Indian Cinema Defines Regional Royalty Perfectly Through the Lens of Fashion!

Indian cinema beautifully captures regional royalty through fashion, blending cultures with meticulous detail, captivating audiences worldwide. Check out the listicle.

By Ruchita Kishan Ushakola
New Update
Indian Cinema Defines Regional Royalty Perfectly Through the Lens of Fashion.png

Indian cinema, renowned as one of the world's largest and most diverse film industries, continually surprises both regional and global audiences with its unique cinematic elements. One aspect that stands out is the portrayal of regional elegance through fashion. From north to south and east to west, filmmakers skillfully blend different cultures, paying meticulous attention to detail and never compromising on authenticity.


This feature explores how movies and characters perfectly showcase regional royalty through their fashion choices, highlighting the intricate details that captivate audiences.

Mrunal Thakur as Hyderabadi Princess in Sita Ramam

In the film Sita Ramam, set in the 20th century, Mrunal Thakur's character Sitamahalakshmi is a Hyderabadi princess, embodying the city's synonymous elegance and sophistication in her wardrobe. Designers paid attention to every detail, captivating the audience with her outfits. Sitamahalakshmi's wardrobe featured dreamy floral saris in pastel shades with delicate lace borders, exuding a soothing vibe that complemented her character impeccably. Blouses were adorned with European-inspired collars and sleeves, incorporating intricate details like Peter Pan collars and puffed sleeves, reflecting the fusion of Indian princely fashion with European elements. Pearl details, synonymous with Hyderabad's heritage, embellished her attire, while unique twists like layered skirts and different fabric textures added depth to her looks.


Even in her portrayal as a commoner, Sita's attire remained authentic, with simple cotton sarees and traditional accessories. The film's settings in both Kashmir and Hyderabad allowed for the showcasing of regional embroideries and weaves, adding richness to the costumes and enhancing the character's journey.

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Aishwarya Rai as Bengali Thakurian in Devdas

In Devdas, Aishwarya Rai's portrayal of Paro showcases the transformation of a simple village girl into a majestic Thakurian lady through her sarees. Each saree was meticulously chosen to reflect her evolving character arc. Before her marriage, Paro is seen in graceful plain sarees, symbolizing her innocence and simplicity. These sarees, typically 8-9 meters long, are designed with traditional silk borders and paired with elegant blouses, minimal jewellery, and a delicate bindi. 


As Paro transitions into her role as a Thakurian lady, her sarees become more opulent, adorned with embellished embroidery, heavy borders, and elaborate accessories. The transformation is stunning, a testament to both Aishwarya's versatility as an actress and the craftsmanship of costume designer Neeta Lulla, for which she also earned a National Award for Best Costumes, immortalizing Paro's regal elegance.

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Deepika Padukone as Mastani in 'Bajirao Mastani'

Mastani, played by Deepika Padukone, is the daughter of the Hindu Rajput king Chhatrasal and his Persian Muslim concubine Ruhani Begum. Her character is a blend of Muslim and Peshwa royalty, reflected in her regal costumes filled with embellished anarkalis and ghagras. As she dances in the song Deewani Mastani, she wears a dhani-coloured kalidaar anarkali over a multi-panelled ghagra with a pair of ijhaars, looking ethereal. Although Peshwa women historically wore heavier fabrics, the designer opted for diaphanous material to give the outfit a graceful look and make it more film-friendly. It was embroidered with gota patti, as opposed to heavier embellishments, to reduce the weight of the garment.


During her research, Anju found a miniature portrait of Mastani wearing a Persian hat, and in keeping with this, the jewellery was kept Persian, with hand ornaments made without using precious stones, only with flat, antiquated gold.

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Priyanka Chopra as Kashibai in 'Bajirao Mastani'


Priyanka Chopra Jonas portrays Kashibai, the wife of Peshwa Bajirao, hailing from Maharashtra. Her character's outfits, blending Maharashtrian royalty, were remarkable and made her the most powerful character. It is said that Kashibai donned 85 navvaris (11-meter Maharashtrian-style saris) in the film. Playing a typical Peshwa wife, she is seen wearing a huge nose ring called a Natt and Chandrabindhi in Marathi.

Throughout the film, Priyanka Chopra Jonas is seen nailing the traditional Marathi look in her different regal outfits, mostly navvaris. The actress upped her look with Marathi-style jewellery that consisted of a gold-toned nath, jhumkas, necklace, mangalsutra, bangles, and rings. Priyanka pulled back her mid-parted curly tresses into a bun and adorned it with a red rose and gold-toned veni. The red half-moon-shaped traditional bindi, filled pointed brows, curled lashes, and pink lip shade elevated her look. 

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Deepika & Aishwarya as Rajput Women in 'Padmaavat' and 'Jodha Akbar'

Aishwarya Rai as Maharani Jodha Bai and Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati are considered iconic female characters in Bollywood history. Their Rajput royalty shined brightly through their outstanding performances, equally captivating audiences with their costumes. Aishwarya as Jodha, hailing from Rajasthan, was dressed in red, saffron, yellow, and emerald green with beautiful, elaborate traditional jewellery. The colour palette perfectly captured the essence of Rajasthan.

For designer duo Rimple and Harpreet Narula, Padmaavat marked their foray into Bollywood. It's Padukone's extravagant lehengas that caught our attention. Her portrayal as Rani Padmini, the Rajput queen, would have lost its charm without the beautiful traditional wear and heavy jewellery. A lot of gota patti work can be seen on the lehengas, which weighed almost 30 kg. Padukone's look in the song Ghoomar had us drooling. The colourful lehenga in which she is seen moving around gracefully took months to create. It had a lot of layering, with the innermost layer being made of special gota lafa and the brocade work created by master weavers. It gave Padukone a royal look, coupled with the layered necklaces, the gold jhumkas, and the nathni.

Indian cinema has a unique ability to portray regional royalty through fashion, capturing the essence of different cultures and historical periods with meticulous attention to detail. From the regal elegance of a Hyderabadi princess to the traditional charm of a Marathi queen, each character's costume reflects their persona and adds depth to the storytelling. Through the lens of fashion, Indian cinema continues to redefine regional royalty, captivating audiences with its rich tapestry of culture and history.

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