazers and jackets with black trousers (Parineeti wore a blazer briefly and totally rocked in it).
  • Slim fit tops with skinny jeans.
  • Delicately-printed blouses with pastel pants.
  • Straight-cut dresses with interesting detailing like contrast collars, prints or belts.

PS- The only interesting accessory Parineeti wore in the movie was this ear cuff (see picture below).

Parineeti Chopra in Kill Dil

Important note: I have nothing against Parineeti Chopra. I think she’s a talented actor—her confidence and dialogue delivery amazed me right from her debut film (Ladies vs Ricky Bahl). Like all other women, she can choose how she wants to look and what her weight/size should be. In fact, hats off to her for sticking to her “real” body weight despite Bollywood and media pressure. This blog post is not meant to offend or malign Parineeti Chopra, her friends and family, or her team, but is rather a wakeup call to the stylists who didn’t let the actor’s body shape decide the clothes (it was as if the clothes were selected for another actor and had to be forced on Parineeti). And a big thumbs-down to the director who let this happen. Also, a message to the production team from Yashraj Films—your movies are aesthetically designed, even when otherwise devoid of good content. DID NOT EXPECT this from the Yashraj banner.

All pictures courtesy: Yashrajfilms.com

Get Deepika Padukone’s top fashion trends from HNY

The Diwali release of this year Happy New Year starring Deepika Padukone, Shahrukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, has several fashion trends to watch out for.

Styled by veteran fashion designer Manish Malhotra, Deepika Padukone is mostly seen in “performance” outfits, which mostly feature bling and shine. And then there a few hot fashion trends have been incorporated into Deepika’s wardrobe in the movie. Here are the trends, and where you can buy the looks.

Crop tops

You need a sexy midriff like Deepika’s to carry off a crop top. These super-short tees and tops are best worn with high-waist jeans or pants and a cool belt. Deepika paired her crop tops with track pants and dhoti pants for dance rehearsal.

Get the trend from: AND, Forever 21 (Below: Mint crop top from AND)

AND Mint Panel Crop Top- Deepika in HNY

Printed kurtas

Prints on ethnic Indian wear are not restricted to paisleys and Indian flowers anymore—there are bold multi-hued florals, abstracts, geometric patterns and even African tribal prints on kurtas now. I especially loved Deepika’s white kurta with a bright floral splash.

Get the trend from: Zovi (Below: Geometric printed kurta from Zovi)

Zovi geometric kurta

Refreshing colour palette

Like any feel-good Bollywood movie, the colours were bright and happy. Deepika’s off-stage kurtas and tees are from the citrus family- lemon and orange, with a hint of peach.

Get the trend from: Mango (Below: Pleated top from Mango).

Mango yellow top- Happy New Year

Deepika Padukone’s best outfit in Happy New Year:

It was the hands-down winner- the blue bustier top and embellished skirt Deepika wore to a party (in the song Indiawaale). Very glam, very MM!

Deepika Padukone in blue Indiawaale

Bollywood Fashion: Sonam Kapoor’s designer explains her quirky look in Khoobsurat

A royal palace, a prince, and a very propah rani. That’s hardly the right place for a vibrant, quirky, almost boho clothes. But then there’s the movie Khoobsurat and Sonam Kapoor pulling off the most outrageous looks in this high-society setting.

Khoobsurat poster

Sonam Kapoor plays Dr Milli Chakravarty in Khoobsurat, and her hard-to-miss outfits will get your fashion radar beeping. There are quirky colours and prints, perfectly complimenting her candid dialogues. Karuna Laungani, who has designed costumes for Sonam Kapoor in Khoobsurat , explains how it all came together.

How did you go about creating the look for Sonam Kapoor in Khoobsurat?

I was inspired by her character Milli- she’s a very unique personality. She doesn’t care what the world thinks of her, and is bit of a tomboy. But she’s also feminine, a bit Indian and modern. Her look is therefore a bit androgynous mixed with prints. She has lots of things running though her mind at a time, which shows on her clothes. So she would probably end up in a pair of mismatched socks!

What did you keep in mind while designing Sonam Kapoor’s look?

The director Shashanka Ghosh’s brief was clear—Milli needed to stand out. The movie is mostly set in a royal palace, so everyone and everything there is very proper. With her kooky persona, the reaction she is mostly likely to elicit from people is: “OMG, what is she wearing?!” But Milli carries off the look and makes it her own. Sonam’s look by itself may not make sense, but with her character’s personality, it all falls together.

Khoobsurat selfie- Sonam Kapoor

So what is Sonam wearing in Khoobsurat?

Since Milli she expresses herself with what she wears, I’ve played around with androgyny that’s mixed with Indian prints. There is also plenty of layering, and mixing of colours and prints. Since she’s eccentric and experimental, she may not wear a typical salwar-kurta. Instead she’ll wear dhoti pants and a Rajsthani patchwork jacket. And she’ll wear boxers with cute onesies as nightwear.

Sonam Kapoor in Khoobsurat trailer

Where did you source Sonam Kapoor’s costumers from?

The sourcing was too much fun! We got to try a whole range of brands, looks and designers with all sorts of garments and accessories. I sourced a lot from Indian designers like Anupama Dayal, Karishma Shahani, and Pero (for scarves). From high Street, I chose Bhane for basics, and other brands like Vero Moda, Only, Zara and Asos. Her sneakers are from Adidas, worn with Happy Socks.

What about the accessories?

Milli’s accessories are fun, just like her. She wears Adidas sneakers throughout the film, they’re very sporty! You will also see her in jootis (since she’s living in Rajasthan) and her red watch. You would have already seen her maroon oversized spectacle frames in the posters and trailers. When it comes to jewellery, she’s wearing sensible studs (she’s a physiotherapist after all!), and there’s an arm party happening with lots of arm bracelets and arm bands! She probably got them on Friendship Day from her student days.

Khoobsurat-accessories

What is the one trend that you think stands out in the movie?

The Workout Look. Since Milli is a physiotherapist, she needs to wear practical clothes for working out. But she has fun even with her active wear. So she ends up wearing pink or blue tights with a striped sports bra, and interesting bomber jackets with floral prints.

What is the one thing you would to steal from Milli’s wardrobe?

EVERYTHING!! I like prints, colours, Indian textiles, and I love mixing everything up so it’s really difficult to say. But if I had to pick just one thing, I’d choose her sneakers.

Sonam Kapoor Khoobsurat poster

What is your favourite look from Khoobsurat?

It’s already on the poster. It’s a purple and pink cropped sweater with checked pants. Also, I like the dhoti pants with a blouse and blue shrug, with purple aviataors. It’s such a cool Indo-western look.

What advice would you give anyone who wants to take inspiration from Milli?

Think out of the box. You can clash prints and mix them up, or wear a fun tunic or kurta with denim and sneakers. You could try a printed skirt and printed blouse, but make sure they go together. It’s nice to wear Indian-inspired accessories (like silver jewellery) with skirts and shorts or even shirts. Electrical blue skirts would look great with sneakers and Indian kurtas.

All you need is the right attitude, and should know your style constraints. Of course, good taste in putting things together really helps. Most importantly, think about your personal style and what works for you and your body.

What was it like working with Sonam Kapoor, a fashion icon?

Sonam is an actor first, then a fashion icon. For her, it was getting into the skin of the character above anything else. She was very sporting and I loved how she could make every look work. She kind of inspires you to push the edge and try to do better. So when I would hesitate, she would say, “Come on, add another layer to this look”, and voila! It would look great.

Khoobsurat releases September 19 in cinemas across India.

Bollywood Fashion: Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania vs DDLJ

Spoilt Ambala girl Kavya Pratap Singh (Alia Bhatt) is getting married soon. And she’s hell-bent on wearing a designer lehenga on her big day, a “local” lehenga just won’t do. And this determination is where the story of Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania begins.

humpty-sharma-ki-dulhania-movie-wallpaper-7

A month in Europe or a designer lehenga?

While DDLJ’s Simran (Kajol) wanted a month of freedom and escaped to the beautiful landscapes of Europe, all Kavya wants is a designer lehenga, and escapes to Delhi. So this movie that aims to be the new generation’s Dilwala Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), swaps a yearning for independence with a strong desire for an outfit. That’s quite a leap this generation has taken.

Kavya (the bridezilla who’s never seen the guy she’s about to marry!) is so determined to get her hands on a designer lehenga, that she sets about looking for ways to raise funds for her bridal outfit.

Since Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania isn’t a documentary on young India’s materialism, it takes a dig at the designer obsession. There’s even a something on easily-available designer fakes that look like the real thing. The “fake” sellers swear the outfits are “real” and gullible people buy them happily.

Alia Bhatt’s look: Punjabi patialas, what else?

I’m bored of seeing Punjabi girls on screen wearing patiala salwars, like they don’t wear anything beyond that. Alia Bhatt wears her patialas almost all the time—with tees and kurtis, sometimes adding a shirt over the tee, or a tee with a sheer leheriya waistcoat. The dangling earrings and jhumkas may aim for an Indian boho look, but it seemed like she was trying too hard to look boho.

Alia Bhatt in Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania

Interestingly, I found Alia’s makeup far more appropriate. As a typical Punjabi, she’d be likely to apply lots of colour on her face, so there’s blush and lipstick and kajal in several scenes. After all, Punjabis don’t really know the fine art of subtlety.

Varun Dhawan’s look: Tees, jeans and some jackets

As a vain guy, Humpty Sharma has carefully planned his look to project an I-don’t-care-a-damn look. For instance, he’s wearing pricey pairs of jeans and trendy t-shirts, like those with multi-hued stripes and tribal prints, often layered with shirts or light jackets. As far as his style goes, Humpty’s look was smart casual meets urban chic (for men). Costume designer Archana Walavalkar has done a great job styling Varun Dhawan.

Varun Dhawan in Lucky-Tu-Lucky-Me

But his key looks are the DDLJ-inspired ones (more on them below). If you remember DDLJ you know why they have some significance.

DDLJ-inspired costumes- The Hits and Misses

I would have loved to see an unusually-coloured lehenga on the bride in this movie (like Kajol’s green, which was unusual for the time), but Alia Bhatt wore orange for her mehendi and bright pink for her wedding, pretty standard choices for brides these days. And while Kavya experimented with her outfits during her Delhi stint, they were barely a shadow to Kajol’s daring outfits during her Europe trip (a statement on her month-long freedom).

The stronger DDLJ influence on costumes is seen on Varun Dhawan. When he wants to impress Kavya, he goes to meet her wearing a black leather jacket, very similar to the one Shahrukh Khan wore when he met Kajol in the train the first time. The spunky Kavya points out the jacket is completely inappropriate for the Delhi heat, deflating hiss ego. 😛 In the climax, Varun is in a brown jacket, again reminiscent of SRK’s costume in DDLJ in the famous train scene.

Train scene- Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania

Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania may try to be an homage to DDLJ, but its costumes stand nowhere close to the fresh take on outfits seen in the original and nor does the movie, which was the GREATEST ROMANTIC MOVIE of all time. Yeah, I still <3 DDLJ. Sigh.

Bollywood Fashion: Is Alia Bhatt dressed like an IIM student in 2 States?

From her high-fashion costume stint in Student of the Year and minimum costume changes in Highway, Alia Bhatt had a completely new wardrobe to wear as Ananya Subramaniam in 2 States.

Alia Bhatt in 2 States

What Alia Bhatt wore

Styled by Manish Malhotra, Alia Bhatt wore a range of cotton kurtas—in neon shades, with jeans, or with a denim waistcoat. Her tees and tank tops were paired with ghagra skirts, and accessorised with jhumkas, cotton scarves and Kolhapuri wedges.

Alia Bhatt in kurta- 2 States

While Alia Bhatt looked great, I got a sense of déjà vu. I had spotted similar looks in other movies like Kareena Kapoor in Bodyguard (also styled by Manish Malhotra) and Kangana Ranaut in Tanu Weds Manu and Queen. All these looks are very Indo-boho / ethnic. You’d probably get Alia Bhatt’s huge collection of jhumkas, ghagra skirts and other such ethnic stuff Mumbai’s Colaba or Linking Road market and I’m sure every Indian town has such a market or two. There are also several local brands like Global Desi and Fab India who stock Indian-looking separates and accessories.

Alia Bhatt in 2 States

So what do girls at IIM wear?

While Alia Bhatt looks great and is styled well, I wondered what does a girl studying at IIM really wear? There is no definite answer of course- but I got some inputs from my hubby S (an IIM alumnus). While he claims he doesn’t remember much of his two years there (yeah, RIGHT!), and especially not what the girls wore, he add an interesting statement or two to make.

“The girls at IIM did not have time to accessorise or wear makeup.”

Packed lecture schedules, multiple projects and ongoing tests leaves IIM students with little or no time to do anything other than study. So for the girls there, there’s almost no time to find the right earrings before class or carefully apply liner to their upper and lower lash lines. But hey, I liked Alia’s nude pink lip colours.

Alia Bhatt- 2 States

“They mostly wore business suits to placement interviews.”

Alia Bhatt’s character Ananya wore a sari to her placement interview with Sunsilk (an HUL brand). Hubby confirms that almost all women wore business suits for their interviews- crisp shirt and trousers, blazer et al. Only one or two students chose to wear saris instead. Nice to know that Ananya was one of the rare ones!

“Only a handful of the girls were fashion-conscious.”

Ananya is clearly fashion-conscious- but while she doesn’t seem to follow trends, she has a flair for trying the quirky. Also, she seems to have a good fashion sense off campus as well. She wore a gorgeous sari to her boyfriend’s cousin’s wedding in Delhi- traditional but with bright colours. Given her fashion choices and cute looks, no wonder 11 guys hit on her on the first day at IIM!

Alia Bhatt in sari - 2 States

What did you think of Alia Bhatt’s outfits in 2 States?

 

Bollywood Fashion : Why Sonakshi Sinha is a fashion flop in OUATIMD, and Akshay Kumar isn’t

Bollywood Fashion : Why Sonakshi Sinha is a fashion flop in OUATIMD, and Akshay Kumar isn’t

I saw Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara (OUATIMD) over the weekend, and I wasn’t impressed by the movie, and definitely not by the fashion. Sonakshi Sinha’s costumes, designed / styled by Manish Malhotra were a complete let-down. Here’s why:
Sonakshi was not wearing the right fits

OUATIMD- Sonakshi Sinha

Sonakshi Sinha’s wardrobe disaster in Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara is primarily because of the ill-fitting outfits that she’s wearing. Yes, she’s a plus-sized actor, but that doesn’t excuse the tailoring. The knee-length kurtas were too tight for her– unsightly bulge jutted out at the sleeves and the back.

Sonakshi’s outfits were wrong for her body type
The camera adds 10 pounds and the silver screen another 10, I’d say. While the costume design team had to stick to the styles and trends of the era, Sonakshi looked bloated and way too plump next to the fit Akshay Kumar and skinny Imran Khan. Tweaking the outfits to better suit her body shape would have helped. Like the kurtas could be a bit looser on the chest and hips, and the necklines should have been higher.

The era was all wrong

OUATIMD- Sonakshi Sinha
Contrast dupattas are a fairly recent phenomenon, so Sonakshi shouldn’t have been wearing them in the movie. They weren’t around in the 1970s and 80s. I remember my mom and aunts wearing dupattas that were the same colour as their kurta and salwar. And the little prints on her kurtas can be found in any bazaar, department store or ethnic brand store in India today!

The costumes didn’t match the character
Sonakshi plays a naive aspiring actor from small-town Kashmir, and a girl with such a background would NOT be wearing such low necklies or plunging backs. And the dupatta would actually cover up her chest, not play peek a boo.

Sonakshi’s makeup could be so much better
Blush, eye shadow, liner and lipstick, all put together in a single look made me feel the makeup artist could have done a far better job. Sonakshi looked lovely in the scenes in which there was no hint of lipstick or rouge. And oh, the silver nail polish. Really?
Is the off-screen Sonakshi more fashionable?

OUATIMD-Sonakshi-Sinha
BTW, Sonakshi looked lovely in some of the events promoting the film, much more real and relaxed, and carrying similar looks but looking much more fashionable and comfortable. The fits seemed right this time. What say?

A word on Akshay Kumar’s costumes

Akshay Kumar looked pretty much the gangster comfortable in his own skin. While I thought Akshay’s acting was over-the-top, his look was very well styled by Kunal Rawal.

OUATIMD-Akshay Kumar

Kunal dressed Akshay Kumar in solid and striped shirts in colours like like deep wine, burgundy, and steel grey teamed with muted jackets in greys, navy and black. Unmissable accessories defined the man and his persona– a mix of classy (Cartier watch), trendy (over-sized dark sunglasses) and wanting to show who’s boss (shiny and pointy shoes). Slick and stylish!

BTW, another great piece of movie styling by Kunal Rawal is Aisha (click here to read about the Aisha costumes).

What did you think of the costumes in Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobara?

Bollywood Fashion: Sonam Kapoor does a double desi, which Indian look should you wear?

Bollywood Fashion: Sonam Kapoor does a double desi, which Indian look should you wear?

Sonam Kapoor- the fashionista. Sonam Kapoor- the willingly typecast actor? In both her new releases (Raanjhanaa and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag), the young actor is seen in similar desi girl styles, although from different eras. Even so, it would be tough to pinpoint an outfit from a specific movie.

Sonam Kapoor in Bhaag-Milkha-Bhaag

Sonam Kapoor is the typical small-town girl in the movies- demure and tongue-tied in the 1950s-based Bhaag Milkha Bhaag; and educated and confident in the present day Raanjhanaa.

Here’s my take on Sonam’s looks from both the movies.

Sonam Kapoor as Zoya in Raanjhanaa

Costume Design: Payal Saluja

Sonam Kapoor in Raanjhanaa

In this movie set in Varanasi and Delhi, Sonam Kapoor starts off as a pretty school girl (Zoya) who evolves into a shrewd college graduate with a political inclination.

Sonam’s clothes in Raanjhanaa feature deep Indian earthy colours that blend well into Varanasi’s crowded markets. She’s mostly wearing cotton kurtas with contemporary prints, that include paisleys and geometric Indian designs. These prints are quite commonly spotted in Indian stores, and are perfect for the girl-next-door that Sonam plays.

The kurtas have a border with a hint of embellishment or detailing (like gold thread work), and her outfit is completed with a contrasting dupatta. Sonam’s accessories are mostly jhumkas of various colours, shapes and sizes, carefully paired with her ensembles. As a look, Zoya’s style is easy to achieve and imitate if you’ve got the right mix of kurtas (available everywhere) and jhumkas (those too).

Sonam Kapoor in Raanjhanaa

BTW, I’ve noticed recently that most actors playing young women from small-town India are spotted in colourful kurtas and jhumkas (example: Kangana Ranaut in Tanu Weds Manu). Are there no other accessories available to these girls?

Sonam Kapoor as Biro in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Costume Design: Dolly Ahluwalia

In Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Sonam Kapoor’s Biro is a typical 1950s girl. Living in not-so-dandy conditions near the railway tracks, she steps out to fill water from the community tap every morning. Her Punjabi attire is a super-short kurta, and, surprise surprise(!) a patiala salwar. And there’s a contrast dupatta again, with her red chunnari playing a somewhat significant role in Milkha Singh’s life and memories.

Sonam Kapoor in Bhaag-Milkha-Bhaag

I’m not sure if this is what young Punjabi women wore in the Fifties, but if they did I hope they know the short kurta-patiala combo wasn’t really flattering. The extra wide patiala salwars and voluminous gathers that Sonam wore aren’t exactly meant for well-built Punjabi women. But the mismatched print combinations and floral prints were just right– portraying Sonam as a lower middle class girl who has little time or inclination to do matchy-matchy to make it in time for the tap water. Her rustic appearance is kinda rustic with unstyled hair and plain kada and balis (so no makeup, and almost no accessories).

Sonam Kapoor in Bhaag-Milkha-Bhaag

It won’t be a good idea to try aping Sonam Kapoor’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag look, as you would most likely come across as a behenji in 21st century India. Milkha Singh’s legend may live on, but the fashions from his era most certainly don’t!

Bollywood Fashion: Get Deepika Padukone’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani looks in just one step

Bollywood Fashion: Get Deepika Padukone’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani looks in just one step

Deepika Padukone can wear almost anything and look pretty in it. In Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani her character Naina wears a whole variety of clothes and looks great in all of them. Unfortunately,  Deepika’s looks in the movie are as stereotyped and predictable as the storyline, sometimes inappropriate and sometimes just bizarre. I’m not too impressed with costume designer Manish Malhotra’s styling for this movie.

Either way, if you want to adopt Deepika Padukone’s looks, here’s a simple one-step guide to the three key looks she dons in the movie.

Geeky student

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani Deepika Padukone

The plain Jane Deepika wears squarish geeky glasses that indicate her studiousness, with simple printed dresses covered up with a light jacket or cardigan. Her straight hair is pulled back into a ponytail or held back with a hair band. BTW, on cold nights, while camping in the Himachal outdoors, Deepika looks surprisingly cozy in knee length dresses!

One step look: Dark rimmed glasses.

Transformation time

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani Deepika Padukone Balam Pichkari

Deepika Padukone’s transformation from geeky girl to sexy lass was completed in the most predictable way– by getting drunk, swapping the spectacles for contact lenses, and ditching the comfortable outfits for tiny shorts and prancing around during Holi (when most Indian women want to stay indoors).

One step look: Hot shot pants

Head-turning hottie
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani Deepika Padukone Ranbir Kapoor

Once the transformation was complete, we didn’t get to see much of Deepika until a grand wedding in Udaipur. At the wedding, Deepika is pretty much the centre of attention with tiny blouses and low waist lehengas. With her low neck kurtas that are barely concealed by a dupatta, Naina is ultra feminine and desi sexy.

One step look: Midriff-baring lehenga or tight kurta.

Which Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani look do you want to try?