The impact Preity Zinta had on the fashion of the early 2000s was phenomenal. As a versatile actress, she could be the girl next door, the studious kid, or even the coy girl. Through all of her roles, she gave us some major fashion goals. But if I had to pinpoint to one of her looks that had a huge impact on me, it has to be her fashion moments when she played the role of Zaara in Veer Zaara.
Recently it so happened that I decided to rewatch Veer Zaara (2004) on one fine weekend. Back then I was awed by this love story. But now as a twenty-something, I could not help but swoon over Zaara’s stunning ethnic outfits and wish I had some of those lovely sets in my wardrobe.
I mean just look at how simple yet so stunning this white kurta looks with a yellow dupatta and patiala pants.
Also, this beautiful fuchsia pink short kurta that has been paired with a green salwar and an orange dupatta.
And of course, Zaara’s intricately embroidered red wedding sharara.
When Yash Chopra and Manish Malhotra come together, they manage to weave stories and fashion in a cohesive manner. Veer Zaara is a classic example. That year Manish Malhotra stood unrivalled when it came to costumes in Bollywood films. Zaara’s outfits made her shine in each and every frame and that fetched the designer three awards for his work.
(Fun Fact: Karan Johar designed all of Shah Rukh Khan’s costumes in the film and Bigg Boss 6 fame, Imam Siddique was also a part of the costumes.)
One cannot help but appreciate how the outfits were a beautiful amalgamation of Indian and Pakistani ethnic fashion. She always wore her short kameez with a patiala or a sharara. Zaara’s outfits were a gorgeous mix of Punjabi and Mughal styles. Staying true to South Asian sensibilities, the outfits also portrayed the work done by kaarigars through crystal and stone embroidery and also the zari borders on the outfits. If you are someone who loves a lot of details in their ethnic outfits, Zaara’s wardrobe would be a treasure for you.
Zaara’s wardrobe was beautifully balanced. If she had heavily studded ethnic wear, she also had easy breezy suits which showcased some striking floral embroidery. I mean just look at that cute tan-coloured backpack she has, even that is intricately embroidered.
While we talk about her wardrobe, one thing that struck me while watching the movie is how sometimes Zaara donned a bright dupatta over a simple kurta. She was never shy about colours. Another thing that remains constant is her accessories. Stacks of bangles, a jhumka, a nose pin, and kohl-rimmed eyes – these always elevated her outfits.
Even as the movie progressed, Zaara’s outfit matured along with her. The details were substituted for simple practicality and easy silhouettes, but nowhere did they look bland.
Much before Pakistani serials made their way to our television screens, Zaara from Veer Zaara introduced us to ethnic wear which wasn’t boring. She made them look stunning and made us believe that all of us could carry them off. She redefined how young women looked at desi clothes. If I could travel back in time, I would go back and raid Zaara’s wardrobe and live out my desi girl dreams.