With a side helping of her co-stars.
Screencaps from the uploaded youtube film.
Few actresses carry the 70s/80s look better than Shabana Azmi. Plus she (and the costume designer) create a consistent look for the entire film, a costume capsule that speaks of the character, the actress and the decade. So let’s look at what she wore as Chetana!
There are a few different kind of sarees here but most of all you will want a Khatau Terkosa revival (I think Terkosa is Terene, cotton, saree – if so its a polycot and looks a lot more comfortable for the Indian weather than the faux Kanjeevaram thick polycotton of the 90s). Other mills offered similar sarees too – DCM, Cali-cloth, Finlays etc.
The whole look is so casual and sophisticated, in no other decade does the sari look as soft and easily drapeable . Plus it looks like an easy care working woman’s wardrobe. Though I like printed and more elaborate saree blouses I find that the 2 by 2 matched blouses of this decade focus attention on the saree and let it shine.
First up the prints which immediately recall the 70s:
There are a fair few saris with prints and borders. As well as some of the large prints popular in the 70s. The bright rani pink with olive green dispersed in it – I didn’t expect to be so charmed by it.
Above: These large prints dispersed on a white background – especially the white and blue one – are also very 70s, as seen in this Air India uniform.
There is nothing much to say about Vijay Arora’s costumes for this film given they are usually a pant-shirt combo with the occasional kurta but here he wears a kurta and lungi/dhoti.
Above: The plain sarees.
In the flashback scenes, a gharara (which in the 70s doesn’t look too much like the classic gharara, the narrow upper half and a flared bottom half seems to fit in with the bell bottom era). And a salwar worn with a short kurta.
Above: A lot of glass bangles matched to the sari. Even the multi coloured bandhani has perfectly co-ordinated bangles.
The bindis – both a sindoor sort and the plastic stick on. And of course hoop earrings and plucked eyebrows. And the straight hair with a few side wisps.
Chetana’s brother and his girlfriend Sheetal are trendy and “groovy” in the first half but later Sheetal (Arpana Chowdhury) wears a few printed saris which are pleasant in their own way (also full view of bandhani on Chetana in last pic).
The pink sari on the left is on a minor character in the film but I added it because I have a vague memory of similar sarees being Terkosa and it induced a bit of nostalgia for my family’s wardrobe – I was a child but I think the women of the house made frequent trips to the Khatau showroom:).
Chand Usmani has a charming turn as the male lead’s mother who forms a bond with Shabana’s character, her sarees are very simple (all single mothers must only wear white! kind of thing).
Above: In the credits.
Notes on the movie: Kadambari is based on Amrita Pritam’s story, Dharti Sagar te Sippiyan. The link to the movie is provided but the uploaded film has no subtitles.