If the stylescape of Bollywood from even as recently as 20 years ago could see what it has become today, it probably would not be able to recognize itself. The brand extravaganza, the celebrity stylists, the paps buzzing around for the smallest of celeb appearances – all of this was alien to the industry.
Now, imagine going another 20-50 years back in time.
The word ‘personal style’ meant something back then. Of course, there were designers, but celebs used to wear what they wanted to, without having a dedicated team to take care of everything.
Keeping that backdrop in mind, we take a look at the 7 original style icons of Bollywood, who ended up shaping the sartorial aesthetic of generations of Indian men:
Also known as the ‘Jumping Jack’ of Bollywood by fans, Jeetendra was the epitome of playfulness when it comes to clothing.
Right from wearing bomber jackets to experimenting with shirts to flagging off the ‘all-white including shoes’ aesthetic, this man did it all with an unparalleled sense of stylistic abandon.
6. Rajesh Khanna
The icon who familiarized people with the concept of a ‘superstar’ for the first time, Rajesh Khanna was the epitome of a charming man who made the women of the entire country go weak in their knees with his magnetic personality.
His style game was aristocratic, yet demure – something that caught the fancy of millions of young men across the country at the time.
When Dharmendra took his shirt off on screen for Phool Aur Patthar in 1966, that was the iconic moment that paved the path for the handsome, rugged, well-built men who would conquer the screen half a century later.
Considered to be ‘ridiculously handsome’, Dharmendra was the perfect example of an icon who amalgamated his sartorial adventures on screen with his robust masculinity.
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4. Amitabh Bachchan
If this were to be a list that took the present into consideration too, Big B, hands down, would have occupied the top spot – no, seriously, try naming a cooler 77-year-old.
With cult movies like Deewar and Zanjeer, Mr Bachchan ‘defined’ what a ‘hero’ is supposed to look like. Be it dressing with the signature retro reckless abandon in Coolie, or as the ultra suave, suited up conman in Don – AB’s style game was simply unmatchable, and has only become stronger as he has matured.
3. Dev Anand
Also known as ‘The Gregory Peck of India’, Dev Sahab – as he is fondly addressed in the industry – flagged off a sartorial revolution for Indian men that would end up impacting the entire fashionscape of the country for decades to come.
He started off his journey in the ’50s, and considering how confusing and elementary the sartorial landscape for Indian men back then was, he provided the much-required astute clarity while taking it by the reins.
His scarves, eyewear and hats are considered to be iconic in terms of accessories, to this day.
2. Shashi Kapoor
Probably one of the sharpest dressers on this list, Shashi Kapoor is criminally underrated as a style icon. He had the gift of making anything look absolutely elegant and regal – something which one is born with, and cannot be taught.
Right from his sharp suits to his ultra-polished grooming routine, Mr Kapoor embodied the elusive ‘well-dressed gentleman’ back in the day.
1. Vinod Khanna
Vinod Khanna, just like Shashi Kapoor, was another underrated style icon who never got his due when it comes to mainstream appreciation.
While his style game was way ahead of its time, it was overshadowed by other commercial trends simply because it had a niche appeal that attracted an ‘evolved style palate’, in hindsight.
Blessed with brooding good looks and a fit physique, Mr Khanna surely was a force to be reckoned with, who is worthy of unconditional appreciation when it comes to matters of style.
We can’t thank and appreciate all of them enough, for shaping the stylescape of an entire nation without breaking a sweat.
Photo: © BCCL (Main Image)
Author: ” — www.mensxp.com “