From a Zila Parishad office-bearer wearing ghaghra choli and odhni to an official meeting in Haryana to Sara Ali Khan donning lehenga at her Cannes debut this year, Indian attire always scores big. While public figures often sport western outfits over traditional ones in their day-to-day life, often at red carpets events, especially on foreign shores, they make it a point to showcase their rich cultural heritage.. We bring epic red carpet looks of Bollywood celebs that made Indian hearts swell with pride.
Indians brought home two Oscars this year. However, the icing on the cake was the winners, Guneet Monga and MM Keeravani, receiving their respective titles, Best Documentary (Short Subject) and Best Original Song, in an Indian ensemble. While Keeravani wore a bottle green kurta, Monga posed with the trophy in a pink Banarasi saree. Not just that, SS Rajamouli was hailed for donning South Indian attire at both the Oscars and Golden Globes. For the former he wore, purple kurta, cream-coloured dhoti and for the Golden globe moment, he chose black silk-kurta along with red-printed dhoti pant. Later in Cannes, Oscar winner Monga made an appearance in golden saree alongside Union minister Dr L Murugan, who also wore a traditional veshti with white shirt.
One can never forget the Cannes Film Festival 2013, when actress Vidya Balan was invited to be part of the jury besides stalwarts like Nicole Kidman and Steven Spielberg. She made it a point to appear in only traditional attire as well as accessories like nathni. She picked dresses designed by Sabyasachi. Even her attire for The Great Gatsby premiere was a white lehenga and black embellished blouse with dupatta clad over her head. For another film, she picked a nude Sabyasachi saree pairing it with jadau nathni. Unfazed by those critiquing her fashion choices, Balan was proud of her traditional look.
Last year when Deepika Padukone went for Cannes, she also turned many heads with her elegant and regal fashion choices. While she wore a couple of western outfits, she also addressed her Indian roots by making her jury debut at Cannes by wearing black and golden striped-sequinned saree by Sabyasachi. She also wore a fusion saree with a pearl necklace later. The actress had previously donned ivory and gold saree by designer Rohit Bal in 2010. Aishwarya Rai too debuted in 2002 in a yellow saree by Neeta Lulla paired with gold jewellery.
For her Cannes appearance in 2018, Sonam Kapoor, who is credited for having started the label game in Bollywood even for events like poster or movie launch, chose a British designer duo, Ralph & Russo, who made their first-ever lehenga for Sonam. The monotone lehenga choli was floral, embroidered and embellished with sequins. The actress also featured in global star Coldplay’s song, Hymn For The Weekend, wearing traditional attire — a choli, lehenga and odhni with heavy silver jewellery and nose pin.
From Cannes this year, Sara Ali Khan shared her look wearing a lehenga and choli. She wore an Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla ensemble, and said she was proud of her ‘Indianness’.
- At the Oscars 2023, RRR cast member, NTR JR, wore the black velvet custom-made bandhgala with gold metallic embroidery of a tiger. It was a conscious decision to draw parallels with the national animal of the country.
- His co-star, Ram Charan opted for three-piece Indian sherwani for the Oscars, but it was his pregnant wife, Upasana Kamineni, who impressed everyone by ditching the gown and wearing a silk saree made out of recycled scraps.
- Two-time Grammy winner Ricky Kej in 2022 wore blue cross-buttoned achkan suit as a representation of his Indian roots, but what made headlines was how he wore the same outfit at two events, Grammy and Cannes, to advocate sustainable fashion choices.
- At the recent Coachella Music Festival, singer Diljit Dosanjh created history by becoming the first Indian and turban-donning Punjabi to perform. Instead of opting for tone-deaf western wear, he chose Punjabi ensemble for his two performances. For the first performance he wore, black-hued silk kurta and tamba (traditional draped bottom worn by men in Punjab) and white tehmat-kurta styled with sneakers and animal-printed suspender wallet for the other.
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