Bollywood and Sarees Bollywood and Sarees – RESHA

Bollywood and Sarees

bollywood actress in saree

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Bollywood Sarees are the representation of the era wise saree tradition in Bollywood that have gained popularity due to the on screen vast usage of draping styles and designs of these sarees. These have become the style statement of the mass. Since the commencement period of Bollywood, the Indian mass has been following the trend of the Bollywood fashion. Time to time the fashion has changed in Bollywood and the style of draping sarees and the concept of sarees have changed.


In the 70s and 80s, the fashion of sarees was different as it is now. Then the actresses used to keep short end pieces or Pallu and that became the fashion of the then society. In 80s, the style of draping sarees was renewed with the style of actresses like Mumtaz, Rekha and Jaya Bhaduri.

Rekha brought the fashion of traditional South Indian Silk Sarees with heavy ornaments that became the trend of the day.

Jaya Bhaduri was the representative of Ethnic Embroidery Sarees and the simplicity of the sarees were caught by the mass. The 90s came up with the distinct style of Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit in Chiffon Sarees in bright and vibrant colours and dancing in the snow, with only the Chiffon Saree to protect them! Bollywood has always influenced the fashion trends of the common Indian. However, no other decade than Bollywood’s Swirling 70’s have influenced the Indian fashion history more.

These were the times when Bollywood heroines were coming out of the closets of coyness of the 60’s into the open as independent modern women.

It was the age of “Women power.” The 70’s Bollywood saw heroines sporting a look of carefree dressing, confidence and novel styles of saree designs and draping.

Mumtaz Jaya and Rekha in saree

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From saree blouse designs to the accessories to go with the sarees, everything got a new bolder look. From the simple stylish retro look to the dazzling disco style, the heroines of the 70’s glorified the Indian screen.


Be it Mumtaz, Sharmila Tagore, Asha Parekh, Rekha, Hema Malini or Jaya Bachchan, each introduced a new style of wearing saree. The unforgettable saree crafted by Oscar Winner, Bhanu Athaiya for Mumtaz in “Aap Ki Kasam” and “Bramhachari,” made Mumtaz sarees eternal. With see-through layered sarees, Mumtaz brought a new way of wearing saree by casing the pallu twice, with the narrow border creating a circle above the waist and another below the knee. Sharmila Tagore was responsible for initiating the bold look of Bollywood Fashion with synthetic transparent sarees paired with low-neck laced blouses. Even her traditional look in films like “Chupke Chupke” wearing simple patterned cotton sarees was immensely appreciated, even though Jaya Bachchan can be referred to as the Queen of Cotton sarees as worn in films like “Abhimaan,” “Guddi” and “Parichaay.”


When Jaya Bachchan indulged in the simplicity and ethnicity quotient, the glamour quotient was heightened by divas like Hema Malini and Rekha, who sizzled in their Kanjivaram, printed and fashionable sarees. Rekha was the trendsetter of wearing traditional South Indian silk sarees adorned with heavy jewelry.

Rekha and Hema Malini Sharmila Tagore

Picture Credit - unnatisilks.com

She also made chiffon sarees with halter neck, high neck or noodle strip blouses a popular and glamorous choice. A trend of wearing Paachwari or Five yards saree with a small pallu was introduced in the Bollywood Sarees of 70’s, by nearly every actress.

From Asha Parekh with her tightly worn traditional sarees to reveal the hourglass figure of Indian women to Babita and Rati Agnihotri in “Ek Duje Ke Liye,” every one sported this look. Even Suchitra Sen, with her high-necked, short-sleeved saree blouses was quite appealing. Reena Roy’s polka dot sarees are still a rave among fashionable women, with the size of the dots varying from small to large. Bags, shoes, shawls, hair accessories, make up also changed with the change in the saree styles and following them became a style statement for the masses.


The Bollywood Saree style of the 70’s are still popular among today’s generation that is why, you still see films like “Om Shanti Om” and advertisements of Dairy Milk chocolate “Aaj pehli taarikh hai” as a tribute to the golden era of Bollywood Filmy Fashion

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