Bollywood,60s Style!

With the onset of the sixties, the Indian fashion industry exploded with the introduction of several revolutionary fashion statements. The world of Indian cinema saw celebrities wearing the bikini, for the very first time. In the initial years of the avant-garde decade, colored movies had started to be filmed and the audience witnessed the fusion of western and eastern cultures on the larger screen. Of these undeniably iconic fashionable times we pick the best fashion trends for you that ended up being anything but just mere trends.

The Tiered Sari

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In the world of Bollywood, the Mumtaz Sari came like a breath of fresh air. The actress Mumtaz wore it in the ‘Aaj Kal Tere Mere’ song from the movie ‘Brahmchari’ in 1968. Also known as the mermaid sari, this style of draping a sari was something the world of cinema had never seen before. This was also the very first time a traditional outfit came with a twist in the tale and hence paved the way for the concept of unconventional traditional wear. It could be the way it is draped hugging the body, the monotone hue or the panache with which she wore it, but the tiered sari became legendary, so much so that till date it has never had a dull moment.

The new age churidaar


Gone were the times when the only popular salwar kameez type was an anarkali. In 1965, Sadhana in Yash Chopra’s movie ‘Waqt’ adorned the slim, skin fitted churidaar. Usually sleeveless, this ensemble comprises of a body hugging kurta with skintight pants called churidaar while the dupatta was donned scarfing just ones neck. Juttis or ballerinas, big ear loops, and twin pigtails with either the sadhana cut or a beehive complemented a classic teenage girl’s 60s look.

Makeup and Hair

Make up in the sixties primarily comprised of the timeless winged eyeliner and classic nude lips. Dark lips were rarely spotted as the choice of lip stains was limited to the neutral palette. Dramatic and expressive eye makeup included an extensive use of the eyeliner and mascara, and was worn to even out the look. It was also then that for the very first time, fake eye lashes started being worn.  Big hair and beehives were in and if the wing tip of your eyeliner got merged with your bangs, then you would be considered very much in vogue.

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I’m sure most of the 90s born ladies have at least for once in their childhood had the so called ‘Sadhana’ haircut. Much to our surprise, this famous namesake has a story untold. It was the director R. K. Nayyar, who brought Sadhana a picture of Audrey Hepburn sporting fringes, as a solution to cover her broad forehead. All the Indian audience wanted was a new take at fringes and voila! The haircut spread like wildfire and made most of the girls chop their locks off, no matter whether they were fourteen or forty.

The Nehru Jacket

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In 1964 the first prime minister of independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru, was pictured in Vogue magazine wearing his traditional coat. Vogue was an important fashion influence, and the Nehru jacket, named after him, started to gaining recognition. It is a close-fitted, single-breasted coat with a stand-up collar or a ‘bandh galaa’. When the Beatles traveled to India to study meditation techniques, they began wearing Nehru jackets and thus started a new fashion trend. From the singer Sammy Davis Jr. reporting to own a two hundred of them to Narendra Modi’s suit with a Nehru Jacket being auctioned for $ 695,000 (INR 4,63,79,713), it has become quite a fancy show. Politics had never been more stylish!

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Dynamic, vivacious, extravagant – three words that could conclude Indian fashion prevalent in the sixties. Fashion was now not just limited to clothes but also one of the primary ways to express one’s opinions and ways of thinking. The testament to the significance of this groundbreaking decade is whenever designers take a trip down the memory lane,the 60s have been the most revisited.

Sheetal Harumalani

Nineteen year old passionate about fiction, poetry, and other unearthly things.

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