Celebrities before and after their stylists swooped in and saved the day
There's a reason synthetic material is flammable
Do you ever look back at your old pictures and just ask yourself, “What was I thinking?” Over-sized shoulder pads? Handkerchief hems? Tights as pants? Well, it’s good to know that even celebrities who are bonafide style icons today — Kareena Kapoor Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, for instance — have had these mortal moments too, as a flip through our archives can confirm.
From questionable choice of fabrics (metallic polyester is not a good look on anyone) to bizarre silhouettes, there were some red carpet moments that, one could argue, were the first few missteps on the path to trendsetter status. A few hits with more misses, red carpet style did have a few dark years.
But these admirable women have managed to forge ahead, set trends and break rules in the process, with the help of their super stylists who are the not-so-secret power players in this high stakes fashion game. Take a look at their distinct evolution.
Before and after: Style icons’ early years
Kangana may have dominated the runway in Fashion but her offscreen fashion choices at the time were quite the opposite. Since, Kangana has gone on to become one of the style elite in Bollywood, depsite the fact that she doesn't have a presence on social media. Thanks to stylist Ami Patel, Kangana's fierce yet feminine personality is ably matched in the form of Dior dresses, Sabyasachi saris and enough Gucci bags to start her own pop-up store.
Kareena Kapoor Khan has been a style icon since the onset of her career. But the early 2000s was not a good period for anyone, and Kareena too fell for some 100% polyester mistakes. Today, Tanya Ghavri helps Kareena navigate the endless possibilities at her fingertips. The begum of Bollywood's most memorable recent appearances have featured Tarun Tahiliani archival couture, Dhruv Kapoor jackets and Manish Malhotra occasion wear.
Kim Kardashian West's sense of style has had some serious character-building years. But after her marriage to Kanye, Kim's sensibilities have really morphed into something unique, spawning an entire legion of copycats. Her Instagram account is a subtle documentation from Kim's earlier looks with former stylist Monica Rose to her newer, more experimental look with Simone Harouche. Mixing lingerie with athleisure on one day and nude crop tops with midi second skirts another, she's evolved into the street style icon we didn't know we needed. Kim's colour palette of choice also seems to have shifted to neutrals only, aided by her preference for sheer materials.
Freida Pinto started out her career as a model and a television presenter, but only got her big break after starring in Slumdog Millionaire. While her early fashion choices weren't ones for the record books, we do give her credit for trying. These days, Frieda is styled by Mumbai-based Tanya Ghavri, and sticks to classic, well-tailored silhouettes that show off her kickboxing-toned physique. Spot her in myriad dresses from her favourite labels including Michael Kors, Bottega Veneta and Bibhu Mohapatra.
Priyanka Chopra might have had one of the most dramatic style evolutions on the list. The actress went picking from lycra dresses you're likely to spot on underage club goers to rocking a custom-made Ralph Lauren trench dress that will forever be the defining moment of the Met Gala 2017. It can't hurt that the actress has a stylist tag team in the form of Ami Patel and Christina Ehrlich, making sure that jet lag and time zones don't interfere with the international star's presence on every Best Dressed list around the world.
Kim Kardashian West
Kareena Kapoor Khan
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was one of the first Indian actresses to gain international accreditation. While this could only mean good things for her career, Indian designers weren't used to designing gowns for international events like Cannes at the time. But Aishwarya, along with stylist Aastha Sharma, seem to have nailed the winning Cannes formula now — princess gowns and figure-flattering cuts that have Aishwarya trending every time the French film festival rolls around.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Deepika Padukone may have been a former model but she wasn't exactly setting style trends off the ramp in her early years. Today, thanks to the influence of stylist Shaleena Nathani, Deepika has the ability to make clothes fly off the shelves with one appearance. And she's a risk-taker too, switching effortlessly from Bibhu Mohapatra gowns and Sabyasachi couture saris to Monisha Jaising metallic pantsuits and custom Tommy Hilfiger.