Bollywood’s hot red saree fetish
If Red Saree has become the latest fashion rage in Bollywood, then blame it on Kareena Kapoor’s Chammak Challo from Ra.One. Just before Kapoor shook her legs on international hip-hop singer Akon’s enthralling number, Vidya Balan had already raised the temperatures by flaunting her red-draped voluptuous figure in The Dirty Picture.
Bollywood’s tryst with the red saree can be traced back to as early as 1969. Vyjayanthimala clad in a red saree showered with gold sequins gained a huge fan following when the nation’s heartthrob Shammi Kapoor with his trademark frenzied head shake sang Badan pe sitare lapete hue.
When an innocent faced Jaya Bhaduri sang the classical beauty Bole re papeehara in Guddi (1971), she dazzled in her red Benarsee saree with golden borders when she matured from a school going girl obsessed with Dharmendra to a young woman.
The hotness quotient of the red saree was unveiled to the Indian audience on screen when Dimple Kapadia set heartbeats racing with her radiating skin and sensuous moves in the song Jane do na in Sagar in a rain-soaked crimson saree.
Underlining the importance of red, veteran designer Rina Dhaka says, “Red is a colour that cannot go unnoticed. Saree is the sexiest form of drape and the idea of baring the required and concealing the rest all the more makes it very sexy. It’s a whole nine yard of fabric that makes you look super sexy and stylish whereas other stitched garments would fail and with the combination of red it is nothing but classic.”
Bollywood movies have volunteered to advocate this statement. When Kajol donned a wine coloured chiffon saree in Karan Johar’s directorial debut Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, it made Shahrukh Khan’s character instantly fall in love. It unleashed the feminine side of her character Anjali, metamorphosing her from a young tomboy to a beautiful lady, and what better way to depict the transformation than with a blood red saree. Given the background of the scene in the movie, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that red saree and rain go hand-in-hand.
Even former Miss World Aishwarya Rai has worn red sarees in at least two movies. Her elegant look came out prominently with the red saree in the Title song of the movie Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam while in Devdas, Rai showcased the simplicity of a traditional saree of the same colour in the song Silsila ye chahat ka.
Shahrukh Khan could not resist falling down on his knees and singing Chand mera dil, Chandni ho tum when he first saw his Chemistry teacher Sushmita Sen dressed in a red georgette saree in Main Hoon Na. Maybe the scene in a way depicted the surrender of Bollywood designers to red sarees and their never ending love for the traditional Indian attire.
Several B-town actresses have popularised this trend lately. Vidya Balan brought out the flamboyant side of her character by flaunting a scarlet red saree in her curvaceous figure.
The latest film that has carried on the legacy of the red saree is Rowdy Rathore. While Sonakshi Sinha’sperformance in Chammak challo chail chabeeli might have drawn comparisons to Kareena Kapoor’s Chammak challo in Ra.One, what remains common between the two is their plum red saree.
The teaser of the much awaited movie Jism 2 that shows Sunny Leone of Big Boss fame flaunting her hour glass figure in a bright red saree is already creating a buzz in Bollywood.
Pointing out the relation between the colour red and saree, renowned fashion designer Ritu Kumar says, “Red saris are evocative of the best of a woman’s charm”. She further adds that red as a colour has a very strong appeal in India as it connotes wedding, fertility and auspicious occasions.
So do red sarees never go out of fashion in Bollywood? As veteran designer Ritu Kumar puts it, “Yes, because they are more than fashion – they symbolize a way of life.”