Fifteen years of helming a designer label could by no means be an easy feat but Manish Malhotra, the industry’s go-to person for all things fashion, has achieved the coveted milestone. His eponymous label’s success aside, one he celebrated with a new collection, 2020 is also the year when the designer completes 30 years in the film industry. Starting out as a stylist when the concept was still new to India, the couturier has a number of iconic film costumes to his name today—ranging from Urmila Matondkar’s look in Rangeela to the much-hyped style of Poo from K3G and more.
In sync with the milestone, we decided to go through the archives to look at some of the designer’s best costumes and styling in Bollywood films so far. Read on.
A popular hit, Rangeela was one of the films that presented costumes designed with thorough detail, keeping the character’s arc in mind. Urmila Matondkar’s sultry gowns and girl-next-door looks showed her transition in the movie and were all the rage when it released. Notably, Rangeela went on to get Manish Malhotra several accolades, including the coveted ‘Best Costume Design’. Scroll down to see some looks which would work even today.
Who can forget the sleek athleisure and simple Indian wear outfits in Dil To Pagal Hai? From Karisma Kapoor’s western attires to Madhuri Dixit’s contrasting lace and sheer kurtas, the movie’s fashionable looks were emulated all over. With its clothes designed and styled by Manish Malhotra, the film was also one of the first ones to introduce international brands and western trends, think bike shorts, slip dresses and activewear.
Kareena Kapoor Khan’s portrayal of Poo was the talk of the town, with her depicted fashion choices standing out and still going strong. Be it the bold crop tops or the straight pants and kameez that presented a distinctive Indian wear wardrobe, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’s release in 2001 laid out trends that would be echoed for years to come. Take a look at some of the hit costumes from the movie.
With Dostana came a new wave of what uber-cool clothing represented. Easy tank tops, stylish resort wear picks and fun dresses worn by Priyanka Chopra showed the ‘cool girl avatar’ styled in a new vibe. Then, of course, there was the gold swimsuit and the Manish Malhotra saree paired with a bralette—both breaking the idea of what classics ought to look like.
The ace designer also worked on Kareena Kapoor Khan’s iconic red saree seen in the movie Ra. One. An intricately embroidered border and sheer panelling on the blouse aside, Manish Malhotra also experimented with a distinctive draping style.
With styling by Manish Malhotra, amongst others, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil saw a number of trends emerge. If Anushka Sharma’s devil-may-care attitude reflected on her clothes, giving us the elaborate long kurta worn with jeans, Aishwarya Rai’s chic, tailored outfits lent her one of the most distinctive of her film appearances. Not to forget Anushka Sharma’s elaborate wedding outfit which was recreated by a number of brides.
The movie may not have worked its charm on the box office but its elaborate costumes gave the designer a chance to experiment with period dramas. Quaint sarees, exuberant lehengas and detailed shawls were a few of the many attires which contributed to the film’s pre-partition costumes.
Do you have a favourite Manish Malhotra costume from a Bollywood film? Tell us in the comments below.
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