7 Best Looks: Lead Actresses in Bollywood Movies

7 Best Looks: Lead Actresses in Bollywood Movies 

It’s definitely not an easy job selecting the best looking actresses from Bollywood movies, given the sheer number of movies and the amazing galaxy of stunningly beautiful leading ladies and the very talented designers we have now in India.

But here we go, with what I think were the Best Looks from Bollywood over the last 10 years of Hindi Cinema.

1. Rani Mukherjee – Black

That Rani Mukherjee’s Michelle McNally – a visually handicapped, deaf and dumb character makes it to this style column makes for quite a statement.The actress has an obvious fondness for Sabyasachi Mukherjee, the costume designer for the movie. In keeping in with her character, Mukherjee went for a largely dark palette – often black. Loretta, her hair designer for the movie, stuck to keeping her hair neatly tied at the back – keeping with the film’s understated plain look. With the movie shot partly in Shimla, there was an obvious attempt to give the actress a distinctly English look – long skirts, again in dark, were frequently used, often combined with knits on top. The director-designer duo of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Sabyaschi successfully created one of the high points in Bollywood fashion history.
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2. Gayatri Joshi – Swades

While Bhansali and his team toiled hard to give Rani the perfect look for Black, Bhanu Athaiya’s work for Swades looked like an effortless job.Gayatri Joshi looked elegant in her only Bollywood movie – her character perfectly epitomizing the ‘girl you would like to take home to mom’ look. Athaiya dressed the actress in simple, everyday colours and clothes yet managing to give her a mesmerizing look.Don’t forget that Athaiya won the Academy Award for Best Costume for Gandhi – that seeming ‘effortlessness’ was backed up by decades of cladding excellence.
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3. Sushmita Sen – Main Hoon Na

Sushmita Sen made sarees sexy again. After the release of the movie, the red chiffon sarees coupled with sleeveless blouses and the black polka dotted one became the fashion rage across the country.Manish Malhotra did a perfect design job to create Bollywood’s hottest chemistry teacher. Sushmita’s uber-sensuous look in the flowing sarees was inspired by the divas of the 60s and 70s – Mumtaj and Rekha.

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4. Sonam Kapoor – Dilli 6
Draped in anarkalis, Patiala salwars, high necked kurtas and always sporting those gorgeous jhumkas you can pick up on the streets of Purani Dilli, Sonam Kapoor showed us yet again why her style quotient is rated so highly.

Costume: Anamika Khanna

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5. Aishwarya Rai – Sarkar Raj

For this movie, Falguni Thakore took over from Aishwarya’s regular designer Neeta Lulla to impart her with a complete makeover.Thakore employed a contrast of soft and strong colours for Ash, and used various fabrics – voile, lenin and suede. To give her an NRI look, she was clad in denim jackets. However, it was the actress’s own idea to wear a tulsi bead around her neck to add a hint of patriotic touch to the character.


Model Urmila Motwani recreating Aishwarya Rai’s Sarkar Raj look

For one of her looks in the movie, Aishwarya Rai was given a pair of designer sunglasses to wear. But the perfectionist that she is, the actress didn’t approve of the shades and said she would fetch it herself. The producers didn’t see any problem with that, that is until they received the bill for her glasses.Rai fetched a pair of Gucci sunglasses from Harrod’s, London and K.Sera. Sera., the production company had to suffer the damages worth 10 Lakhs. A perfect Bollywood actress doesn’t come cheap, as Ramu realized to his horror.

6. Kareena Kapoor – Tashan

The Delhi University slang ‘Tashan’ means ‘style’ and that is one thing that the movie which otherwise failed miserably at the box office had oodles of.Kareena’s then newly acquired size-zero provided designer Aki Narula with the perfect canvas to showcase his love for kitsch. While the actress’ hot pants and swimsuit looks attracted much of media space, Narula’s other selections for Kareena’s character were as impeccable – the low rise jeans as well as some very pretty churidars and lehangas. Also of note were the heroine’s accessories – beads and chains and charms, suede boots, the aviator and the Roberto Cavalli studded leather belts.More than her clothes, it was the choice of make-up that stood out in stark contrast to the regular Bollywood mainstream fare – kohl made way for metallic eye shadows and coloured liners of various hues. Glossed lips were replaced with a rugged matte finish.
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“Being messy suits me”, Kareena said during a press conference just after the release of the movie. We couldn’t agree more.

7. Deepika Padukone – Goliyon ki Raasleela: Ramleela

If there is one movie in the past two years, which gets a universal thumbs up from everyone on the looks aspect, it it Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Ramleela’. The director is well-known for the astonishing visual palettes he creates, and this one was a real knocker even by his standards. Deepika looks super-gorgeous throughout the movie, and her designer Anju Modi deserves a real applause for this one. The movie is set in Gujarat and Modi’s extensive knowledge of Gujarati art, fabrics and sensibilities were important in creating the perfect looks for the lead actress – the screen simply lit-up each time Deepika appeared, in one beautiful costume after another. Think of this: Deepika wears the staple Gujarati ghagra-cholis through the movie but what ghagra-cholis these were! Modi worked on a simple brief: “contemporary ghagra-cholis for a vivacious, rebellious Gujarati girl living in a small port town on the Arabian Sea.” And what a stunning job given that simplest of briefs!

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A thick generous dose of mascara was to create two simultaneous effects on/with Deepika’s eyes: while it helped open up her eyes giving them a big, bold look to go with the brief, it combined well with the water line to provide the actress with just the righ amount of feminine sensuality. In sharp contrast to the thick mascara was the under-utilization of lipstick. Pay a close look to the pictures and you will appreciate what a brilliant job the make-up artist has pulled off there.
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I am sure that you don’t quite agree with this list – what kind of a list of Bollywood’s best looking actresses list would not include Katrina Kaif, you might think. Or you might fret over Kajol’s absence.
What do you think should the list have looked like? Let us know…. nothing like a nice argument.

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9 thoughts on “7 Best Looks: Lead Actresses in Bollywood Movies

  1. Would like to point out a couple of glaring errors in the article:
    1. Michelle McNally, as shown in the film is a blind, deaf, and MUTE girl. As far as I remember, she was anything but dumb.

    2. The model in the photograph recreating Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s character’s look from Sarkar Raj is Pearl Padamsee, and not Urmila Motwani.

  2. Not to forget the impact the Ramleela earrings left on all of us. I’m sure every IMBB member proudly owns atleast a pair of ramleela inspired earrings 🙂

  3. Thank you Neha for the warm welcome… surprised though to see such agreement, but thank you.

    Priyadarshini, thank you for pointing out the error but it seems that you made a glaring(er) error … while the model is definitely not Urmila Motwani, as you correctly pointed out, it is not Pearl Padamsee either. Ms. Padamsee is a fine artist but she is a ripe 82 now.

    The correct name of the model is Shazahn Padamsee. She is the daughter of Alyque Padamsee and Sharon Prabhakar.

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