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Fashion through the decades

The Telegraph gets on a time machine and brings to life a bunch of defining looks spanning the 40s to the present day
Paoli is all poise like Suraiya in Anmol Ghadi
Paoli is all poise like Suraiya in Anmol Ghadi

Saionee Chakraborty   |   Published 13.08.22, 01:16 AM

As India celebrates its diamond jubilee of Independence, we time travel through the decades, recreating some of the iconic looks of the top heroines who made the era their own. Taking this memorable ride with us are the Byomkesh Hotyamancha pair of leading ladies, Paoli Dam and Sohini Sarkar. While Paoli brings alive the timeless beauties Suraiya, Waheeda Rehman, Sharmila Tagore and Zeenat Aman, all hand-picked by Aniruddha Chakladar, Sohini is at ease channelling Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Deepika Padukone. An album.


Paoli is all poise like Suraiya in Anmol Ghadi (1946). (Anarkali: Ekru; choker + neckpiece: Ekru; pearl sita haar + jhapta: Gahanejewellery)


Paoli brings alive the innocent playfulness of Waheeda Rehman from the famous Jane kya tune kahi from the classic Pyaasa (1957).


Paoli transforms into Sharmila Tagore from An Evening in Paris (1967). The hair, the eyes, the smile, the charm. #love

(Sari: Priya Gopal Bishoyi; blouse: Warssi Kolkata; jewellery: Gahanejewellery)


Paoli tries one of Zeenat Aman’s looks from the cult Don (1978).

(Trouser and bustier: Nehha Nhata)

Fashion has evolved through the decades and every decade has its own signature. All the actresses I have portrayed are my favourites. I like doing period films because there is a lot of research work and so you get to know a lot. Waheeda Rehman’s sari looks like cotton in the picture, but then I realised it is chiffon. I really like the overall concept. It can be a simple style statement, like Waheeda Rehman is just wearing a chiffon sari. Sharmila Tagore was a glamour queen though she started from a non-glam space, with Satyajit Ray’s film. Suraiya used to sing too. They are so beautiful and talented in their own way and all so different and they bring something unique to the table. That’s why they are evergreen and that’s why it is difficult to match their standards
- Paoli Dam

Location courtesy: ITC Royal Bengal


Sohini recreates Sridevi’s look in this blue chiffon sari from the famous Kate nahin kat te in Mr. India (1987). #sizzle


One of Madhuri Dixit’s iconic looks from Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994) is this purple sari by Anna Singh. The film is almost synonymous with this Didi tera devar deewana costume. And, after nearly three decades, we still can’t stop crushing on the loaded-with-glamour look.

The shoot is so much fun, but it’s a little intimidating to emulate such stalwarts. Sridevi’s comic timing is legendary, but my personal favourite is Madhuri Dixit. I think Jab We Met is Kareena Kapoor’s best performance. She has a diva appeal. I have never been a fan of anyone, but Deepika’r aami ektu fan. She has balanced it. I really like her personality — Sohini Sarkar


‘Main apni favourite hoon’ says Kareena Kapoor Khan in Jab We Met (2007). And, this long tee-Patiala pants look from the landmark film is still a favourite. Comfort, cool and so chill!

Present Day

Deepika Padukone’s tousled hair and easy glam in Gehraiyaan (2022) is a winner for the effortless chic and DIY X factor. Sohini looks the part too.

Location: Bohurupi Santiniketan; 20/12B Graham’s Land, Tollygunge, NSC Bose Road

Pictures: Pabitra Das

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