New Bollywood trend: Mixing east with west

May 10, 2015, 08:12 IST | Ria Lawrence

From Deepika Padukone’s chic look in Piku to Kareena Kapoor Khan pairing a kurti with suede boots in 'Gabbar Is Back', concocted dressing styles are all the rage

It's the age of mix, match, wear and flaunt. The world of fashion both in B-Town and beyond has undergone innumerable fashion transformations. With every era, came an associated trend that would inevitably become a timeless style statement. Case in point: the flared pants that Zeenat Aman rocked in Dum Maro Dum some eons ago have come back and how! Enjoying a moment on the fashion radar right now is a mix of Indo-western fusion wear. Celebrated Bollywood designer Neeta Lulla, who is currently working on Mohenjo Daro says, "Designers in the industry have been adapting western trends and inspirations to suit Indian sensibilities for a while now." Ask her why this trend is all the rage at the moment and she says, “Indo-fusion mix not only creates a trendy approach to ethnic dressing but also makes it appealing enough to create a style statement.”

Abhishek Bachchan dons a bandhgala over trousers

While Indo-western fusion has acquired a rather unique standing in the market, Anita Dongre, one of India's most popular designers has her two bits to say on why this is gaining popularity in Tinsel Town. “Today, we all are up to date with global fashion trends and are acquiring unique style sensibilities which whilst being understated and sophisticated are a little more edgy now than before. We are aware of the choices available to us and are more open to experimenting with silhouettes, colours and looks,” she says.

Parineeti Chopra
Printed coat and dhoti pants work well as an Indo-western wear

Shirts and T-shirts worn with saris or skirts or trendy pants worn with saris reflect a classic and much loved example of the Indo-Western fusion look. From Kareena Kapoor in the song Teri Meri Kahani where she was seen shaking a leg with Akshay Kumar, sporting a bright pink kurti baring her midriff, along with a blue pair of denims and suede boots to Deepika Padukone's casual yet chic Indo-western look in Piku, there are no stringent rules as far as the trend goes which could be why it's soaring high on the fashion radar. Says Rick Roy who designed for Akshay Kumar in Gabbar Is Back, “It's an interesting blend, Indian and Western. As a trend it allows you the best of both worlds. You can work interesting dressing styles like a long kurti as a gown or short kurtis with formal pants, and look stylish without looking loud. I designed for Raja Natwarlal and Jannat 2 where we just mixed some classic Indian prints with denims and chunky jewelry, and it worked. It's all about stepping up your game and experimenting a bit.” 

Ritesh Deshmukh
Ritesh Deshmukh teams a waistcoat with a kurta

A strong combination of both traditional familiarity of Indian wear that we somehow can't do without along with the comfort and ease of western attire, fusion wear is ruling the roost in B-Town and returning to the mainstream fashion circuits in full swing. Distinguished designer Raghavendra Rathore who did the costumes for movies like Eklavya and the more recent Khoobsurat credits the advanced day and age to this influence on cinema. He says, “The line of what happens off screen and on the silver screen is now almost blurred. The close proximity between designers and directors has brought about this fused social landscape.”  

Kareena Kapoor
Kareena Kapoor Khan rocked a pink kurti and boots in her recent release

While movies seem to be successfully reviving traditional fabrics with a western edge, ace designer Babita Malkani who recently designed for movies like Bombay Velvet and The Dirty Picture shares her views on why this trend is gaining momentum. “It's an inexorable fashion statement. It's not fashioned around any rules and rigidity so it allows the wearer a wide range of unending options, to mess around with as much as one wants. It's also sleek and contemporary without getting tedious and lost in the backdrop of ethnic clothing so it's easy for the person to experiment with this sensibility and make it work,” she says. Ask her about Bollywood's romance with this trend and she adds, “Clothing for movies is solely character based these days. And of course, this trend has been majorly adapted in movies owing to its hip and casual appeal.”

Neha Dhupia in a formal top and traditional print skirt
Neha Dhupia in a formal top and traditional print skirt

Taking a cue from Bollywood, here are a few Indo-western looks that are easy to play around

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone
has a casual yet chic take on Indo-Western wear in her forthcoming movie. From kurtis worn over mid-length pants to long collared shirts on denims, the style is breezy and relaxed and can be adapted to one's day-to-day look.

Sonam Kapoor is known for her risqué style. Crop tops and long skirts or dhoti-draped dresses, she's nailed the look more than a few times.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was seen in a full-length dusty pink gown with light embellishments at a red carpet event, which could be carried off both as a long kurta or a gown.

Anushka Sharma, unlike her contemporaries, keeps it light and radiant as far as her personal style is concerned. She is often seen in simple tunics and pants with some chunky trinkets as her main accessory.

Shilpa Shetty

Shilpa Shetty wears those dhoti pants with a printed overall and rocks the look. The actress is also known to experiment with prints and colours, right from bright fluorescent hues to rich animal or graphic prints.

Anita Dongre tells us how we can incorporate the look in our daily lives
“You can play around with your sharara bottoms by pairing it with a crop top. Front open anarkali jacket style with pants is also a great fusion option. One doesn't have to carry a dupatta with it, while the fall and drape of the outfit is flattering for an Indian silhouette - it's a more exciting contemporary twist to the quintessentially Indian anarkali! Dhoti sarees are also a popular trend- embodying a contemporary and youthful feel. The saree has come a long way from being just occasion wear and now one can easily personalise this trend to make it unique.”

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