“ Every time I hear that athleisure is a new trend, I roll my eyes’ ‘: Manish Malhotra gets nostalgic for’ 90s designs


Designer Manish Malhotra has been in the industry for many years now, having dressed the best of Bollywood in movies, fashion shows and on red carpets. In one of his recent interviews, however, the 54-year-old opened up about his journey and talked about the inspiration behind some of his iconic and most famous Bollywood screen looks, especially in films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) and Rangeela (1995).

“The film Rangeela was my turning point, ”said the designer Popsugar, during an interaction. “It was 1995. Director Ram Gopal Verma was clear with his memoir, and actress Urmila Matondkar was also ready to prove herself. [in Bollywood]. There was a powerful creative energy, and we created something completely new by including crop tops, overalls, t-shirts and jeans in the mix. It was a whole new, fresh palette that captured the attention of all millennia and ended up going viral. I won my first Filmfare award as “Costume Designer” for the film. “

Rangeela, Fashion, Manish Malhotra, Indian Express News An image from the 1995 film Rangeela (File Photo Express)


From there, Malhotra moved on to designing more groundbreaking outfits in other films, which became a fad around this time. He presented athleisure on the big screen in Dil To Pagal Hai and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. “Every time I hear that athleisure is a new trend, I roll my eyes in surprise. From sweatpants to crop tops, jerseys and bralets, we’ve done it all and the response has been deeply encouraging, ”he said.

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Fashion, Manish Malhotra, Indian Express News Kuch Kiuch Hota Hai 1998 movie poster

Some of her best iconic looks

The designer shared with Popsugar about how he created Kajol’s wedding outfit in the movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, stating that “Kajol and Karan were visiting him” to “discuss the costumes”. “So, I’ve been shopping before and brought this amazing peach-colored fabric.”

“At the time, peach was my favorite color and the material I chose was tone-on-tone embossed fabric. I sketched something before they arrived. I knew that Kajol had already worn a golden lehenga in DDLJ, so I wanted to do something different – maybe a saree with a drape over the head. Kajol and Karan both liked the color, and I was so excited I immediately started draping it. It was the first time that peach was used onscreen as a wedding color, and I remember it really became the ‘it’ color for all weddings after the movie was released, ”he said. he declares.


Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Fashion, Manish Malhotra, Indian Express News The peach lehenga that Manish Malhotra designed for Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. (Express archive photo)

Kareena Kapoor’s outfit in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) was also ahead of its time. Malhotra said it is still in fashion today. “It’s a contemporary outfit and always will be. We paired it with a little teeka and some loose hair to complete the look in our own way. Her outfit was born out of tradition but aged in modernity. At that time, the NRI culture really amazed me. Millennials were really torn between their environment and their family values, completely different from the world they lived in. I wanted to show this paradox.

“Her look was modern / western, but the essence was Indian, and the result was that it resonated so well with girls across the country and around the world.”

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