Yesteryear divas of Bollywood brought an ethereal charm to the screens. The audience held their breath as the actresses made a dramatic entry in the film with their kohl-lined eyes, side bangs, bouffants, hoop earrings, and coy smiles. Time seemed to stop on the edges of Madhubala’s mischievous smile, Hema Malini’s beautiful eyes, and Rekha’s sensuous voice.
While they weaved magic on screen with their beauty, grace, and acting, many of them even became iconic for their style statements. Sadhana’s fringes became so popular that to date the hairstyle is known as Sadhana-cut, Mumtaz’s tight churidar-Kurtis, Sharmila Tagore’s winged eye-makeup, Asha Parekh’s bouffant… While some of their styles have perpetuated in modern fashion, others have been lost in the hazes of cinema and fashion history.
Let’s take a look at some of these trends that are worth bringing back:
The Long Braids
Bollywood had its own Rapunzels in the Golden era. The thick and curly braided hair was extremely popular among the luminaries of fashion in the 60s and then in the late 70s. Think Nutan, Jaya Bachchan, Jaya Prada, Vidya Sinha, among others. And how can one forget Rekha’s two playful braids in Khoobsurat! The beauties exemplified simplicity and grace on the screen, aided by their luscious hair tied in a braid.
The Polka Dots
Polka dots haven’t gone out of fashion per se. You may spot someone donning on a polka-dotted look every now and then. But its prevalence has subsequently reduced. Polka dots are simple, effortless, and lots of fun. Dimple Kapadia’s knotted polka shirt in Bobby is still most remembered.
Ribbons are history. Some might have worn it to school as part of the uniform but not anymore. However, veteran actresses could have vouched for it as a mandatory hair accessory back in the 50s.
Bouffant, although a part of some red carpet looks, is hardly visible outside of it. The bouffant hairstyle can make extraordinary glam out of the ordinary. Sharmila Tagore wore it with such flair and elan that it seemed like a part of her personality. Sport the bouffant as a homage to the era gone by and to make heads turn.
Bell sleeves were quite a hit with actresses like Neetu Singh and Parveen Babi. Even present-day actresses – like Sonam Kapoor – can be seen sporting bell sleeves, occasionally. However, they are still lingering somewhere at the back of fashion choices and maybe it’s time to bring it to the forefront.
These were a few style statements from the fashion icons of the past that we have been inspired by. So, let fashion history repeat itself and influence our styles yet again!