Indian designer re-imagines iconic style statements

Torani released a series of illustrations featuring Benazir Bhutto, Princess Diana among others

Entertainment Desk May 28, 2020

Indian fashion stalwart, Torani, recently took Instagram by storm with a series titledย Yun Hota Toh,ย based on some of its most iconic looks over the years.

The series features Benazir Bhutto, Princess Diana, Madhubala, Farida Khanum, Rekha and Jaya Bachchan - all clad in re-imagined Torani versions of some of their classic looks.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto also got a treatment on her staple, iconic look. "While there was much to get inspired by, her impeccable sense of style didnโ€™t get unnoticed," wrote the designer about Bhutto. They also attached a picture of the original dress she wore.

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๐˜๐ฎ๐ง ๐ก๐จ๐ญ๐š ๐ญ๐จ๐ก | ๐๐ž๐ง๐š๐ณ๐ข๐ซ ๐๐ก๐ฎ๐ญ๐ญ๐จ ๐ข๐ง ๐“๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ข {Watercolor on paper 18.2 x 22.8 cm} โ€” Most people can remember the exact moment they heard the news of Mohtarma Benazir Bhuttoโ€™s death. You didnโ€™t have to be a Pakistani to feel the blow. You didnโ€™t have to be a woman to feel the pain. Her death rocked the world... And with over a decade to her passing, all sorts of tributes to her legacy have been made. Some paint her as a great leader, others as a brave and courageous woman. โ€” Yet it is not the politics that her legacy is limited to. For me, she will be remembered for her unapologetic attitude to womanhood. It was Benazirโ€™s acceptance being a woman, along with an elected leader that had many in a flux. In the 1980โ€™s, at a time when hyper masculinity was the norm for women making into a manโ€™s world, she took on politics on her own terms.. actualising the phrase - โ€œwomen can have it allโ€ by giving birth while also being the prime minister of Pakistan. โ€” While there was much to get inspired by, her impeccable sense of style didnโ€™t get unnoticed. A blazer style kurta with lapels & puffy shoulders were her staple, a scarf over her head at all times and the classic rose tinted cheeks. Iโ€™d never seen before a reserved sense of power and glamour in such close parallels. โ€” On her: Nagma aari waraq kurta paired with a Mastani cheent odhani & chakora Jhallar shawl โ€” Illustration: @rhythmapal_ Original photo source: Harvard Magazine #YuhHotaToh #BenazirBhutto #ToraniIndia

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"A blazer style kurta with lapels & puffy shoulders were her staple, a scarf over her head at all times and the classic rose tinted cheeks. Iโ€™d never seen before a reserved sense of power and glamour in such close parallels."

Princess Diana, often referred to as the People's Princess is also a part of the series. "During her international tours to India and Pakistan, she wore many Indian looks as a mark of respect for the tradition in the nations," wrote the designer about his inspiration.

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๐˜๐ฎ๐ง ๐ก๐จ๐ญ๐š ๐ญ๐จ๐ก | ๐๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ƒ๐ข๐š๐ง๐š ๐ข๐ง ๐“๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ข {Watercolor on paper 18.2 x 22.8 cm} โ€” Self admittedly - I am a history geek. From the bed time stories of myths and fantasies in Ramayana; to the battles of Mughals I grew up learning in school. Stories from a certain era always had a lasting impression on me. However they all followed a similar pattern, succumbing to the stereotypes of patriarchy and unjust rules in society. Until I learnet about Dianaโ€™s life. Her story was different.. she was different. โ€” From the outside looking in, her life appeared equal parts fabulous and tragic. She was and in many ways still remains one of the most famous woman in the world. Transforming from a shy 20-year-old school teacher to the Peopleโ€™s Princess, She was a self-possessed person who endeared herself to her adoptive subjects through iconic style and charitable works. When her death arrived two decades ago, she was divorced and hounded by the press, just beginning her new life outside the confines of Buckingham Palace.. โ€” While she broke many glass ceilings becoming an icon of self conviction and strength, She was in equal parts compassionate and tender.. During her international tours to India and Pakistan, she wore many indian looks as a mark of respect for the tradition in the nations. For the series โ€œYuh hota tohโ€, I re-imagined her in a traditional Sindhi poshak, replacing the royal crown with a Sindhi Topi. โ€” On her: Champa Makhmal Choga and a Sindhi Topi Illustration: @rhythmapal_ Original photo: Terence Donovan Archive #ToraniIndia #PrincessDiana #YuhHotaToh

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"For the series Yuh Hota Toh, I re-imagined her in a traditional Sindhi poshak, replacing the royal crown with a Sindhi topi."

Another classic re-imagination featured veteran Indian actors Rakhi and Jaya Bachchan.

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๐˜๐ฎ๐ง ๐ก๐จ๐ญ๐š ๐ญ๐จ๐ก | ๐‰๐š๐ฒ๐š & ๐‘๐ž๐ค๐ก๐š ๐ข๐ง ๐“๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ข {Watercolor on paper 18.2 x 22.8 cm} โ€” Indian fashion has always been a reflection of Cinema in the ongoing times. And every true Hindi movie-buff knows that a โ€œYash Chopra heroineโ€ was a brand in itself. Think Sridevi in Chandni and Lamhe, Madhuri & Karishma in Dil To paagal hai Pagal Hai & Rakhee in Kabhie Kabhie... from figure hugging churidaar-kurtas to sensuous chiffon sarees, he gave women an elevated fashion status, making their way through Switzerland or Holland and turning heads everywhere. โ€” But long before fashion was fashion for me, there was Rekha in Silsila. The movie is one of those underrated gems that still holds a unique place in my heart. Sporting one incredible look after another. She took the Yashraj leading ladyโ€™s style quotient to iconic levels. But what set apart Rekhaโ€™s style was Jaya Bachchanโ€™s withdrawn looks. While Rekha was glamorous and poetic, Jaya was reserved & limiting. It made me understand how delicately their looks defined - what their characters were. โ€” Though much was written and spoken about their personal life during the film, I continue to remain fascinated with the mystery they both exuded in their scenes. It became important for me to reimagine this one with them both in the frame. โ€” On Jaya: Nisha Chakora boota ghunghroo sari On Rekha: Nalini saanjh sari โ€” Original photo & Video: Silsila (1981), Yash Raj Films Illustration: @rhythmapal_ #YuhHotaToh #Rekha #JayaBachchan #ToraniIndia

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Talking about the two in the filmย Silsila,ย the designer wrote, "What set apart Rekhaโ€™s style was Jaya Bachchanโ€™s withdrawn looks. While Rekha was glamorous and poetic, Jaya was reserved & limiting. It made me understand how delicately their looks defined - what their characters were."

Others artworks include Farida Khanum, Madhubala and Amrita Shergill.

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๐˜๐ฎ๐ง ๐ก๐จ๐ญ๐š ๐ญ๐จ๐ก | ๐…๐š๐ซ๐ข๐๐š ๐Š๐ก๐š๐ง๐ฎ๐ฆ ๐ข๐ง ๐“๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ข {Watercolor on paper 18.2 x 22.8 cm} โ€” Almost 14-15 years ago, I saw โ€œMonsoon Weddingโ€ (a film by Mira Nair) in which thereโ€™s a scene with a car in the rain and an accompanying song called โ€˜Aaj Jaanay Ki Zid Na Karoโ€™. The way the song was presented, its complexities, simplicity, intellect and beauty - every elision and level of the song. It felt like time and space became blurred and itโ€™s the closest you come to with a spiritual experience of music. โ€” I remember searching that rendition online for many hours (youtube wasnโ€™t a rage then) and later found it at a cassette shop with some old classics by Farida Khanum. My intrigue with her ghazals began there, and later became a devotion still that lives on. โ€” While she was a celebrated artist at her prime, the reason she continues to be a muse is because when she sings now, she does not hide the age in her voice. She wraps it in paisleys instead... and for a moment, holds it in both of her hands before drowning it in our sky. When she sings now, she knows... at the end of that note when her voice breaks like a wishbone.. you will stay. โ€” On her: kastoori mrig gulabi dhaari sari Illustration: @rhythmapal_ Original photo source: Good times Pakistan Video: Monsoon wedding by Mira Nair #ToraniIndia #FareedaKhanum #YuhHotaToh

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๐˜๐ฎ๐ง ๐ก๐จ๐ญ๐š ๐ญ๐จ๐ก | ๐Œ๐š๐๐ก๐ฎ๐›๐š๐ฅ๐š ๐ข๐ง ๐“๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ข {Watercolor on paper 18.2 x 22.8 cm} โ€” My obsession with Madhubala has been no secret. From โ€œKala Paniโ€ to โ€œChalti ka naam gaadiโ€ I scouted many old dvd stores to find her movies and watch them as a college student. โ€” From a particular scene in the legendary film Mughal-e-azam, before Akbar (played by late Shri Prithviraj Kapoor) sends her off to trick Saleem into believing in their false marriage celebration. He coronates Anarkali / Madhubala with a crown made for โ€œMallika-e-Aliyaโ€ - (Queen of the universe). She is dressed in a pristine white sheer veil that made her look every bit of a goddess that she is. โ€” That surreal visual is still fresh in my mind and flashes before me every time I think of her. She has been a muse for me ever since and I always wished To have born in her prime so I could dress her in one of our looks. It became a personal love letter to Madhubala and that long cherished dream. โ€” On her: Kafoori Ela hand embroidered, scallop organza sari with hand cut & embellished 3d florals. โ€” Illustration @rhythmapal_ Original image source: Mumtaz Mahal 1944 #ToraniIndia #Madhubala #YuhHotaToh

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๐˜๐ฎ๐ง ๐ก๐จ๐ญ๐š ๐ญ๐จ๐ก | ๐€๐ฆ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐š ๐’๐ก๐ž๐ซ-๐†๐ข๐ฅ ๐ข๐ง ๐“๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ข {Watercolor on paper 18.2 x 22.8 cm} โ€” Before my tryst with design began, I was a fine arts student... obsessed with drawing portraits and reading NCERT books on Indian art. Amongst those many art lessons in school, one name intrigued me the most ~ Amrita Shergil. โ€” While her paintings are a reflection of her extraordinary Childhood - born to an eclectic set of artistic parents. It was the other part of her personal life that had makings of a classic French film ~ filled with passion, fine art, sex, a pinch of over-intellectualisation, and a tragically young death At 28. โ€” Sher-Gil can perhaps be considered one of Indiaโ€™s first truly sexually liberated feminists, who paved the way for modernism in Indian art breaking rules when it needed to. Many of her paintings / self portraits have inspired the way I like to style women in Torani. In our 2019 campaign โ€œChattโ€ , I even attempted to recreate one of her first major paintings titled โ€œThree girlsโ€. โ€” On her: Sunehri Chakor chidiya boota sari. โ€” Illustration @rhythmapal_ Original image source: Umrao Sher Gil, 1935 #ToraniIndia #AmritaShergil #YuhHotaToh

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