The eye-catching purple saree of Madhuri Dixit in Hum Aapke Hai Koun, Preity Zinta's bespectacled look in Kal Ho Naa Ho or Aishwarya Rai's traditional lehengas in Jodha Akbar hogged limelight, all thanks to costume designers working to create an impact in a film setting new fashion trends.
Even in the silent era, filmmakers paid close attention to costumes of every character. The attention to finery scaled up when cinema turned coloured from black-and-white.
Exclusive and intricately designed costumes have today become one of the key aspects of making a film click at the box office.
"The look of an actor has to be appealing as it is one of the reasons to help pull the crowd. Importance has always been there on costumes as there is no look without costume designers," ace fashion stylist and costume designer Neeta Lulla told PTI.
Neeta has won national awards for styling in films like Jodha Akbar and Devdas.
"The importance of costume is huge in any film, it helps the director create characters visually. Costumes can completely change the way a character looks in a film," designer Rick Roy, who has styled Bipasha Basu and Sonam Kapoor, said.
"Films have evolved and so has every technical aspect of film making. Every director tries to make his characters look distinct and believable and costuming is one of the integral parts of that process," he said.
Echoing a similar view, designer Archana Kochhar said costumes adds value to the appearance. It changes the look of the film and on-screen presence of actors. The challenge is in creating new look for every film for the actors, she said.
The designers say it is not only about giving perfect look to heroines but also to heroes and villains.
Amitabh Bachchan's knotted shirt in Deewar and his flamboyant get-up in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom were much talked about, while Amrish Puri's look as Mogambo in Mr India still stands apart.