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Bollywood goes the ramp way

Filmmakers have realised the potential of fashion as a publicity tool, report Kabeer Sharma and Vajir Singh.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2006 11:51 IST

A week after Salman Khan walked the ramp at the MTV Style Awards to hardsell Jaan-e-Mann, a bigger coup of a movie promo came when the Big B took to the runway for Baabul on Thursday evening.

It wasn’t just Amitabh Bachchan who strutted his stuff for Ravi Chopra’s opus. Also on the runway was Rani Mukerji flaunting an ethnic Sabyasachi Mukherji ensemble and John Abraham donning Narendra Kumar Ahmed’s formals.

Not to be left behind, Hema Malini came in, hand in hand with Bachchan, in an attire styled by Neeta Lulla even as Salman Khan flaunted sister Alvira’s creations.

Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, John Abraham, Rani Mukerji and Salman Khan walk the rampf or Ravi Chopra’s Baabul.

“The look has been created to go with the character’s personality. Baabul has big names and each character has a distinct look,” says director Ravi Chopra.

Chopra adds that each lead actor’s look was created by a different designer to ensure that the designers could focus on the brief they got. Of course, the build-up to the release of


trumpeted what Shah Rukh Khan was wearing in the movie.

In case you wanted further proof of the hype around marketing of actors’ clothes, Ram Gopal Verma, that old master of hyperbole, had a huge party just to showcase Amitabh Bachchan’s Gabbar’s garb in his version of Sholay.

The trend began with Madhuri Dixit’s purple blouse in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. What our stars wear on the screen instantly finds its way to the street. But now the PR machinery is set into motion to emphasise on what the lead cast is donning and who has styled it.

“The styling of the movie is becoming as important as dialogue, screenplay or music. You tend to look at an actor in the movie and then no tice what they’re wearing off it,” says Aki Narula who has done clothes for Don, Bluffmaster and Bunty aur Babli.

Getting actors to walk the runway to promote the film is getting increasingly popular. Earlier this year, the cast of Rang De Basanti did a show with Provogue and Hrithik Roshan did the same for a jewellery company.

Veteran film stylist Anna Singh insists that the clothes of the movie are being trumpeted because filmmakers have realised the potential of the actors’ attire as a potent publicity tool. “Fashion in Hindi films has dominated the nation’s psyche. Madhuri’s blouse and Aamir Khan’s sailer hat in Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin managed to capture popular imagination. Filmmakers have become savvier about using costumes as bells and whistles,” she adds.

Producer Sajid Nadiadwala tends to agree. According to him, any successful movie today is an amalgamation of everything from the script, to the location, to the look of actors.

“Whether it was the look of the film or of the actors, we packaged our movie in an unconventional manner,” he says about Jaan-emann. If it meant highlighting a still with Salman in the drag in their publicity material, Nadiadwala was game for it.

JP Dutta raved about Abhishek Bachchan’s turbans in the period drama Umrao Jaan. If Bipasha Basu’s bikini shots in Dhoom 2 generated heat and sound bites, so did Krrish’s mask and the caped synthetic leather costume Hrithik donned in the eponymous movie.

Varma insists that the hoopla around Gabbar Singh’s character is justified. “Gabbar is the biggest villain Indian cinema has ever seen. It is important for us to give this character a look that was a departure for the original. ”

First Published: Oct 29, 2006 02:00 IST