Daring Designs

Can Bollywood fashionistas risk thinking outside of the box?

Posted: 07.05.15

When you think of our B-town belles, what comes to mind is glitz, glamour, sophistication and elegance. Rarely do we see A-list stars attempting to be different, donning innovative ensembles and setting new fashion trends. It’s all about Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi designer couture, which are undoubtedly stunning, but pretty much the same ol’ classic designs time and again. Indian designer Manish Arora made it to the world stage at Paris Fashion Week – yet our favourite actresses wouldn’t be caught dead in one of his funky designs.

Writing about the latest scene in fashion, I often struggle to spot new trends and always wonder why is it that Bollywood actresses cannot dare to be different?! Then, I saw Rihanna on the red carpet at the Met Gala 2015, posing in a dress that resembled a splatter of egg yolk, chick-like fluffy flamboyant dress which made headlines. Admittedly, I laughed out loud when the dress was likened to an omelette, a Greggs steak bake and a pizza, but at least she thought out of the box – here was an example of design and creativity with no boundaries and I envied Western fashion world for enabling a boundless creative license. A world where stars could bask in the freedom of experimental, albeit off-the-wall styles, which could inspire and encourage us that as long as your brave enough, you can wear whatever you feel comfortable in and wear it proudly - even when the world ridicules you and likens you to their lunch. We all know why Rihanna did it – stars can sport whatever statement-making outfits they want and they do it for publicity, but that doesn’t mean someone out there doesn’t get inspired by their boldness.


But why don’t we see Aishwarya Rai wearing a dress that resembles a samosa? Why doesn’t Jacqueline Fernandez wear a jalebi inspired lengha? Perhaps for us, that’s not what Bollywood is all about – we want to be dazzled by Manish Malhotra style decadence, as we can copy that. Bollywood is just too prim and proper to be styled in avant-garde fashion, unlike their Western counterparts. Even though our Indian beauties are such stunners, they could make a black bag look sexy!

The latest generation of popular Indian actresses like Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut are the only ones who have been abit risqué, carrying off spunky couture and defiantly being fearless enough to carry on doing so, despite getting slated by the media as ‘worst dressed’. The most revolutionary fashionista is of course Sonam Kapoor, who although doesn’t quite adopt the wackiest attire, has managed to redefine the expectations of what a desi girl should wear, by demonstrating refreshingly different styles so beautifully and making such a mark worldwide.


I confess that I am in as much awe with Manish Malhotra’s dreamy designs as the rest of you, but I just wanted to make a point that there is also nothing wrong with making a statement with your fashion if you so desire, and if our Indian superstars embraced that attitude sometimes, it would be a leap towards the realms of forward-thinking fashion which desi’s have never explored and would be way more interesting and exciting. And that doesn’t mean you have to be inspired by your dinner to be different. You could look towards your pets or inspiration could be lurking in your garden too…!

Fariha Sabir

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