Bollywood fashion off the red carpet: Looking perfectly styled is now a 24/7 pressure

The ‘airport look’ has become a thing, and Bollywood celebrities do feel the need to dress up to match public expectations, especially with social media judging them mercilessly.

bollywood Updated: Jul 09, 2018 18:20 IST
Ankita Rawat
Ankita Rawat
Hindustan Times
Priyanka chopra,Karan Johar,Nushrat Bharucha
In her latest airport look, Bollywood star Rekha looks like the original style icon she is.(Photo: YogenShah)

They step out of the airport, and the cameras go click. They’re on their way to the gym, and the cameras go click. They’re out for dinner and the cameras go click. The pressure to look good is now 24/7 for Bollywood celebrities, (no) thanks to the paparazzi culture and the non-stop social media critiquing; which is why, many actors are opting for professional styling even for non-red-carpet outings.

Actor Nushrat Bharucha looks chic. (Photo: Yogen Shah)

Actor Nushrat Bharucha follows the norm, but says that she does “wish that it was a bit relaxed, because you can’t look perfect all the time, even when you are a celebrity”. She adds, “This culture is adding pressure on celebs to maintain a look even off film [sets] — it has become something that everybody is already doing and living by. To add to the misery, there are also trolls and people questioning [the celebrities’] style sense. I wish there was a little space where we could just be a little bit relaxed and normal and not dressed [up]. All that is gone with this paparazzi and pictures all the time.”

Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui seen at the airport looking dapper. (Photo:Yogen Shah)

Celebrity stylist Mohit Rai, who dresses actors Kajol and Sonakshi Sinha, among others, goes with the view that celebs are, indeed, under pressure. “A lot of celebs come to me for airport looks and other such off-red-carpet looks. With Diet Sabya, the anonymous Instagram account, and other fashion critics, there’s constant [scrutiny] of what and [which label] celebs are wearing — and [the critics are] mostly tearing it down. But, of course, you have to take the criticism and grow. The pressure is damn real, because we’re under public scrutiny.”

Filmmaker Karan Johar pouts for the camera at the airport. (Photo: Yogen Shah)

Another celebrity stylist Tanya Ghavri, who has worked with actors Kareena Kapoor Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, and Frieda Pinto, feels differently. She says, “I don’t think all the celebrities care so much about pap images from their everyday life. They’re human, [and] can’t always be well turned out. The actors I work with, they wear what they’re comfortable in for everyday chores. Being clicked all the time is a byproduct of fame, and they know that, so they don’t take it that seriously — as to how they’re dressed for it.”

On a web chat show, filmmaker Karan Johar disclosed how he and his friends have got a WhatsApp group named “Guttts”, where they discuss celebs’ airport looks, such as “What were they thinking while strutting in those outfits?”

Interestingly, on a recent web chat show, filmmaker Karan Johar disclosed how he and his friends have got a WhatsApp group named “Guttts”, where they discuss celebs’ airport looks, such as “What were they thinking while strutting in those outfits?”

What’s referred to as “those outfits” are worked out together by a celebrity and a stylist. Both Rai and Ghavri say that the final result would be a look that’s for a public space but is still close to a particular celeb’s personal style. “If it isn’t your personal style, then it won’t resonate with your personality,” says Rai.

Actor Priyanka Chopra opts for a chic tracksuit and pairs it with stylish heels at the airport. (Photo: Yogen Shah )

One outcome of all this styling pressure is that labels get a nice bit of publicity through these airport looks. Designer Kartik Dhingra says, “When celebs wear my label, it piques the interest of people in my target market. I’m able to reach a larger audience if celebs choose my label to dress up — at airports or for dining out. Having a celebrity wear something at the airport is a big deal, as most media houses now have a thing for airport chic. The beauty of an airport look is that it’s effortless and accessible style.”

First Published: Jul 09, 2018 18:17 IST