If you dare to think that men, women, transgenders & folks beyond the binary are equal, brace yourselves for you are going to be saddled with the ‘man hater’ aka the feminist tag. Especially if you have coloured hair & a septum piercing in which case you’d be knighted as an outcast alongside being an oh-so-scandalous feminist.
Fashion has long been termed a creative outlet, an expansion of the self, one that reflects your core values through clothing. If you’re a feminist, keen observers can arrive at that very conclusion by merely evaluating your sartorial choices. And no, you needn’t wear ‘that shirt’ with a woman from the 1940s flexing her arm with a bandana on her head.
To corroborate our points, we’ve picked out our favourite on-screen Bollywood feminists – ideology wise & inevitably, wardrobe wise.
Piku Banerjee From Piku
Helmed by award winning costume stylist Veera Kapoor, Piku’s wardrobe was an accurate representation of a slightly upper middle-class, working woman. Based in Delhi, with roots from Bengal, her kohl rimmed eyes & signature black bindi were a recurring component alongside a humble middle part on the mane front.
An architect by profession, her workwear wardrobe majorly consisted of kurti & palazzo sets with black, white & blush tones reigning supreme. 2015 was its year of release & now we know why the churidaar business was on the verge of shutting down at that moment in time – proud palazzo wearer, then & now.
Rani Mehra From Queen
The cult status of Queen is forever etched in history for a storyline that was equal parts inspiring & sincere. After being dumped by her superficial-wannabe NRI-but can’t think like an adult fiancé, Rani sets out on her pre-booked honeymoon, encountering the many challenges life has to offer, for a woman inept at conversing in foreign tongues.
That peculiar white & blue printed kurta with an embroidered yoke is, to this day a beacon of feminism for a plethora of desi women. Her dressing gravitated to a slight contemporary edge once she started breaking free from her shackles of adhering to the age-old regressive norms & interacting with the liberal Vijayalakshmi.
Poo From Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
She’s an icon, she’s a legend, she was the moment. And will forever be. Be it her strong-willed stance with regards to wearing a backless top or choosing a man according to her own set of demands – Poo from K3G was the ultimate feminist icon we didn’t know we needed. She sure had her mean girl moments (reciting Chandu ke chacha borderline helped?), but her character was a refreshing take nonetheless.
Be it her club classique red coord set (non-matching heels mandatory) or the Poo bani Parvati traditional fits, her sartorial repertoire was anything but bland. High on shimmer, ODing on Y2K & slightly influenced by Paris Hilton – one we borrow endless inspiration from.
Aarya Sareen From Aarya
It’s no news that Sushmita Sen was flawless in her performance as Aarya Sareen in the Disney+ Hotstar production. For a fierce feminist who takes on an unusual role of a mafia queen post her husband’s death, her wardrobe was an eclectic mix of traditional ensembles & elegant workwear with the latter being a nod to the storyline set in Rajasthan.
From sleek monochrome suits to cowl draped silk tops & fitted knits, the contemporary side of her styling was chic to the T. The pressed blow dry hair and a muted lip with oversized sunglasses really set the tone and spellbound the audiences in a quick instant.
Images via Pinterest.
To read up on Kajol’s iconic style from the 90s, tap here.