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Costume Analysis of Bollywood Movie “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” – A Cultural Shift


Author – Kapil Kelkar (HOD Fashion Design Department) Kalinga University, New Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India and Research Scholar (Ph.D Fashion Design) in NIMS UNIVERSITY, Rajasthan, Jaipur



Bollywood movies have long been a big part of Indian culture; for them, it’s not only a way to spend three hours in a movie theatre with a tub of popcorn and some cold drinks as they unwind and unwind. Instead, it is crucial to both their professional and personal lives. People in this country use movies to not only connect with their emotions but also to find the best things they can do in real life after being inspired by the films. Bollywood has always had a significant impact in changing people’s lives, whether through the stories it tells or the societal messages it conveys.


Keywords: Bollywood, Movies, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Karan Johar, Manish Malhotra, Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Rani Mukherjee, Fashion, Styling, Costumes.


1.      Introduction  

The film “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,” directed by Karan Johar, was released on October 16, 1998, and it immediately caused a cultural shift in India. The film was about friendship and love with college life as the backdrop, and it immediately struck the hearts of the audience. The movie had a Bumper opening across the globe. In comparison to its $10 million (US$2.42 million) budget, the movie made 80.12 crore (US$19.41 million) in India and 6.3 million (US$26.61 million) in other countries, for a total of 1.06 billion (US$25.69 million) globally. It followed Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994) and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge as the third movie to gross over 1 billion.


The film was produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, and as a first effort, it set records that every director aspires to. The film was cleverly divided into two halves, with the first half focusing entirely on the players’ youthful experiences and displaying the frivolous aspects of college life, and the second half being entirely family-oriented with love keeping at its core.





In addition to Shahrukh Khan, who we affectionately refer to as the “King of Romance,” the film also stars Kajol, Rani Mukherjee, and Salman Khan in a supporting role. Anupam Kher, Late Reema Laagoo, Farida Jalal, Sana Saeed, Johnny Lever, Himani Shivpuri, and none other than Archana Puran Singh, who played the iconic Mrs. Briganza in the film, round up the supporting cast. Superhit music was provided by Duo Jatin Lalit, while Bollywood’s reigning costume king Manish Malhotra designed the costumes.

Rahul and Anjali, played by Shahrukh Khan and Kajol, are best friends in college. They frequently hang around and play basketball. Rahul rarely wins by cheating, but Anjali is considerably better at the game. The arrival of Tina from London, played by Rani Mukherjee, the lovely daughter of the college principal, played by Anupam Kher, puts their friendship to the test. Rahul becomes immediately enamoured with Tina and begins to follow her in an effort to catch notice. As they both develop feelings for one another, Anjali becomes envious. When she confronts Rahul about it, he pretends as though he’s practising his marriage proposal to Tina, which breaks Anjali’s heart because she can’t bear to see him get closer to Tina. She switches universities.

Almost a decade later, Rahul is a single parent to an eight-year-old daughter, also named Anjali. Tina, whom he married after college, died while giving birth to their daughter but not before writing eight letters for her to read on her subsequent birthdays. The last of these letters introduces Anjali to Rahul’s college friend by the same name. In the letter, Tina asks Anjali to reunite Rahul with Anjali Sharma (the older Anjali), believing the two were best friends who were secretly in love, which they themselves didn’t know that there was love between them.

At a camp for children in Shimla, Anjali Sharma is a organizer who teaches music and dance. Anjali Khanna, daughter of Rahul enrolls and meets her namesake for the first time. Soon, she tricks her father into visiting the camp to meet her by acting that she got a huge cold and cough problem, reuniting him with the older Anjali after many years. Using her mother’s descriptions of their college days in the letter, Anjali Khanna recreates familiar situations that enable Rahul and Anjali Sharma to rekindle their friendship. They eventually find love again, but this time, are interrupted by the arrival of Anjali’s fiancé, Aman played by Salman Khan. Finally shattering back to reality, Anjali leaves the camp midway to return home and marry Aman.

On the day of the wedding, Anjali Khanna lets Aman know of her mother’s letter and her pursuit to unite her father with Anjali Sharma. Meanwhile, Rahul stumbles into Anjali Sharma at an upstairs balcony and finally expresses his love for her. At the wedding hall downstairs, Aman and the guests are awaiting Anjali to make her way to the holy fire for the final ritual of marriage. Anjali walks down the stairs but stops after seeing Rahul. Aman, realizing Anjali will always be in love with Rahul, calls off the engagement. He asks the two to get married instead and joins in the celebrations. Rahul and Anjali Sharma are finally united, and Anjali Khanna is beset with emotion at having fulfilled her mother’s quest expressed in her last letter.


Literature Review Methodology

 Karan Johar who himself is a designer made sure that the costumes of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai should be young, energetic, cool, casual, and very sporty. So he along with his friend and costume designer Manish Malhotra went to London many times as you must have seen most of the costumes of Shahrukh and kajol were having brand label as DKNY, POLO & GAP etc. Shabina Khan assisted Malhotra in the costume designing for this film. This movie is still considered for best fashion examples, as most of the costumes, accessories really came to common fashion for almost a decade and people truly enjoyed wearing those considering as there style statement. Be it the sporty neon and bright coloured T-shirts, Athleisure oufits, his COOL neck chain, his Pouch bags at waist area, his formal blazers look with loose blazers and pants worn by Shahrukh Khan, or the sporty outfits, co-ord sets worn by Kajol, or her white Salwar Kameez with Red Bandhani dupatta, Her short hair look, her hair bands in first half of the movie, and later on her designer net saree, Single tone, Double tone shaded saree, her multi coloured patch work wedding Ghaghara, or even speak about preppy chic college looks of Rani Mukherjee, het tight short kurta and palazzo look, her short dresses, sequins dresses, denim miniskirts, co-ord sets and most important Friendship bands shown in the movie. Talking about India, after release of this movie many people started celebrating Friendship day, tying the friendship band on their friends wrist and partying, there was almost no buzz of friendship day celebrations before the release of this movie.

  1. Casual Sporty Looks –


The outfits worn by movie actors in the first half were totally sporty athleisure feel garments, in bright and dark colors like red, black, orange, yellow, blue etc. giving free bird feel to the characters. The Credit for styling of these looks belongs to Manish Malhotra who he did extensive research and hard work for styling each character differently which stand outs individually even after being a fashion and style bunch of characters. The co-ord sets of T-shirt and Tights in three tone became a vogue in mass fashion and it instantly hits the fashion market.

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