Ethnic Fashion by Celebrities. When nothing in your wardrobe seems to work in your favor, you know it is time to look up to your favourite celebrities for some inspiration. These celebrity styles can serve as a checklist as well as sartorial muses when you are desperately looking for some cues!
Bollywood celebrities are avid ethnic-wear fans; we see the film and TV actresses, veterans, and young blood alike, wearing sarees, lehenga cholis, and kurtas. The younger generation especially has embraced the changing trends openly and with more enthusiasm when it comes to traditional attire.
Modern Take on Ethnic-wear by Celebrities
Saree, for instance, is the go-to option for Bollywood divas. It was a hot trend yesterday, and it is a hot trend today. You’ll soon be finding out how you can get as much freedom and flexibility as you can get to style your sarees, and add a personal quirk to your overall style statement from looking at the following styles.
Here’s a short introduction to Indian fashion, the designers and brands that set new style trends for generations to come. If you’re new to Indian ethnic-wear and looking for the perfect Indo-western ensemble, these are the names you will want to know.
Top Ethnic-wear Designers in India
Following are just a few of the impressive number of Indian fashion designers that are making waves all over the world with their signature and unique fusion of ethnic and modern wear.
- Manish Malhotra
- Sabyasachi Mukherjee
- Masaba Gupta
- Payal Singhal
- Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla
Take a look at our earlier blog about Manish Malhotra Latest Sarees Collection.
Indian Ethnic-wear Brands
You can shop the online portals of these brands, and get your hands on one-of-a-kind pieces that define the very best of progressive Indian fashion.
Let’s get into some of the greatest takes on fusion fashion by celebrities the internet has had the pleasure to witness.
Be warned, though: our picks might make this blog seem like a veritable saree-fest! You might also see a lot of the same celebrities. These best-dressed and trend-setting divas are usually the ones who take the most risks when it comes to ethnic contemporary fashion, and so you’ll see how inevitable their inclusion in this list is.
↓ 18 – Karishma Kapoor’s Brocade Kurta Suit
Karishma brought all the charisma back in this official-looking, but totally delicious two-piece outfit. The kurta-and-trouser suit is sleek and crisp, the collared shirt peeking out makes us want to say Yes, ma’am and bow to her in awe.
↓ 17 – Sonam Kapoor’s Denim Pant Saree
We need bullet points to process this look:
- The blouse is a crop-top.
- The denim is ripped purposefully on the hems.
- The lower half of the saree has belted PANTS with a saree draping running from one leg to the opposite shoulder.
- We are officially dead.
↓ 16 – Sneaky Kangana
Kangana’s sartorial choices have always intrigued the fashion and common world alike. She can pull a traditional outfit, a western look and everything in between with equal elan. When she paired her gorgeous linen saree with sneakers, she gave all of us major wardrobe goals! While we are head over ‘heels’ with this look, we are just wondering why haven’t we thought of this comfortable pairing before?
For styling ideas, head over to our other blog about Cute Hairstyles to Wear with Saree.
↓ 15 – The Buckled Beauty Shilpa Shetty
Trust Shilpa Shetty to ‘belt’ out awesome offbeat saree looks! She wraps her saree with perfection and keeps it in place with a leather belt! Is it awesome or it is awesome? Besides flaunting her midriff and toned abs, the belt keeps the pallu in place as well as take the casual saree draping to the next level!
↓ 14 – Dhoti Dapper Fusion Saree
Why should boys have all the fun? The fashionista and actor Kajol takes the traditional saree draping and twists it to make it more flexible, versatile, and wowsome! This dhoti-saree style seems to be a godsend for women who want to wear a saree but don’t know how to carry it with grace! The best part is you can wear this dhoti saree with a crop top or long gown, an angrakha jacket and choli blouse easily.
↓ 13 – An Ode to the Retro Days
No one can wear ethnic outfits better than Vidiya Balan! The A-lister wears an aesthetic striped kurti frock with palazzo pants, transparent heels and no dupatta. The outfit has a splendidly progressive vibe.
↓ 12 – Add Pants to Traditional Wear
It’s funny how seamlessly denim pants can be paired with ethnic silhouettes and how flattering they always end up looking. Usually worn with trousers, shalwars or choori dar pyjamas, Tapsee Pannu rocks her Anarkali frock with fitted pants. The slit at the front greatly maximizes this wonderful fusion ethnic style.
In another instance of pants with traditional wear, here is Sara Ali Khan rocking a pant Saree outfit! The blood-red and shimmering gold of the ensemble makes this perfect for a wedding.
↓ 11 – Reinventing Ethnic Style
If someone ever decided to do hip-hop but wanted to do it in a saree or any other ethnic outfit, we’re sure this iconic outfit will serve them the inspiration they need. Style anything without caring about what people will think, that is the key. You’ll see more examples soon enough, but for now, check out Jacqueline Fernandez sauntering outdoors in this odd take on a lehenga choli. She always manages to do something effortlessly eccentric!
↓ 10 – Embrace the Stripes
Look at that smile, look at that confidence! The ugliest of outfits can be pulled off by a confident smile and an attitude to match, but this is no ugly outfit. Bizarre, yes, unusual, most definitely, but it’s charming in its strangeness. Deepika is a trendsetter, so you can bet that whatever she’s chosen to wear, spoke to her inner sense of style. The striped saree has a sumptuous sleeve detail as well.
Kareena Kapoor stuns in this gothic black striped saree. Her neck jewelry is to-die for!
↓ 9 – Casual Tops with Lehengas
Lehenga cholis are THE thing when it comes to desi fashion. They are beautiful and majestic and Indian lehengas have that amazing flare that reduces even the best of us to twirling messes. For a simple and casual yet upbeat fusion style, you can pair t-shirts, dress shirts, or any other kind of informal top with a gorgeous lehenga like this sunshine yellow one. Pair with ethnic jewelry and a clutch, and win the hearts of everyone within a twelve-mile radius.
Get Similar Look:
- EZEN Women’s Slim-fit Shirt Blouse
- Indian Dresses Store Umbrella Cut Gota Patti Lehenga
- Touchstone Bridal Kundan Choker Set
↓ 8 – Street Style Saree with a Jacket Up Top
Whether it’s cold outside or you just want to look awesome, layering a jacket over your saree is not a bad idea! This starlet chose a washed-out denim jacket over an angelic white saree, and the combination takes our breath away.
For a fancier look, you can go with something like this as your inspiration. The embroidered velvet jacket on the saree is delicious in its intensity. Check out Best Winter Saree Styles.
↓ 7 – Another Street Style Saree, but with a Denim Blouse… wait, what?
Can Tapsee run out of ways to impress with her saree styling? The answer is most likely a resounding ‘no’. Saree and street-style are typically two things you don’t see paired with each other. For decades, the garment has been identified as a staple in traditional Indian attire, relegated to housewives and working women, and only in a strict ethnic capacity. Bollywood fashionistas and the designers they support have changed that over the past couple of years. Now, it’s entirely possible for a young woman to bust out a saree for a casual night or day out with her pals.
Tapsee’s denim vest blouse, sneakers and side-parted ponytail make this saree a fun-tastic must-try.
Ethnic Styling from Across the Border – Pakistan’s Take on Fusion Fashion
Indian and Pakistan share a lot of ethnic and traditional silhouettes. Differences, both subtle and stark, have crept up between them over the years, but they’re still easy to recognize.
↓ 6 – Mahira Khan’s Rockstar Gold Embroidered Pants
Sigh! Mahira Khan is a bit of a fashion icon, and it’s not hard to see why. While promoting a film, Mahira wore these magnificent gold-embroidered denim pants, which perfectly captured the ethnic aesthetic. It’s the type of heavy work you see on bridal lehengas, and we love how incredible it looks on the pants. Mahira’s white buttoned shirt and nude pumps mark this as modern look with a desi flair.
Get Similar Look:
- Denim Pants with Gold Embroidery
- Jessica Simpson Women’s Claudette
- The link for the shirt has been given above, see style #8.
↓ 5 – Ayeza Khan’s ‘Modern Village Girl’ Avatar
Pakistan’s darling and a role model for countless young girls across the country, Ayeza owns this ‘village girl made anew’ outfit. We love the way she’s styled a white shirt with a quaint orange saree. Her makeshift belt is stealing the show!
↓ 4 – Mask Up!
It’s hard to see the silver lining during a pandemic, but we’re happy to report that at least one positive thing came out of it. Designers took full advantage of the mask precautions and launched matching masks with their collections. Ethnic outfits just became twice as enticing! Ayeza was a sight in this maroon outfit with a mask to go with it. She urged people to do the same. You go, girl!
↓ 3 – Banarsee, Bye: Peculiar Print Sarees
Traditional banarsee sarees feature less in the Pakistani fashion scene as compared with the Indian one. Mahira Khan has worn some impressive sarees over the years: traditional, modern, and a mix of both. The glamorous Sana Safinaz she sported on the streets of New York was magnificently idiosyncratic. The print is a bright mess of colors. The embroidery detail on the saree is delicious.
It’s a bold and delightfully modern take on a saree, and it’s something anyone can try. All you need is a print you don’t typically see sarees made of.
Mahira wore this sleek Feeha Jamshed saree to a talk show a few years back and was instantly praised by fashion critics. The iconic yellow and white saree featured an elephant motif throughout. It looked awesome and Mahira’s fashion choices became an inspiration for many from that point forth.
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↓ 2 – How Ethnic-wear Makes Even Royalty Shine
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Pakistan for the first time in October 2019, the first British Royal visit in 13 years. Kate Middleton, never a disappointment when it comes to fashion, knocked it out of the park with her 5-day tour wardrobe.
Kate was humble and respectful as she paid homage to the Pakistani colors in this green and white ensemble. Her green tunic was designed by Catherine Walker. We love how stunningly she paired it with trousers and a shawl, turning into a chic ethnic outfit.
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Kate’s first outfit of the tour was this gorgeous ice blue two-piece dress by Catherine Walker. The outfit was designed by keeping the ethnic dress-code of Pakistan in mind. The neck-draping on the dress artfully emulated a dupatta, and she wore trousers with the long-length outfit, covering her fully from head-to-toe.
Her incredible wardrobe choices proved how easily ethnic ensembles can be styled for a millenial.
↓ 1 – Esra Bilgic x Khaadi – Contemporary Ethnic Fashion at its Coolest
2020 saw an invasion of Turkish content in the mainstream media, and Esra Bilgic’s collaboration with one of Pakistan’s leading brands only solidified the popularity of Turkish stars. The clothing brand is known for its brilliant fusion pieces and prints and has gained recognition overseas over the years.
The Khaadi X Esra winter collection features unstitched, ready-to-wear, as well as Western outfits. All prints in the collection boast a beautiful East meets West vibe. You’ll see familiar ethnic silhouettes transformed into gorgeous art pieces that even an international star can rock.
What we want you to take away from this, in a nutshell:
And so we come to the end, topping it all off with our #1 pick for ethnic styling with a modern twist. This Indian- American bride isn’t a celebrity, admittedly, but after her wedding photos went viral, the fashion industry surely crowned her an honorary member.
Sanjana Rishi, an entrepreneur, ticked a lot of boxes with her wedding outfit:
- Low-key quarantine wedding: check.
- Recycling a pre-loved outfit: check.
- Blending her cultural roots with a modern aesthetic: double-check!
Get Similar Look:
- Aro Lora’s Casual 2-piece Pantsuit
- Bridal Dupattas on Etsy
- Step n Style Bridal Khussa Shoes
- Dancing Girl Silver Maang Teeka
So, you too, dear reader, should not shy away from taking risks and breaking the mold. Try new and exciting things, all the while staying true to yourselves!