Cold Shoulder, Choker and Other 90s Fashion Is All the Rage Right Now: Pernia Qureshi

What cinema sows, the common woman reaps. And a large part of credit for dictating a modern woman’s fashion diary goes to the mainstream cinema. Some replicate the designs, some take cues and come up with their own exquisite designs. But it hasn’t been like this forever, back in time, women were referred to as conformists and were treated as the weaker sex but now the ladies in the fashion world are bending the game on its toe.

In an exclusive interaction with, fashion entrepreneur Pernia Qureshi talks about the evolution of women’s fashion – both onscreen and offscreen. She says that Bollywood styling has become more experimental and truer to the onscreen characters. “With every new movie we see new styles, trends coming up. You know what they say ‘Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”

“We have changed so much since the beginning – a romantic song is no longer a woman dressed in a saree circling trees”, she quips.

Pernia advocates that fashion has been constantly changing – both onscreen and offscreen and lauds viewers for being active in adapting new trends. “From bell bottoms to skin fit jeans, from mini-skirts to maxis, from winged eyeliner to no eye liner. Starting from Mumtaaz’s orange saree to Sonam’s dhoti saree – we’ve been very active in adapting new trends.”

She further adds that Meena Kumari’s character from Pakeezah is the one woman-oriented portrayal she admires particularly because of its dressing and styling.

Having a firm belief that fashion’s transformation has been in tandem with women’s growth and the fact women have now started to break free from gender-based dressing stereotypes, she says, “We have come to a stage where women and men have started dressing alike. With power suits, unisex sunglasses, coats, etc coming in, it shows that fashion has been evolving simultaneously.”

The style icon also highlights how some trends keep coming back every now and then. “Trends go in and out of style over the decades but some make a comeback! Take 90s for example. It’s all the rage right now from cold shoulder to chokers. Evolution is the secret to the next big step.”

Pernia, who created the well-known fashion portal Pernia’s Pop-up Shop, is of the view that one dresses for themselves and not for anybody else. Be it a gorgeous floor-length Indian ensemble or a loose T-shirt with baggy pants – women have often gone beyond the set standards and experimented with new patterns based on their choices. “Everybody will have a different opinion on one’s choices. You should be comfortable in the bold fashion choices you make, that is what matters the most.”

When asked about the role of fashion in strengthening a woman’s character, she says, “It plays an imperative part. What a woman wears can reveal more than she ever intended about her personality.”

First Published: March 8, 2017, 4:13 PM IST