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Chandni saris to DDLJ jackets: Here’s what went into making YRF’s most iconic Bollywood costumes

From Madhuri Dixit's kurtas in Dil to Pagal Hai to Shah Rukh Khan’s polo necks in Mohabbatein, the production house shared the process that went into making these iconic outfits

Agnivo Niyogi Calcutta Published 23.01.24, 02:57 PM
(L-R) Rishi Kapoor, Rani Mukerji, Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

(L-R) Rishi Kapoor, Rani Mukerji, Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan YRF/Instagram

Production banner Yash Raj Films has offered a glimpse into the making of their most iconic Bollywood costumes that created fashion trends which influenced generations from the early 80s’ to 2023.

Sharing an article published on Google Arts & Culture section on Instagram, YRF wrote, “Costumes that once made it to every wardrobe and continue to remain iconic, even today,” alongside a poster featuring Rishi Kapoor (Chandni), Rani Mukerji (Bunty Aur Babli), Shah Rukh Khan (Mohabbatein) and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (Dhoom 2).


Chandni saris that became a fashion rage

Sridevi’s iconic outfits in Chandni (1989), designed by costume designers Bhanu Athaiya, Leena Daru, and Neeta Lulla, created a significant fashion trend during that era. Departing from the vibrant prints that dominated early 1880s’ Bollywood fashion, the film showcased a shift towards understated chiffon sarees and salwar kameez.

Sridevi's portrayal in chiffon sarees became immensely popular, earning them the moniker 'Chandni saris' in Indian fashion markets. The article also mentions that Rishi Kapoor was dressed in a variety of multicoloured, abstract, and patterned sweaters in order to create a contrast between his and Sridevi’s outfits.

Sridevi bridges east and west in Lamhe

In Lamhe, Sridevi took on the challenging task of portraying both a mother and a daughter, requiring distinct attire to convey the shift in generations. The maternal character she portrayed in the 1991 film needed to exude a sense of heritage and tradition, leading to the incorporation of Rajasthani influences in her wardrobe. This was evident in the vibrant lehengas adorned with intricate designs, complemented by traditional Rajasthani jewellery.

In contrast, the depiction of her youthful and contemporary double-role demanded a showcase of Western influences, featuring stylish white co-ords and bold, flowing summer dresses to capture a modern and upbeat aesthetic. Neeta Lulla, Kachins & Leena Daru won the National Award for Best Costume for Lamhe that year.

Manish Malhotra’s forward-thinking approach in DDLJ

Manish Malhotra demonstrated a forward-thinking approach to styling in Aditya Chopra’s directorial debut Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). Shah Rukh Khan’s iconic character Raj set a distinctive style for the youth, embodying a carefree and laid-back attitude that manifested in his clothing. Even today, Raj's fashion choices, including bomber jackets, oversized shirts, baggy pants, trucker caps, and round aviators, remain fashion aspirations for travellers, enthusiasts and influencers.

Kajol's wardrobe in the film is equally iconic and continues to be relevant. Each outfit, from the slit high-neck satin dress to the white crop top paired with a flared white skirt and the mint green ethnic ensemble, has stood the test of time.

Madhuri and Karisma’s Dil To Pagal Hai outfits

Dil To Pagal Hai showcased some truly noteworthy fashion moments, with Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor stealing the spotlight with their outfits. Madhuri's kurtas emerged as a significant trendsetter. The vibrant colours, intricate lace, flowing chiffon, and sleeveless kurtas gained immense popularity among the younger generation.

In the same film, Karisma's fashion choices also made a lasting impact, particularly with her chic velvet and metallic slit dresses. Her outfits complemented her playful character seamlessly. Manish Malhotra, the designer for all her costumes in the film, played a pivotal role in defining her wardrobe, which exuded confidence and individuality.

The iconic polo necks of Mohabbatein

The distinctive fashion sense of Shah Rukh Khan's character in Mohabbatein (2000) remains one of the most memorable aspects of the movie. His portrayal as a music professor in the film featured him donning polo-neck sweaters and pullovers, and his signature style of casually draping the sweater over his shoulder has become an iconic look. This particular fashion choice by Shah Rukh has been emulated and reproduced endlessly by his devoted fan base. It's worth noting that the credit for designing these noteworthy outfits goes to Karan Johar.

The Bunty-Babli suits

Shaad Ali’s 2005 comedy drama Bunty Aur Babli ushered in the 'avant-garde fashion' in cinema. Rani Mukerji's character, a small-town girl with an unique sense of style, made a significant impact on the fashion industry with the introduction of Bunty-Babli suits. The vibrant, statement outfits, designed by Aki Narula, featured collared and embellished short suits paired with matching embroidered Patialas and jholas, making her character memorable and distinct.

Hrithik-Aishwarya’s cool outfits in Dhoom 2

Hrithik Roshan's portrayal of Aryan in Dhoom:2 (2006) was a watershed moment in cinematic fashion. Anaita Shroff Adajania, the costume designer for Hrithik Roshan, skillfully balanced two contrasting dress codes. One exuded a grungy, relaxed vibe with a passive, laid-back look, while the other showcased a hot and fierce style.

Meanwhile, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's costumes struck the perfect balance between sass and style. The chic and glamorous outfits were contemporary, fun, and well-suited to her adventurous character. From corsets to waist bodysuits and edgy accessories like camo-prints, knee-high boots, and medallions, Aishwarya's outfits in the film showcased perfection in minimalism.

The casual vibe in Band Baaja Baaraat

Niharika Bhasin designed Anushka Sharma's costumes in the film Band Baaja Baaraat (2010), capturing a professional yet casual vibe befitting her role as a wedding planner. The standout outfit from the song 'Ainvayi Ainvayi' featured a royal blue kurta with green brocade border, zari, and thread embroidery, paired with an orange patiala and a bright yellow dupatta, setting a trend during the wedding season.

Shah Rukh, Salman and Deepika’s Spy Universe avatars

Salman Khan's character, Avinash Singh Rathore aka Tiger, not only left a lasting impression as an undercover spy but also made waves in the fashion realm. His off-beat, sleek, and breezy style, especially the distinctive scarf worn by Tiger, became an instant trend. Alvira Khan Agnihotri and Ashley Rebello were the costume designers for the Tiger franchise.

In Siddharth Anand’s Pathaan (2023), Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone, while excelling in their combat ensembles as undercover spies, also effortlessly embraced street-style off-duty looks. Deepika made bold fashion statements with flannel shirts, ripped jeans, knee-high boots, and corset tops, while Shah Rukh set fashion goals with his easy-breezy, sleek, and glamorous style.

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