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Vintage Winners: How to nail the retro style of yesteryear Bollywood legends.


When it comes to style inspiration, most Indian women turn to Bollywood trends no matter where they may be.

And it is not just the contemporary Bollywood divas who play our style muse; time and again we look back all the way to vintage Bollywood and its iconic style moments, that never fail to mesmerise and tempt us for one try.

Surely you have had that throwback moment, when you admired and emulated the simple beauty of Nargis crooning "pyaar hua ikraar hua".

Or maybe you were still a young girl when you decided to appear at the school farewell with the retro Mumtaaz look from Bramhchaari.

We know that every girl crushes over the classic appeal of vintage Bollywood, one time or another.


Ever the unrivaled fashion diva of our times, even Sonam Kapoor Ahuja could not resist the temptation to go retro, what with all the stylists she can hire and the expensive clothes that she can buy,


Yes, indeed every single girl crushes over Bollywood beauties of yesteryear for their timeless appeal and that is no secret.

So here is an idea, take a break from the ups and downs of fashion weeks and what is trending.

Instead, take a leisurely walk down the silver screen memory lane and recreate these timeless iconic looks of yesteryear's Bollywood divas and bask in some throwback glow of tinsel town both onscreen and off it.


Talent Extraordinaire :  Sometimes being extra ordinary leads one to become extraordinary. This simple 50's Indian girl next door look on Nargis is as unforgettable as this Bollywood leading lady extraordinaire. She was Bollywood's first 'IT' girl with her classy outfits and progressive characters, eventually going down in the history of Indian cinema with the epic 'Mother India'. Recreate the magic in a white woven saree.

GET THE LOOK : Pair a white saree with a dark contrasting blouse and glass bangles on the wrist. A simple loose plait and matt red lips is all you need to get this look right.



Honey Maiden  : The Venus of East, Marilyn of India are monikers that the west bestowed on the iconic Madhubala, because so far reaching was the fame of this reticent star who was featured on the iconic TIME magazine way back in 1951 - almost 70 years ago. For us she will forever remain Anarkali - the elusive beauty whose real life romance was as star crossed as the one played out in her last magnificent screen outing Mughle Azam. While no one can really touch her effervescent loveliness, you can of course pay tribute to her in her  look with a white blouse and white saree from Madhubala's role as a empathetic reporter in the 1958 movie Kalapaani.

GET THE LOOK: A messy plait, luscious red lips and bold brows are all you need to create this elegant ensemble 



Sterling star: The unfortunate title of "The Tragedy Queen of Indian Cinema" became hers following some stellar performances as an anguished but strong and resolute Indian woman. Meena Kumari played doctor, wife, daughter in-law, sister, mother and a courtesan following her personal dharma regardless of the hardships facing her. Her simple white sarees with zaree borders and elbow length blouses became her signature look for most of her later roles

Get the look: A long loose plait and a red bindi with Meena ji's favourite peach lipstick is all you need to get this look. Add a red bindi if you like.



Zest for life   Another powerhouse of acting talent, Waheeda Rehman's dance finesse was challenged only by her peerless beauty. Though Guide was written around the ever green Dev Anand, Waheeda's Rosie was the pivot of this epic saga of life, love and loss.

Recommit to your zest for life with an unforgettable turquoise ensemble look from her song "Aaj phir jeeney kee tamanna hai".

GET THE LOOK: Get the works ! A pink lip, winged eyeliner, bouffant hair and anklets for this tinkling toed look is in order.



Spring in her step: Mumtaz was a true disruptor in Bollywood. Having risen from the ranks as an extra in the dance group she went on to conquer Bollywood with her acting prowess. Her acting talent, dancing skills and definitely her style bagged her big ticket films with every male star of Bollywood then worth his salt. Even as a budding fresher on the silver screen the spring in her steps gave stiff competition to Shammi Kapoor's endearing onscreen antics.

Rejuvenate your wardrobe with a fresh citrus tint in a tribute to Mumtaz.

GET THE LOOK: Sorry Shilpa, Sonam, Kangana.. this was the first experiment with the saree to become an icon of all times. Become this cool cat with bouffant hair and a smart watch that tones down the outlandish drape to look just like Mumtaz. Add gold danglers to finish with flair.



Kashmir ki kali:  From a budding talent in the 1962 release Jungli to one of the highest paid actresses of Bollywood Saira Banu was to the manner born. Perhaps one of the few actresses of her time to have attended finishing school in London, she brought a refreshing modern air to her characters and their looks. Her mother, Naseem Banu, herself a successful leading lady of the 40's was her stylist and dress designer and  together they created the original gamine - Kashmir ki Kali for Hindi cinema whom even the confirmed bachelor, Dilip Kumar could not resist.

Let your guard down in a fresh floral print on white like Saira Banu.

GET THE LOOK: An exaggerated winged eyeliner and chandelier diamante earrings are all you need to pretty up this look.


Sometimes going back in time is the best springboard to the future. Pick one of these looks to recreate and rediscover the timeless mystique of Vintage Bollywood once again.


Images courtesy : Pintrest

Article By : Bhavna R

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