Bollywood’s Influence on Lehenga Fashion: Iconic Looks and Styles

Bollywood’s Influence on Lehenga Fashion: Iconic Looks and Styles

Bollywood has had a tremendous influence on Indian fashion over the decades. Especially when it comes to traditional wear like lehengas, Bollywood celebs have been trendsetters with their gorgeous looks on and off screen. From Madhuri Dixit’s purple embroidered lehenga in Hum Aapke Hain Koun to Deepika Padukone’s regal look in Bajirao Mastani, Bollywood divas have made the lehenga an iconic ethnic wear.

Madhuri Dixit as Trendsetter in the 90s

In the 90s, Madhuri Dixit was the undisputed queen of Bollywood and her on-screen style defined fashion. Her purple embroidered lehenga with a matching choli and dupatta designed by Neeta Lulla in the 1994 blockbuster Hum Aapke Hain Koun became hugely popular. The colorful and heavily embellished lehenga set a trend for rich fabrics and traditional embroidery like zardozi, gota, zari. Similar heavily worked lehengas were seen on brides during weddings. Madhuri also influenced the trend of wearing ghagra style lehengas with long cholis.

Kareena Kapoor’s Look in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

Kareena Kapoor as Poo in the 2001 film Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham became a fashion icon for young girls in her short tops and trendy lehengas. Though playing a spoiled rich girl in the film, her glamorous short choli with low waist lehengas highlighted with sequins or patchwork became a rage. It set the trend for wearing more body-hugging and figure flattering lehengas. Crop tops with lehenga skirts also grew in popularity after Kareena’s look in the film’s hit song “Bole Chudiyan”.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as the Elegant Trendsetter

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has worn some of the most beautiful lehengas in Bollywood movies as well as on red carpets. Her grace and elegance allows her to carry off richly worked lehengas effortlessly. Her royal look in lehengas in period films like Jodhaa Akbar, Umrao Jaan and more recently Ponniyin Selvan have been awe-inspiring. She popularized heavier fabrics like brocade, silk and velvet in bridal lehengas with styles ranging from Anarkalis to mermaid silhouettes. Solid colors with rich gold zari borders and motifs are also a trend influenced by her.

Deepika Padukone and the Revival of Regal Fashion

Deepika Padukone as Mastani in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani (2015) sported some of the most extravagant and grand lehengas seen in a long time. The revival of that rich regal fashion from the Maratha era was also seen in weddings after the movie’s success. Intricate designs, traditional Indian jewellery paired with heirloom style lehengas were back in vogue. The metallic and foil printing on fabrics also became very popular for that royal look. Deepika’s green lehenga in “Deewani Mastani” song also set the trend for green bridal lehengas.

Contemporary Bollywood Inspired Styles

More recently actresses like Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt have also showcased modern contemporary lehenga designs on-screen and off it. Anushka’s easy-breezy dancing style in songs like “Mere Rashke Qamar” were perfectly complemented by lighter fabrics like chiffon and georgette lehengas. Intricate hand embroidery is still prominent but the silhouettes are more experimental. Skirt lehengas, panelled lehengas, jacket style cholis, pant-style bottoms are some variations seen. Pastel colors and fusion looks like lehenga-saree, crop top lehenga are also becoming popular.

We can see that Bollywood divas have made the lehenga an iconic ethnic wear for Indian women with their sensational on-screen looks over the years. They have influenced silhouettes, embroidery styles and fabrics when it comes to lehengas. Both traditional and contemporary Bollywood inspired lehenga styles continue to be a hot favorite for festive and bridal fashion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *