Well folks, if you don’t know it yet, I fucking love Bollywood. Love is not a strong enough word. Of course, I usually keep this under wraps because let’s be real, of someone as Desi and hyper-femme as me, it is totally the most predictable thing in the world to be obsessed with. Hindi films will probably never achieve the status of “high art,” but that’s what makes Bollywood so radical: it is accessible to the masses.
That being said, here are, in ascending order, the fiercest Bollywood actress’s outfits (from songs) that I think are damn fierce. Admittedly, I definitely used stills of Youtube videos. #thatlowdefinitiongrind
12. Aishwarya Rai, Hai Mera Dil, Josh (2000)
I’m so thrilled that maxi dresses are a thing now (they weren’t in the year 2000) because I can wear something like this in the middle of the day. Aishwarya Rai in this midnight blue, understated fit-and-flare dress is stunning, and I’ve wanted a dress like it ever since I first saw this song.
11. Rani Mukherjee, Dhadak Dhadak, Bunty aur Babli (2005)
Rani Mukherjee looks so glamorous in this blue and pink ghagra. I love the long, full skirt and the mirror embellishments. It made such an impression.
10. Alia Bhatt, Radha, Student of the Year (2012)
Admittedly, I’m not the biggest Alia Bhatt fan. For some reason, she always looks like a teenager to me. I actually like this outfit because she looks a little grown up. I love the silver-pink colorblock. I especially like the cut of the blouse, and the way it ties up at the back. It’s a flirty, fierce little outfit.
9. Kareena Kapoor, It’s Rocking, Kya Love Story Hai (2007)
One of the things I love about Kareena Kapoor is that she always looks like she’s having so much fun. I like the huge slit in this shiny, silver number, and the way it billows in the wind. It reminds me of Marilyn Monroe in The Seven-Year Itch.
8. Karisma Kapoor, Mayya Yashoda, Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999)
This orange and gold ghagra that Karisma Kapoor wears in Mayya Yashoda stole my heart. Karisma Kapoor looks like a queen with all that gold jewelry. I want this outfit…for my wedding day. Haha!
7. Aishwarya Rai, Nimbooda Nimbooda, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)
Whoever did Aishwarya Rai’s hair and makeup for this song deserves a medal. And this ghagra, dear god! I love the contrast of the peacock blue against all the warm, pastel colors, the calf-length skirt, and the sheer dupatta. Beautiful costuming decisions.
6. Deepika Padukone, Lovely, Happy New Year (2014)
Deeps does this number so much justice. It was actually really hard for me to pick just one outfit from this song because all of them are pretty fierce, but this black blouse with the plunging neckline is so sleek. And so is Deepika’s pole dancing!
5. Kareena Kapoor, Halkat Jawani, Heroine (2012)
First off, who doesn’t love when men worship women the way they are supposed to? Furthermore, Kareena Kapoor looks so good in this highlighter-yellow ghagra. The mesh blouse is so pretty, as are all the sequins and those magenta bangles she accessorized with it.
4. Urmila Matondkar, Rangeela Re, Rangeela (1995)
Urmila Matondkar was the OG of badass in Bollywood. I love a number of the outfits from this song, but especially this tomboyish ensemble of parachute pants, a crop top, and a vest. I definitely see the influence of 90’s American hip-hop.
3. Aishwarya Rai, Achche Lagte Ho, Kuch Na Kaho (2003)
There’s a reason why Aishwarya Rai is on this list three times. She is always styled to perfection. I love her flowing curls in this song, and you can’t tell from this still, but her eye shadow is on point. With that cropped jacket and blue-and-leopard-print ascot, she has a fierce coyness about her.
2. Rani Mukherjee, Nach Baliye, Bunty aur Babli (2005)
This song proves Rani Mukherjee is one of the fiercest bitches of all time. She’s tiny and curvy, and in Nach Baliye, she throws down like a boss. I love her in this sparkly blue bandeau, flared jeans, and high-heeled sandals. So hot.
1. Deepika Padukone, Love Mera Hit Hit, Billu Barber (2009)
There will never be a time when Deepika Padukone, in this rainbow bikini, is not sexy as hell. This outfit was the one time when the whole shredded-fabric aesthetic actually worked. Folks have tried it in other songs (Anushka Sharma in Thug Le), but none compare to this gorgeous ensemble. I feel like there are two things that make this outfit my absolute favorite. First, it’s colorful. Like, they really went bananas with this entire song, and I love it. But also, whoever thought to put long, flowy pants on Deepika’s long legs is a fucking genius. They perfectly complement her figure.