FilmFare: What They All Wore and What it Meant

The actual awards list went up earlier, but we all know that doesn’t matter nearly as much as what people wore!  Not even joking, in terms of people tuning in for the show, it’s all about who showed up and how big they went.  And in terms of how seriously people are taking the awards, and their careers in Hindi film, it is also about how big they went (remember in 2016 Priyanka didn’t even come?)

Kajol looks great.  And this is also the perfect look for her rumored new movie with Ajay.  It’s classy and elegant, she is clearly taking this evening seriously.  But it isn’t “big”, not even a lot of jewelry.  She isn’t trying to become the most buzzed about actress there, she doesn’t need that.  She just wants to remind us that she is alive and around and working, not trying to sell the biggest film of the year.

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Parineeti, she IS trying to sell herself!  She is young and hungry and wants her next films to do well and producers to think of her and sign her to films after that.  This is a great dress for that, makes her look amazing, is impossible to ignore, but is also kind of “safe”.  She is a nice reliable actress you can count on, not big and splashy and problematic.

Shahid, he is in the biggest film of the year.  Or at least, the film that was going to be the biggest but now probably won’t be.  And so he is going a little big.  Needs people to be talking about him, needs to have a solid popularity of his own separate from how this film does.  A white suit is a good option, not so crazy he can’t pull it off, but memorable.

Vidya in a sari is just right.  She’s got nothing to prove, she probably new the award was in the bag for her this year, and her last movie proved her as once again the best actress in the industry.  The sari tells us that she is respectable and serious and cares about looking nice at this event, but she is also in the “married” phase of her career, no longer running around in sexy little evening gowns, beyond that now.

Diana Penty is not beyond running around in evening gowns.  It’s a nice dress and she pulls it off well. You need a certain confidence for this kind of outfit, and she has it.  It’s the same as Parineeti’s gown, makes sure we notice and talk about her, but isn’t so incredibly out there that a producer wouldn’t want to work with her.

Preity!!!!  So happy she is back.  Great dress on her.  Another one of those “notice me but notice I don’t go too far” dresses.  But with a different meaning than the younger actresses.  Preity is past the era when producers might look to her to lead their next film.  She is looking for TV hosting gigs, and more invitations to events like this.  Proving she can show up and turn heads and get clicks.

Aha! Alia!  The first true top of the game star!!!!!  And therefore, a totally insane outfit.  She is a known quantity, producers know her and the audience know her, she has nothing to prove.  She just has to get us talking and make sure she gets her part of the headlines and stays at the top.

Ranveer, also at the top of his game.  His clothes have always been part of his selling point, he makes sure everyone looks at him always, “Ranveer Singh” became known for his crazy hijinks and clothes before his performances.  And he is keeping that up, reminding us that he is famous in his own right even if Padmavat flops.

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Suit suit karda?

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Sonam, also always more famous for her clothes than her performances.  Last year she arrived at the FilmFare awards knowing there was a good chance she would win, and if she didn’t, that she would still be talked about for NOT winning.  This year, she has a couple films to promote and no hope of winning.  So it’s all about the crazy outfit, get people saying “Sonam Sonam Sonam” and hope that turns into “Padman Padman Padman Veere Di Wedding”

Neha was there as part of the Tumhari Sulu team.  But that isn’t her main “job”, her main job now is being a celebrity, hosting her radio show.  So she shows up, looks pretty in yellow, but isn’t working to hard.  Like Kajol and Vidya, she is firmly beyond the struggling point of her career, she wants to look good but isn’t going to sweat to much about it.

Well, this is ridiculous!  India’s new Miss World, Manushi Chhillar.  Film is one of hte most reliable post-pageant careers, so I guess she is making an early bid for that by showing up here.  But wearing the crown?  Really?  And also, that dress is somehow both boring and ugly, and doesn’t fit her right, and she doesn’t know how to sell it.  If I were a film producer, I would look at this and it would actually make me LESS likely to hire her than if she had just stayed home.  Someone who doesn’t seem really put together.

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Sunny does look put together.  It’s the perfect outfit for her, professionally, sparkly and fun and noticeable, but also needs a great deal of confidence to pull off.  Reminds us what makes her special.  However, I also think it is not as flattering as it could be, just as a dress she is wearing I think she could have done better.  But as a career move, perfect.

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Nope, this is no good.  Kind of a boring dress, the youthful white and the secy cut are a bad fit.  Athiya is boring, isn’t selling it to us.  It feels like she is there because she has to be, but isn’t taking any joy or interest in it.  I wouldn’t hire her for anything based on this, it doesn’t feel like she wants it enough.

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Sonali is awesome!!!!  Definitely in the same zone as Preity or Neha or Kajol.  She doesn’t need the notice any more, but it’s nice to have, and when she wants to, she can go out and get us all talking.

Image result for sonali bendre filmfare awards 2018

Oh Tanisha!!!! I worry about you.  This feels like a desperate cry for attention.  Especially in a year when the rest of your family is riding high, your mother is in a nominated movie and your older sister is preparing for yet another comeback.  And here you are, trying to get people to notice you in this poorly fitting and badly designed thing.  It’s not even like Miss World or Alia where the cry for attention has a clear career purpose.  There is no way Tanisha’s career is ever coming back, this feels like she just wants attention for the sake of attention.

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And here’s Shahrukh.  Who doesn’t really care, but can still look good even without caring.  It’s a nice black suit.  Not an interesting black suit, like he does sometimes, with fancy lapels or a different cut, but just a nice black suit.  However, Shahrukh knows how to wear a nice black suit, and every suit in his closet is perfect, so he can roll out of bed and throw this on and show up looking good.  But also like he doesn’t care.  It makes me continue thinking that he is taking a moment to consider his career right now.  He is still showing up for FilmFare, but he isn’t bothering to make an effort, isn’t sure if it is still something he really wants, this kind of attention.


Karan always wants this kind of attention.  This is what I mean by a memorable black suit.  If Shahrukh had worn a jacket like this, subtle spangles on it, that would tell us he wants to be talked about and thought about a special outfit.  Karan clearly thought about his outfit.  And it’s GREAT! The sparkly jacket is just slightly too much in a perfectly Karan way.  But what really impresses me is the bow tie which is slightly larger than usual in a way you don’t consciously notice, but which makes the whole outfit pop.


Oh Dia!  What happened?  You always look so good!  You are still selling this dress, but this dress is awful.  Oh, and she is definitely in the “married” phase, she doesn’t need to show up for this things, but she likes to.

And Rekha!!! This is just no good at all.  It’s like some sort of deconstructed sari will all the good bits left off.  It fits oddly around the bust, and makes her arms look skinny in contrast, and just generally her proportions appear unpleasing.

Oh Madhuri!  Also would look better in a sari, always, but this is a very nice dress.  With her hourglass figure, big skirt and tiny waist is always good.  And of course Dr. Nene is also always good, smiling on her arm.  Reminding us that she is still MADHURI, but has chosen to be a wife and mother instead because she was just a little too good for us all to appreciate.

Now this is really intresting! Rakul Preet at the Hindi filmfares.  Terrible dress and hair and just generally not good, but she is there!  Making a clear sign that she is going to try to claw her way into the Hindi market even if she doesn’t have a clear plan for it yet.  This whole look feels very last minute and thrown together, maybe a decision made just after she was confirmed for the Ajay and Tabu film.

Saiyami!  Don’t know if this will work, but it’s a good move.  Mirzya was a disaster so she is essentially starting over from scratch.  And here she is in a gorgeous dress, perfectly put together, hoping to be noticed by someone.  Goes along with the other story going around, that she is training for a marathon.  Which isn’t much of a story, but gets us talking.  She’s really got nothing left to lose at this point, anything to get people thinking of her when casting.

Rajkummar, you please me.  This is a nice safe look.  He is taking this show seriously, he isn’t just showing up in something wacky to get attention, or showing up in something that he just threw on.  And bringing his wife with him, that’s an extra sign of seriousness.  He wants to put on a good face, to introduce himself to the mainstream industry and open up a little, show that he truly wants them to like him.  I am getting vibes of the first time you are invited to a work event at your new company.  Oh, and his wife looks really sweet.

Now this is the wacky company cut up!  Invited for the first time, having fun, but doesn’t much care what you think of him.  Manav Kaul did a brilliant job in Tumhari Sulu, and I’ve been told similarly wonderful in Mukti Bhavan.  But this outfit tells me he doesn’t want to go mainstream, he is here to have fun and be noticed, but he isn’t interviewing for the job of superstar.

Jackie’s just nuts.  That’s what I am getting here.  Looks kind, sharp suit and all that, but sunglasses?  Yeah, he doesn’t care.  He’s got nothing to prove, he’s the boss’s wacky brother-in-law who will always have a job.

Konkona’s face looks great, but that necklace is insane.  She’s also going much smaller than she would have if she were nominated for an acting award.  She is there to get the credential on her resume, not to try to sell herself as a personality.  But mostly I included this picture because NECKLACE.

And the power couple!  The Tiwaris.  Both dressed very nicely, but again not showy.  They want to show that they respect these awards, and the industry as a whole, but they don’t want to be too out there.  It’s the director/older couple version of Rajkummar and his wife.  Which makes sense since these are also a couple coming into the industry sidewise, needing to say “no, we don’t think we are better than you, we want to be like you”.

Pritam doesn’t care.  He’s on top, he’s been on top for ages.  Not in a personal celebrity driven way, but through his actual career credentials.  Doesn’t matter what he wears, he is still winning awards tonight and he knows it.


Oh, and I guess besides the career jockeying message, we can also talk about the clothes themselves.

Best dressed for me:

Worst dressed for me:

41 thoughts on “FilmFare: What They All Wore and What it Meant

  1. Best dressed:
    Women: Sonali and Madhuri

    Worst dressed:
    Men: SHAHID! Oh man, I hate his suit – too short, too tight. I didn’t like it from the first sight, and then I saw the photo of Shahid and Madhavan together, and it only made this suit seem more ridiculous.
    Women: I was going to say: Tanisha, but she already has her problems, so I will say: Dia Mirza. Her dress looks like made from recycled cardboard.


    • No best dressed men? Not even Karan? Just in terms of who looks best, I think Shahrukh. But that’s just because men’s clothes always look good, he only has to throw on one of his many well-fitting suits and shirt combos and roll out the door. Karan has the well-fitting and all handled, plus with some sparkle to it.

      Sonali and Madhuri were amazing, agree with you there.

      I couldn’t find a photo of Madhavan! I know you know I would have included him i fI could. But yes, I think Shahid is getting too skinny in his look. Both that his suits are too tight and short, and that his hair and general grooming are making him look like tinier and tinier.

      And Dia Mirza, YES! That was a disaster. Especially shocking because usually she is so good. I think maybe she got cocky and picked out a dress that even she can’t pull off.

      On Sun, Jan 21, 2018 at 4:13 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. Agree on Rekha being worst woman but don’t really have a fave among any of the women’s dresses. They’re all pretty boring. Did want to point out that Diana Penty’s blush pink is an uber trendy color at the moment so she’s communicating that she’s young, fresh and au courant.

    For the men I absolutely love Ranveer’s suit, It’s a gimmick but a very well executed gimmick. Worst dressed is Pritam. It’s not just the jeans, it’s the wrinkled shirt, the sneakers, the whole IDGAF vibe. If you don’t care, why attend at all?


    • Maybe Pritam wasn’t planning to go and his agent called him five minutes before and said “Come on, you’ve got to go! You’ve got a tour coming up, I know you don’t care about building contacts in the industry any more and know you will win because you are nominated for like 5 different soundtracks, but you’ve got to get your face out there so people buy tickets to see you life”

      Ranveer is always very good at pulling off those gimmicks! On almost anyone else, it would feel like trying too hard, but Ranveer somehow makes it look like what he would wear anyway.

      On Sun, Jan 21, 2018 at 4:49 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  3. I think that’s Rajkumar’s girlfriend, Patralekha (from Citylights). I agree with Parineeti for Best Dressed, she carries it off well. I also liked Alia – she looked so cute! And Konkana’s necklace and Ashwini Tiwary’s earrings are love 🙂


      • I know! And all he had to do was replace the salwar with a regular suit shirt, or else remove the jacket, and it would be fine.

        On Sun, Jan 21, 2018 at 8:19 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • I thought that’s who it was! I love that they have been together so long and seem so solid. And are so public about it.

      I wouldn’t mind Konkana’s necklace, but it is just so LARGE! If it we minimized about 50%, I’d love it.

      On Sun, Jan 21, 2018 at 8:14 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  4. Best dressed : SRK, I’m not a big fan of bling. He’s the only one sober.
    Worst dressed : Tanisha, god that’s awful.
    And I think Madhuri looks best in Indian wear. She somehow cannot carry off a gown or a dress


    • Yep, I think SRK might win by default. He wasn’t even trying, but everyone else was so awful, his not trying still let him stroll through to the winners circle.

      Tanisha is really amazingly bad. First, the outfit on its on is just ugly. Second, it doesn’t fit her right. And third, it’s unflattering, making her look much less pretty than she is in reality! Bad color, bad style for her, bad everything.

      I think Madhuri looks best in Indian wear too. Strange that both she and Rekha passed on their usual sari. Even Kajol’s been wearing more and more saris and she went gown for this. Maybe something about an award show just feels gown-y.


      • Tanisha has absolutely no idea about dressing for her body type. Kajol’s just getting better. And regarding Rekha, she should have stuck to her Kaanjevaram saree. It’s meant for a big occasion like this.


        • Yeah, I don’t know what happened to Rekha! Decades and decades of showing up to FilmFare in a sari, and suddenly she throws that all out the window this year.

          On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 6:35 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  5. For the first time in the history of the world, I do not like what Sonam was wearing. Usually I like her envelope-pushing, but the layered pilot-beachwear thing just doesn’t make sense. And poor Rekha decided to change it up and look what happened. I saw a photo of Alia from a different angle and she fully looked like a lampshade but from head-on it’s OK.

    Who did I like? I liked Parineeti and the dark saris from serious actresses Vidya and Konkona. Konkona’s necklace lets you know there’s more than meets the eye. (But yes, she could probably pick up radio broadcasts on it). Ranveer is being respectful in his own special way. I want to give Rajkumar the prize for best dressed because I like when people hold hands on the red carpet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG yes, Rajkummar holding hands with his girlfriend was soooooooooooooo sweet!

      I had the same reaction to Sonam, usually she picks a gorgeous outfit, makes sure it fits her perfectly and flatters her, and then poses and wears it just right. In this case it fit right and was flattering I guess, and she was wearing it as best she could, but it was just a baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad outfit. Maybe it’s just filmFare, last year’s outfit wasn’t great either.

      And earlier years:

      On Sun, Jan 21, 2018 at 9:26 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



        • Yes! And she always does great at Cannes and other public events. There must be a FilmFare curse on her.

          On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 12:42 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • My unkind thought is that she doesn’t put as much effort into it at home as she does at foreign events.


          • That is a very unkind thought! But also probably true. To put the nicest spin on it, at home she is Somebody, she knows she will be in all the papers and everything just for herself/her father. But overseas, she needs to be on the best dressed list or no one will notice her. Which translates to the brand she has been hired to promote being noticed. This year at least, I think she did make an effort in an attempt to promote Padman and went a little too far.

            On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 6:51 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  6. I love all the nice things you’ve said about Shah Rukh, but that is last year’s picture, not this year’s. I’m not sure he did the red carpet this year since he was performing. I love that he did one number with his hair done and not all done. That’s enough for me. I thought Sonam’s outfit was ugly. I disagree about Rakul Preet’s outfit. It is completely on trend: color, flowers etc. I loved it.


  7. good god this is one of the reasons why i don’t watch Award shows ..some of them just wear the most ridiculous outfits..i did not like Kajol’s outfit it doesn’t look comfortable from the top..

    Rekha,Tanisha,Sonam,Shahid the worst.i think Sonam has got the word fashionista embedded inside her head so nowadays she wears the most ridiculous outfits thinking everyone will like it

    Loved Rajkumar Rao,Sonali,Vidya and Preity’s outfits they screamed out class .The Tiwari’s just proved wearing something simple is not a bad thing…hate sparkly jackets wtf


    • Yes, the Tiwari’s and Rajkummar and his girlfriend both went for something simple and classy. Just dress nicely in something that fits, no need to overthink it. It reminds me of Rahman and his wife at Anushka’s wedding, they wore the same outfits they would wear to any wedding and looked lovely.

      On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 11:37 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • my point exactly wear something simple and classy .Classy Suits and Sarees you can just never go wrong it.Like i mentioned before they scream out confidence and class.


  8. My favs among the ladies –
    Fits beautifully, age appropriate, appropriate for event, excellent styling, makeup, accessories
    1. Patralekha Paul
    2. Diana Penty
    3. Athiya Shetty
    4. Saiyami Kher

    1. Vidya
    2. Madhuri
    3. Divya
    4. Sonali
    5. Preity
    6. Kajol

    Biggest surprise: Vidya

    Though it’s harder to dress an older body than a younger one, the senior ladies outdid the juniors.


    Parineeti – way too safe and old. Too much Grace Kelly. Screams “reliable ensemble player” not “lead actress”.

    Alia – looks like she flew in from the Academy Awards or Cannes. Just too too for this event. Looks like a tutu too. Actually giving me Beauty and the Beast vibes (feather duster).

    Miss India – dressed more Homecoming Queen than national pageant winner. I can’t even with the matching silver shoes, purse, earrings. I could find that dress at the mall.

    Sunny – almost a satirical nod to her porn star past, as one big disco ball, and trying too hard to emphasise the curves.

    Neha – too safe and boring, ill fitting. She’s got slamming curves, so she could have done better, even in a pant suit if she wants to brand herself as Podcaster.

    Some of the others look like they are dressed for Independent Spirit Awards instead of Film Fare. Maybe they were attempting trendy instead of fancy since only the smaller films were winning this year.

    Rekha – screaming example of this theory. Maybe this looked good in the mirror.

    Sonam – too editorial. Also the white rim on the sleeves remind me of a flight captain. I guess her Neerja performance is her calling card now.

    Konkana – the necklace, and the t-shirt as sari blouse, scream Art Film Director, just in case anyone was considering her to direct a commercial film.

    Tillotama – a 9 yard sari? That too, using a sheet and floaty fabric? Gutsy & Artsy! It almost works, but I love the ambition & vision!

    Ayesha Shroff – dressed like a sophisticated grandma, but she’s got a slight frame and very pretty, so she could still bump it up several notches. That’s how I would dress if I were feeling sick that day.

    All 3 in black in honor of #MeToo?

    The Tiwaris
    – no tie? No go.
    – they are both dressed like they are attending a wedding of a relative. Need to bump up the game a bit for film fare.

    Tanisha – Couldn’t Kajol have shared her stylist with you?

    The men were unimpressive and forgettable. Ranveer, Karan, and SRK were being Ranveer, Karan, and SRK.

    It’s no wonder you thought that Patralekha was R Rao’s wife. As perfect as that dress is for her, it screams “I’m here to support my husband” instead of “we are a star couple”. She’s his co star in City Lights (I still remember her performance more than his) and Bose: Dead/Alive. I’m glad they are out and proud with their relationship. Really cute together.


    • *sheer, not sheet

      Tamisha’s Neal n Nikki sarees were gorgeous and trendy and fit her like a glove. Any if those would have worked here.


      • I’d say she could just borrow clothes from her sister or mother, but I think they are now totally different sizes, so even that wouldn’t work. But really, in her case, not over thinking it and just wearing a nice silk sari would have been a lot better. Could have even grabbed her some attention! Such a break from her usual look.

        On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 9:03 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • Maybe Parineeti is aiming for “reliable ensemble player” and “older”? Her disappearing for a year and a half, and dropping out of (or being dropped from) Judwaa 2 last minute might make her want to project reliability. And I could see her wanting to go a bit older too, the really plum heroine roles are all older anyway, and she might want to break out of the bright young thing trap.

      You are completely right about Patralekha. That’s what it was. The dress, the look, and the whole vibe. Even holding hands. Very different from the couples who make sure to each get their moment in the step and repeat, or who are competing for the camera in the couple shots. I wouldn’t be surprised if, as a couple, they know that they are equally talented and dedicated actors, but Rajkummar is the one who is going to be a star and so these kinds of things are “his” nights.

      You also nailed it with the “mall” look of Miss India! I wish I had said it, that’s it exactly. Not just that it is boring, but it fits like it is off the rack. And the details look shoddy enough to be mass manufactured.

      I still don’t like Athiya Shetty, she just looked boring, but compared to Miss India, it fit and it was appropriate for the event, which are all pluses.

      I like your theory of the move towards more “out there” clothes as part of the art film sweep at the awards. No one wants to look like the stodgy old auntie in the sari if Hindu Medium is winning best picture. Although that still doesn’t excuse Pritam!

      On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 9:00 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  9. Pingback: TGIF: FilmFare! Who Wore it Best Which Year? Madhuri versus Madhuri, Dia versus Dia, Sonam versus Sonam, Rekha versus Rekha, Shahrukh versus Shahrukh, and Ranveer versus Ranveer | dontcallitbollywood

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