Everyone said Shaadi Se Pehle (2006) was awful - but you knew you could trust me to throw myself on that grenade, na? Let me tell you it wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting - and it was certainly better than Aap Ki Khatir - and I did get some fashion gems for us in the process. This movie has a really wide array of costuming going on, with Akshaye and Mallika getting the worst of it, although he has some really nice clothes too, and since she's the sex bomb, it's not surprising she looks like a (naked) train wreck half the time. Let's just get that out of the way first. Here she is in her first scene ("Dil Vich Hulchul" or "Ankhiyon Se Gal Kar Gayi," depending on whether you ask the DVD menu or raaga.com). She's wearing a silver bra top and tiny skirt with a silver mesh...well, apron, I guess you'd call it. Note how it isn't actually a dress and is just a front.
The backup dancers fare no better; you'll see two in front here wearing flared satin legwarmers. Hey Desidancer, do you know if there's a name for these things? I mean, they're clearly not to warm legs. They're like overgrown spats or something, and they flap when the dancers kick.
The girl to Mallika's left looks like she's wearing the moon boots of a person twice her height.
Though I do like her crocheted elephant beach hat.
On to my favorite part of the movie: my FPMBF (that's "Fake-Pretend Movie BoyFriend," in case we have any new readers). His outfit that I complained about back before the movie came out is just as bad in the movie (in the first song, "Kabhi Mil To") as it is in the publicity stills.
It's possible that this is supposed to be silly; this song is set up with a wink-wink reference to how couples in Hindi films embrace and then break into duets, so it might be a parody of the song teleport to Europe. Not sure. Poor Ayesha wears the same white lace-up boots with at least three ensembles, possibly four. I do appreciate the economy of reusing costumes - and heck, we all have a favorite pair of shoes. Boots of this height often get mis-paired, I think, and her costumer fell into the trap, particularly with the cuffed-at-the-knees bleach-smeared jeans (bottom right), which make her look stumpy - but hey, at least she's got a kicky umbrella to match.
If you go to my old post about these outfits, you can get a really good look at Ayesha's jeans with a giant sparkly butterfly on the front - in the collage above, they're in the top left picture. In mid-dance move it just looks like she's wearing a longer tunic-type top, but when she stands up straight you can see it's actually a cropped top with a butterfly on the pants below - oh of course, that makes sense. This is one of those times when I think some costume designers - in this case Ashelee Rubello, who is also credited with Ishq Vishk and Josh, which feature, respectively, the Worst Shirt (Male) in Bollywood and a gang leader toting his gun in a name-emblazoned fanny pack - may have actually lost their minds completely, even if only momentarily.
Also, Akshaye dresses like a cowboy for no apparent reason.
Isn't it awesome how the front bits are tied together to show off the belt buckle? Once a friend of mine was at a party, and, spotting someone walk in wearing a very natty ensemble and Elton John-esque sunglasses, yelled across the room to said person "How gay are you?!?" (Fortunately he is both very good-humored and very out of the closet.) I said that at the screen right here.
Later, Akshaye's character, who is trying to wriggle out of an engagement for noble reasons (let me just be quick to defend), is advised as follows:
He comes up with these:
Bravo (and to Ferzine Khambatta, whom the credits labels as Akshaye's costume designer)! Marijuana, peace, and Rolling Stones patches are standard-issue rebel, but along with the Playboy bunny he has a swastika - and not the Hindu kind, I don't think, since it's black and in a white circle on a red background, though I'd be delighted to be corrected - on the elbow.
Okay, next we have another example of overused accessory-itis. In "Mundeya," Akshaye wears five versions of basically the same stupid hat. At this point in the plot he's rid of the fiancee, so there's no reason for him to be dressed like this. Maybe to highlight what a mismatch his character's advertising executive hypochondriac is for Mallika's "international model" mafia princess?
Even with all of this, most of the time Akshaye and Ayesha look very normal, him prepped out (drool drool drool) and her in very pretty salwaar-kameez or non-crazy western clothes. And boy howdy do they both rock the glasses!
(I could not love him any more right here. Sigh.)
And you know who else looks really good in this movie? When he's not dressed in the most conservative items from this month's International Male catalog, Aaftab Shivdasani looks very handsome and classy, as in a wedding scene here.
Careful inspection of the credits revealed that he's listed as doing some of the costume work for the movie. Nice! So between this outfit and Akshaye's preppyness, Shaadi Se Pehle actually ranked quite high on the yum-o-meter for this reporter. Still, I do recommend you close the windows as night so that the giant sparkly moth on Ayesha's jeans doesn't come in and chew up your closet.