The Glamorous Ladies of Bollywood’s Golden Era

When I hear the term “movie star” I always think of Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Lena Horne or Marlene Dietrich.  While I know that some of these ladies are from different time periods, I feel they all epitomize one thing, glamour. While researching Bollywood topics for this post, I came upon a certain time in the Bollywood’s industry history that I never had heard of before, the Golden Era of Bollywood. What inspired me from this time were the leading actresses; they were the definition of chic. Actresses like Madhubala, Meena Kumari, Nargis, and Devika Rani balanced costuming from both Western and Indian influence. Even with their makeup, they would wear French-inspired cat-eye eyeliner with colorful, bright saris. These women served as a great reminder to Western viewers that Hollywood was not the only place that made glamorous movies; even today Bollywood is still a driving force for beauty and fashion inspiration.

Here is only a small taste of the fabulous actresses that starred in Bollywood’s Golden Era. Comment below if there are any other glamorous ladies you admire that I did forgot to mention.

Devika Rani

Often considered “The First Lady of Bollywood”

Madhubala 

An iconic figure in Hindi cinema, a popular figure who’s life was cut too short.

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Often known as the “Tragedy Queen” for both her film roles and her off-screen life.

Nargis

This former child star/philanthropist has been dubbed by many sources as “the greatest actress of all time.”

Rekha

An versatile actress who has mastered both mainstream and arthouse roles.

Source: thefashionspot.com

A History of Fashion on Film

This week’s post is going to stray from my normal habit of screen caps and photos to a post all about videos, YouTube videos. As a historical fashion fanatic, I’m always looking for information that helps me better understand what clothing of the past looked, fit, and moved like. Lately, I’ve been watching tons of  newsreel-style fashion videos on YouTube, and I’ve discovered that they can be really great research tools. Here are some of my favorites in chronological order:

1920’s

1930’s

1940’s

1950’s

1960’s

1970’s

1980’s

1990’s

2000-2007

In present times, fashion has embraced technology and created a genre that I feel is only getting started, fashion films. These films are usually shorts with no dialogue that focus on a designer’s collection or a certain look/feeling. These films differ to what we’ve seen before in that they bring in not only fashion, but artistic and film aspects. A great resource for fashion films and even a fashion film festival is a shadedviewonfashionfilm.com, which solely focuses on short films inspired by fashion. Here is my all-time favorite fashion film, “Are You Also Wistful?” which was a 2010 contest winner for A Shaded View on Fashion Film. Enjoy!

Romeo and Juliet

In honor of Valentine’s Day I have chose the beautiful, yet tragic 1968 Franco Zeffirelli’s version of Romeo and Juliet. This is my favorite film version of Shakespeare’s tale of young, forbidden love, because everything in the film is absolutely beautiful. From the bejeweled hair-coverings down to the parti-color hose; the costumes and accessories are very bold and historically appropriate. Many of the costumes consist of rich, brightly colored velvets  accessorized with gold, statement jewelry. These costumes show the wealth of both Romeo and Juliet’s families, which in turn helps the viewer understand the social and financial difficulties the couple faced.

Here are some of my screencaps from the film:

Even though these costumes are designed for medieval times, modern fashion still pulls inspiration from this era. Recently, bright velvets have been all the rage, especially for the Fall and Winter. This would be a great way to brighten up your wardrobe, especially during this dull, grey OU winter. Another way to brighten up your wardrobe inspired by this film is gold, statement worthy jewelry. Highly embellished, multicolored jewelry is such a great way to spice up an otherwise plain outfit, especially if your on a tight budget.

Here are some of my favorite modern looks that remind me of this great film:

Sources: jcrew.com/bhldn.com/hautemacabre.com/fashionising.com

Would any of you rock velvet in the winter, or should it be banished to the Dark Ages?

Chinatown

Today’s post is about the Roman Polanski movie “Chinatown,” a 1974 mystery drama set in Los Angeles during the 1930’s. While watching this movie, I couldn’t stop obsessing over the makeup on Faye Dunaway’s character Evelyn Mulwray. Her look is the definition of 1930’s glam; thin drawn-on eyebrows, bright red lipstick, with finger-waves framing the face. This look describes to the viewers what type of person Evelyn Mulwray is; a rich, beautiful woman with a lot of drama.

I also want to mention Evelyn’s accessories, especially her hats. In today’s time we only see headwear outside during winter, more or less for functional use. Evelyn’s ensembles are the total opposite of that, they speak to us. They enhance her look rather than hiding from the elements.

This look may not be a hundred percent wearable today, but some these elements alone, like the bright red lipstick, the waved hair or a fascinator, could totally spice up an evening outfit.

Source: Instyle.com/Eaumg.net/Style.com

What do you think of this look? Do you think we should forget it, it’s Chinatown? (Kudos to those who get the reference)

Les Bonnes Femmes

This week I am featuring a film from one of my favorite movie genres, the French New Wave, which occurred in France during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Many of the films featured in this movement were about the daily lives of France’s youth and the drama that they got themselves into. Les Bonnes Femmes by the iconic Claude Chabrol gives modern viewers an insight into what life may have looked like for these young Parisians and also into what they wore. All of the women in the film looked incredibly classic with pea-coats, little black dresses, and cat eye eyeliner. There isn’t much adornment in these looks and accessories are kept at a minimal; it is all about a simple silhouette with come hither eyes.

I absolutely love this type of look, it’s a great way to look fabulous without spending a bunch of money. These looks also serve as great staples for anybody’s wardrobe and they look great with showstopping accessories. Here are some of my favorite modern interpretations of classic French style:

Sources: Satorialist.com/Style.com

Do any of you play it classic or is it just too plain?

Do The Right Thing

Do The Right Thing” is a 1989 dramedy by Spike Lee that focuses on racial tension on hot summer day in Brooklyn. I chose this film, because it offers a great example of what young people wore in the late 80s and early 90s. Here are some of my favorite looks in the film:

I’m sure most of us recall the 80s and 90s bright neon colors mixed with spandex sportswear, and the loud prints in even brighter pastels. Even though it hasn’t been too long since these trends were gracing American streets, fashion today is still incorporating what we now call the “90s aesthetic” into modern clothing. Hints of the late eighties/early nineties can be seen more in the coloring and prints, i.e. neon and Keith Haring-inspired graphics, of clothing than in the spandex or active wear as daywear trends of the past. While neon or large, colorful prints may be intimidating, I feel these touches could be a great way to get rid of the winter blues. After all, who wouldn’t feel upbeat in a bright fuchsia sweater?  Below are some modern looks with that 90s twist:

Sources: Style.com/GlobalGrind.com

Do any of you still incorporate the nineties into your looks, or do you choose to leave that in the past?

Diary of A Lost Girl

Today’s post is about the G.W. Pabst silent classic, Diary of a Lost Girl. This 1929 drama is about a young, naive girl, Thymian, played by the gorgeous Louise Brooks. Brooks’s character becomes pregnant and then is disowned for choosing to be an unwed mother. This film features Thymian as an unknowingly strong character who ventures into the world of prostitution in order to make a living. Since the movie centers on “bad girls” and was made during the 1920s, the flapper look is prominent in almost every scene. Dropped waists, bobbed hair and black patent Mary-Jane shoes grace the screen, giving the viewer a wonderful visual experience. Here are some flapper looks on Louise Brooks’s Thymian.

Even though these looks occurred over eighty years ago, modern designers still incorporate them in their collections. Here are some of my favorite modern flapper looks.

Source: Style.com/Satorialist.com

What do you think of the flappers and their looks?