Throwback: Sartorial Period Drama

Sartorial Statements Vis-à-Vis Bollywood’s Period Dramas

Who doesn’t love a good Bollywood flick? Especially when its a period drama, set in a historic context we are all familiar with thanks to high school history lessons? What’s not to love!? The extravagant sets, the brilliant actors, the throwback to Indian history, the sensible story line, the costumes.. the costumes.. did we mention, the costumes?! The best thing about a Bollywood period movie is the wardrobe specially designed for that particular movie – the sheer thought and ideation that goes into these period drama wardrobes is overwhelming but the final product speaks for itself. From stunning Mughal era ensembles to traditional 17th century folksy attire, Bollywood’s silver screen has offered some of the best sartorial statements through the period dramas that have released in the last few years.Starting with the upcoming and much talked about Bajirao Mastani, we decided to take a look at some of the more memorable period dramas and the breath-taking fashion they produced.

Bajirao Mastani

Set in 18th century India, Bajirao Mastani is the story of the Maratha warrior Peshwa Bajirao of the Marathe Empire and his second wife, the fierce warrior princess Mastani. Anju Modi who is renowned for his movie styling chops (ref: Ram-Leela) has designed the elaborate costumes for this movie and we are the first ones to say they are absolutely stunning! From Deepika’s regal and feminine outfits in her avatar of Mastani the courtesan or her fierce metal adorned attire as Mastani the warrior or Priyanka’s beautiful ensemble to Ranveer’s fierce yet stately and regal attire, Anju Modi has outdone herself in this movie. The costumes not only reflect the love of opulence reflective of that era but also the cultural and historic inflections of the time.

The best part? The collection Anju Modi deisgned for the movie is exclusively available on (we had to do it!) Grab your hands on the divine outfits worn by Mastani from Anju Modi’s Inspired by Bajirao Mastani collection, only available here!

Bajirao Mastani by Anju Modi - DP with AM - 2

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Jodha Akbar

Set in the 16th century, Jodha Akbar is a love story between a Mughal emperor and a Rajput princess. Neeta Lulla, who designed the costumes for this film has beautifully captured the culture, context and mood of the era in the intricate detailing, embellishment and embroidery used in the garments.  Using warm tones seen in that period, the most ornate piece was Aishwaryas wedding ensemble in the movie with fabrics sourced from Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Rajasthan.

jodha akbar


Bombay Velvet

Set in the 60’s, Bombay Velvet was a treat for fashion lovers! Costume designer Niharika Bhasin did a great job capturing the glamour and glitz of the era through Anushka’s and Ranbir’s costumes (not to mention Raveena Tandon’s breathtaking costume in her cameo!) Two-button suits, flapper dresses, polka dots, prints, pearls, sequins, tulle and feathers take center-stage to bring the swinging 60’s to life on the silver screen.


bombay velvet



Set in the early 1900’s, Devdas is a story of love, lust, betrayal, loyalty and every other dramatic emotion you can think of! It also starred three of the biggest names in Bollywood and as if that wasn’t enough for visual appeal, Abu-Sandeep and Neeta Lulla did a fantastic job on the costume design. Using traditional Bengali fabrics like Mull, Dhakais and Tangails the costumes ranged from double breasted suits, dhotis, kurtas, mulmul skirts, saris and lenghas. Fun Fact: one of Madhuri’s lenghas weighed 30 kgs!




Set in the 1900’s in Bengal, Parineeta is a story about unconditional and eternal love that must overcome obstacles and treachery. Subarna Ray Chaudhuri, the costume designer for this movie focused on contextualizing the costumes to the region and the time period. Parineeta was her first film and the amount of researcha nd legwork that went into the costume design is amazing – 200 page presentations were commonplace is what is said! The sarees were worn shadharon style and went a long way in conveying the cultural context of the time.




Set in 1953 Bengal, Lootera is a story about lust, land, literature and above all else, love. Subarna Ray Chaudhuri has admitted this was the hardest film for her to style because it was set in the 50’s and is much more vintage. Staying true to the time, Sonakshi’s look in the movie was very conservative and here was ample use of traditional Bengali fabrics and techniques. The designer also experimented with fabrics by chopping up a transparent white maheshwari sari and adding on an old, almost 100-year-old, benarasi border, which she found in an old vintage shop in Kolkata. The result? STUNNING!




Here’s your chance to get the yesteryear movie star looks! Shop the Inspired by Bajirao Mastani Collection by renowned designer Anju Modi only on!



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