Films and fashions...

September 27, 2011

I don’t know if it happens as often with Hollywood movies but Bollywood (Bombay or Mumbai, movie capital of India) certainly sets off fashions every now and then.

One of the earliest vogues I remember was the “Sadhna cut”. Sadhna was a famous film star, with the classic good looks of a woman of the Sindhi community. She started the fad of a fringe cut across the forehead, and many a mother fancied herself, as well as her daughter, better looking with the “Sadhna cut”.

Here’s a lovely song, where Sadhna sports her “cut”:

Another craze that I remember was the “Jewel Thief” hat. An affair of checkered cloth, jauntily perched on the side of the evergreen actor Dev Anand (a Gregory Peck lookalike who celebrated his 88th birthday a couple of years ago and who was famous for acting with younger and younger heroines as he got older and older) in that movie, it set the cities and towns on fire. In a land where only old babus wore “topees” and only villagers wore turbans, the young men went around clamouring for the “Jewel Thief” hat!

Here’s a lovely song, where Dev is wearing that hat!

I also vaguely remember a tie for the hair, which was popularized by the movie “Love in Tokyo”. I never watched the movie…but I do remember the elastic bands, threaded through two large beads which were twisted around the hair and interlocked…for a long time, I thought it was called “luvintokio” and only later realized that it had been named after a movie. I don’t know if Asha Parekh, the heroine, ever wore one in the movie…but here’s a song from that movie:

In more recent times, I once walked into a shop in Pondy Bazaar in Chennai, and was unable to figure out some netting material, in a sparkly finish, that was being sold as “kuchukuchu”. Surely quite a nasty name, I thought…and decided to ask the shop assistant about it. “Oh, the actress in ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ wears blouses made with similar material,” he explained. (The movie name means, “ A certain something is felt”…as a rough translation). Ah, now the name kuchukuchu made sense! (I did not feel tempted to buy the sparkly net.)

Perhaps because I am not fashion-conscious, I don’t remember too many instances of such movie-inspired fashions, but I am sure you can tell me of many more!