Deepika Padukone’s Characters That We’ve On Our Fashion Inspiration Board

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone is and has reigned for quite a long time. She’s effortlessly glamorous and undisputedly fashionable. From presenting at the Oscars and bagging lucrative endorsements to running her own skincare brand and boasting of an impressive filmography, this multi-hyphenate stalwart is unstoppable, as she herself quoted in a talk show recently.

While Deepika Padukone’s quirky social media presence and strong earlobes are always a talk of the town, the ELLE November 2022’s Cover Star has elevated her status to being an influential fashion icon apart from currently being at the zenith of her acting career.

Though Padukone’s personal style has caught the attention of fashion enthusiasts all over the world, her films have given the audiences memorable characters that have their own distinct styles. From nerdy Naina to the charming Shantipriya, her characters’ looks have transcended into our theme parties and wardrobes effortlessly from the silver screen. On the Fighter actor’s birthday, we dissect the most distinct wardrobes of some of her significant characters in pop-culture.

Tara Maheshwari (Tamasha)

While this Imtiaz Ali movie has almost every cinephile in a chokehold for it being an underrated gem (not underrated anymore though), what stood out for me in the film was Deepika Padukone’s wardrobe that seemed like a fresh wave for its style-focused audience. From peter pan collars to boho-inspired tiaras and accessories to flowy summer dresses and smart workwear that had all corporate girlies taking notes, Tara’s wardrobe, curated by Anaita Shroff Adajania was a balanced mix of chic workwear and elevated summer casuals.

The iconic blue spaghetti strap dress with the sheer jacket featuring lip prints is still a fashion inspiration for many Bollywood themed parties and we can’t blame them.

Shantipriya (Om Shanti Om)

Inarguably her most iconic character in her breakthrough Hindi film, Shantipriya captured the essence of the 70s superstar with much ease. While Farah Khan hit it out of the park with this almost-perfect reincarnation drama, the movie’s wardrobe carefully replicated the iconic 70s style – from polka dots and flared pants to dramatic winged eyeliners, elegant hairdos and brightly coloured shirts.


The pink lehenga, now synonymous with Shantipriya’s cult status was a creation of costume designers Manish Malhotra and Sanjeev Mulchandani. The magenta pink lehenga featured silver embellishments all over it, and with her signature hand wave, went on to become iconic.

Mastani (Bajirao Mastani)

The 2015 epic period romance proved to be a record-breaking film at the box office, mainly for its direction, cinematography, performances and indubitably, its costumes. Courtesy of Anju Modi, the costume design of the movie was regal elegance at its finest. From diaphanously draped nauvvaris and traditional jewellery to heavy anarkali dresses and regal robes, the film’s costumes carefully maintained their authenticity without looking too unnatural or costume-like.

Mastani, owing to her dual Hindu and Muslim heritage, was seen dressed up in traditional lehengas lined with zari and exquisite embroidery in hues prominently of rich reds, gold and ivory. Her most iconic look from the film featured her in a heavily layered silhouette – in a golden embroidered blouse with knee-long frills and a floor length gharara skirt, both with intricate motifs.

The dress, now famously known as the Mastani Dress was paired with her signature Persian headgear, exquisite hand jewellery, chained nath and a passa.

Dr. Rubina Mohsin (Pathaan)

2023’s biggest blockbuster marked an iconic comeback of Shah Rukh Khan and also the return of 90s inspired elevated street style core. We’re talking camouflage prints, bralettes, bodysuits, crop tops, tank tops, graphic tees, bomber jackets, boiler suits and cutouts.

Deepika Padukone’s character, a femme fatale spy, dressed up in rather slick outfits that only complement her complex character – especially her bikinis in the song Besharam Rang that shook the internet, quite literally.

Rubina’s wardrobe, styled by Padukone’s stylist Shaleena Nathani was an amalgamation of street, grunge and everything 90s with a modern twist. While the 90s style is making a comeback into our wardrobes, the costume department of this film too, succeeded in keeping up with the trends.

Naina Talwar (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani)

The nerd girl all introverts could relate to, me included, Naina Talwar was a protagonist that deserved her own spin-off away from her man-child partner Bunny. As her character progresses in the film, her wardrobe transformed. From subtle floral dresses paired with denim jackets and hairbands, to a more sophisticated wardrobe that includes traditional salwars, cocktail sarees and of course, the shedding of the ‘nerd glasses’ to mark her character development, this one was for the books.

Leave it upto Manish Malhotra to dress protagonists in the most iconic ensembles as he outdid himself again with the blue chiffon saree with gold lace details, now termed as THE farewell saree.

Piku Banerjee (Piku)

Piku was a feel-good comfort film with enjoyable performances. Piku as the headstrong architect is more or less like her hypochondriac father and her sartorial wardrobe reflected her no-nonsense personality quite aptly. Piku throughout the film was seen wearing sarees and kurtis with minimal makeup, consisting only of kohled eyes and her bindi.

Featuring mostly cotton and linen kurtas and palazzos in shades of red, beige, black and other muted hues, richly woven stoles, juttis, kohl-rimmed eyes and the signature black bindi, Piku’s costume design by Veera Kapur Ee was a masterclass in making a chic lookbook that’s reflective of the modern working woman.

Veronica Malaney (Cocktail)

Veronica tops the list of Bollywood’s recent ‘It Girls’. While the male protagonist of the film could’ve learnt a thing or two about accountability of his own actions, the female protagonists styled by Anaita Shroff Adajania walked away with a wardrobe that stood out as an homage to the contemporary 2010s fashion. Deepika Padukone was seen in several outfits in the film that perfectly captured her party-girl essence without overdoing it.

From studded pumps and wedges, messy hairdos, fishtail braids and boho prints to flowy skirts, bodycons and the polarizing ‘puff’ hairstyle, no Bollywood film came as close to perfectly capturing contemporary trends as Cocktail did.

Also read, Tracing The Growth Of Brand Deepika Padukone: Endorsements, Campaigns And More

- Digital Intern


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