Films are one of the biggest influencing factors for fashion, and we are speaking from the time when they were black & white and even silent films. And so, we have put together a series of images spanning over the 70’s-80’s era showing the ephemeral beauty of sarees. We are introducing this series, featuring a new heroine every month to represent the evolution of Indian cinema through the lens of Sarees worn by the leading ladies.
This month’s feature is Jayaprada.
“the most beautiful face on the Indian screen”
Jayaprada is arguably one of those few leading ladies who had it all. Rise to stardom and a successful political journey. This made her an epitome of beauty with a hint of Southern charm! If you were to run a search on Jayaprada on the internet, you would be bombarded with images of her. Sharp features, with Kohl, rimmed eyes, bold shades of lipstick, ornate yet succinct jewelry, striking personality. And yet above all lies the biggest distinction!
Jayaprada made various appearances in diversified roles. As a doting wife (Sanjog), a muse (Sagara Sangamam), a lover (Shaarabi) and even an alleged widow (Sindoor).
Often seen draped in various silks, it is a must-know fact that Jayaprada was a designers’ delight. With varying genres of movies, in multiple languages, the point should remain amiss that depending on the language and the culture, the sarees were picked for Jaya. South Indian film industry, back in the day, was less pompous and more down-tone talking in terms of fashion. Jayaprada is seen wearing subtle Kanchi’s, Mangalagiri or Pochampally’s. Often paired with the very sober jewelry. (Watch (Telugu): Sagara Sangamam, Anthuleni Katha, Adivi Ramudu) The silks of the South have an undertone at being elegant, at the same time not too grandiose.
“I’ve always preferred roles that were less glamorous and more cinematic and acting oriented. “Jayaprada
Donned in Mysore Silk, dancing to the tunes of Ilayaraja, very delicately holding the pleats and syncing the rhythm of the tunes with her footsteps, Jayaprada made saree carrying look easy! Her grace is only further accented with the gentle breeze that swayed her pallu while stealing shy glances with her lover.
Bollywood was always high on the bling quotient. Banarsis, Chiffons, Bandhanis, and Paithanis were the trend. In her roles as a wife, one can’t help but notice Jayaprada was always decked up like a newlywed bride. Impressive jewelry, zari sarees and not to forget sindoor bhari maang for most of her roles. Often back in the day, heroines wore ensembles with colors depending on the scene and the tradition. Where even such a thing exists today?! A symbolic laal saree for auspicious occasions, bright hues of pinks and yellows for romanticized scenes, pastels for somber scenes, florals for lighter comic scenes. (Watch (Hindi): Sanjog, Kaamchor, Sharaabi)
Of Sarees and sensuality:
One peculiar scene caught our eye. Jayaprada in the most exquisite Kashmir silk saree leaned against a bed. With her pallu fanned over her, with a look longing in her eyes for her husband, and singing the most sinfully alluring song. That scene itself invoked a strong sense of oomph. It makes us think, how symbolic is the unusual fanning of the pallu that added to the whole emotion!
We like to believe, that the accented charm and the opulence of Jayaprada suggest that it is the elegance of sarees itself that prevails. When forces of emotion and dialogues play a distinct part in shaping the image of the character, it is what the character wears that makes the important distinction in adding the unseen emotion to the artist. These images evoked a sense of nostalgia for us over the fashion of that decade.
These sarees represent the dialogue between the artist and the emotion. these sarees speak of a trace of history where even in absence of verbal emotion, the colors and textures and the accessories spoke of the emotions.
We salute Jayaprada and her immense contribution to the field of the cine industry. Her footprints have left a major inspiration for people like us. And her image beyond cinema and politics is a testimony of her legacy that we look up to!
Images: Google, we don’t have any copyrights, if anyone claims for it, we will take down the images.