Sonam Kapoor Ahuja’s style can be studied as a crash course by emerging fashion enthusiasts. From the very beginning of her career, she has been known for having a distinct sartorial sense. Not one to follow the trend, she has been a pivotal change-maker in the way Bollywood celebrities approached fashion.
She is known for sporting statement-making looks that often involved couture names that are relatively new on the Indian red-carpet circuit while simultaneously promoting fresh labels that need a shoutout. Along with her sister Rhea Kapoor, she has introduced multiple concepts like celebrity styling beyond the characters of the movies and in-house photoshoots before an event. Even when it comes to her off-duty style, you will rarely find her catching the red-eye in a pair of jeans and t-shirts.
Here’s a highlight of all the changes she’s made within the fashion spectrum.
1. Concept Of Celebrity Styling
The idea of celebrity styling outside of films was a regular concept in Hollywood, but it was only fuelled in India after Sonam started showing up for events in looks coordinated by her sister (and producer), Rhea. Their fashion camaraderie received early appreciation after the Movie Aisha hit the screens and the audiences noticed Sonam in Chanel tweed suits and fascinators. But it continued to grab eyeballs as they started this new trend of serving looks on red carpets, weddings and promotional tours.
2. Fashion Experiments On The Red Carpet
For her first international red carpet outing during Cannes 2011, Sonam opted for a structured Jean-Paul Gauthier gown, followed by a goth-chic Elie Saab number in the next year, forming a global fashion alliance with couturiers from the middle-east and Europe. Although her initial looks were impactful, her 2013 appearance in a long jacket layered on a painstakingly embroidered Anamika Khanna sari with an oversized nose-ring remains to be iconic. Sari wasn’t worn on the red carpet for the first time, but it was the silhouette’s haute-couture debut on a world platform.
After that, she went on to break the rules and started using black-tie events as her own canvas to create art with fashion. Outfits combinations that didn’t actually exist were created by collaborations between Sonam and an army of designers internationally and back home. Prestictched denim sari with a pant and pockets; deconstructed sari as a tuxedo, pantsuit with a long gown trail and a bejewelled cropped top paired with a voluminous skirt designed by British designers Ralph & Russo inspired by a traditional lehenga.
3. In-House Photo-shoots
Celebrities at events are always photographed on the red carpet, and the backdrop of each of their images are always identical. Sonam started filming her glamorous looks before stepping out for the event and coined a trend that continues to benefit designers, photographers and stylists. More and more celebrities indulged in these artistic pre-event photoshoots generating editorial style images that focused on the ensemble.
4. Promoting Homegrown And International labels
Ever since Sonam started being recognised for her distinguished style, she began using her platform to promote small and big labels she loved. Whether it was her choice to wear a gown by The Row for an event back in 2011 or showcasing Masaba Gupta’s print-oriented label in a new light in Cannes, Sonam has always been fashion’s loudest endorser. If you’ve been following her Instagram feed closely over the years, Sonam is always the first to introduce indigenous homegrown brands, promoting Indian handicrafts, textiles and accessory labels that deserve the mileage.