Happy Birthday, Karan Johar: 6 Movies That Changed The Way We See Fashion

From Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to Dostana, these films set new trends and influenced style choices, leaving a lasting impact on Indian fashion.

Published On May 25, 2023 | Updated On Feb 27, 2024

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Step into the glitzy world of Bollywood, where dreams come alive on the silver screen and fashion takes centre stage. In this enchanting realm, one name stands out as a maestro of storytelling and a trendsetter in the name of style: Karan Johar. With his captivating movies, he has not only entertained millions but also transformed the way India consumes fashion.

Karan Johar — who celebrated his birthday on May 25 — has not only entertained audiences via his movies and his show Koffee With Karan, but has also played a significant role in shaping India's fashion landscape. With his keen eye for aesthetics and attention to detail, he has brought forth iconic characters and crafted unforgettable fashion moments. His films have become a source of inspiration, influencing trends and fueling the aspirations of millions.

His unique ability to blend storytelling and style has made him a trendsetting filmmaker, and his films continue to resonate with audiences of all ages. Karan Johar's vision has not only entertained but has also brought about a cultural shift, influencing the way India consumes fashion and inspiring countless fashion choices across the nation. Let's embark on his journey through some of Johar's iconic films that have left an indelible mark on the Indian fashion landscape.

This romantic drama swept the nation off its feet with its youthful charm and sizzling chemistry between the charismatic Shah Rukh Khan, the effervescent Kajol, and the enchanting Rani Mukerji. But it wasn't just the heartwarming story that captivated audiences—it was also the fashion revolution it sparked. From Kajol's sporty-chic tomboy looks to Rani Mukerji's iconic silver mini dress to Shah Rukh Khan's 'cool' neckpiece and flamboyant shirts, the film set new trends and became a style guide for an entire generation.

PS: Kajol's bangs with a white kurta set and bandhani dupatta instantly come to mind when we talk about the fashion moments in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

This larger-than-life family drama, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, showcased the epitome of resplendence and extravagance. With an ensemble cast featuring Bollywood royalty like Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Hrithik Roshan, and Kareena Kapoor Khan, the film served as a visual feast for fashion enthusiasts. From the regal ethnic wear adorned by Jaya Bachchan to the suave and sophisticated suits of Shah Rukh Khan, the movie redefined glamour and became a fashion inspiration for weddings and festive celebrations.

No mention of Karan Johar's contribution to fashion will be complete without reminiscing about the iconic character of Poo. Kareena Kapoor Khan played this fashion-savvy character served with a side of sass, and her style game was on point, so much so that girls went about mimicking her fashion and saying “hallelujah” in true Poo-style.  

The most tear-inducing movie thanks to the emotional rollercoaster plot, this romantic drama left a memorable impact on Indian cinema and fashion alike. Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, and Saif Ali Khan, the film not only tugged at heartstrings but also introduced a range of fashion choices that resonated with the audience. From Preity Zinta's vibrant and simplistic outfits to Shah Rukh Khan's dapper and sophisticated looks, Kal Ho Naa Ho became a style benchmark for contemporary urban fashion. Preity Zinda looked like an Indian version of Elsa in the ice blue lehenga and that outfit made an appearance in weddings for years, but it was really those spectacles that became a rage.

In addition to its ground-breaking storyline, Dostana made waves in the fashion world with its stylish and contemporary portrayal of characters. The film showcased a fusion of modern western wear and traditional Indian outfits, creating a vibrant and eclectic mix. From Priyanka Chopra's glamorous and chic wardrobe to John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan's suave and fashion-forward looks, Dostana broke barriers and set new standards for fashion in Indian cinema. The iconic golden swimsuit and the ‘Desi girl’ saree were on every Indian girl's list of wardrobe must-haves.  

This romantic comedy-drama redefined the concept of millennial fashion. Starring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in the lead roles, the film depicted the carefree spirit of youth and ignited a fashion frenzy with its style picks. From casual bohemian dresses to stylish and effortless travel looks, the movie became a style bible for young Indians, influencing their wardrobes and inspiring a newfound love for casual yet chic fashion choices. The blue saree donned by Deepika in ‘Badtameez Dil’ made its way to many sangeet and cocktail nights at weddings.

While Karan Johar is primarily known for his mainstream Bollywood ventures, he ventured into the digital space with this gripping movie. Gehraiyaan introduced a fusion of a dysfunctional Indian family and fashion, creating a unique visual experience. With its atmospheric storytelling and sexy costumes worn by a young star cast led by the seasoned star, Deepika Padukone, the movie showcased Karan Johar's versatility as a storyteller and his ability to experiment with unconventional genres. With cute co-ord sets, daring bralettes, oversized tops and a few chic all-white looks, this movie's fashion grabbed eyeballs; like every Karan Johar movie is meant to.

Through decades of unparalleled contribution to boosting Bollywood's landscape via his movies, Karan Johar is a powerhouse by himself. As he turns a year older, we eagerly anticipate Karan Johar's future cinematic endeavours and are certain that his distinctive touch will continue to captivate us, not only through compelling narratives but also through fashion that transcends the silver screen and becomes a part of our collective imagination. 


Photo: Instagram/karanjohar

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