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Jeans and the history of jeans through Hindi films

Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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It indeed is ironic that Akshay Kumar who is one of the stars who has popularized Jeans as an attire and symbolizing youth is being tormented reportedly for an obscene gesture while promoting a new brand of Jeans. In fact Jeans as attire had a late debut in the Hindi films but after it got an endorsement from our film stars it became the attire symbolic of youth and energy.

It was the advent of Jeans that led to development of notion of health conscious and to have a toned body. It also had its rub-off effect on the female actors as well, and if a fault line were to be discerned that really swayed a nation in a big way and pushed it on to a journey of Jeans discovery, the campaign of Coke involving Aishwarya Rai could be one such fault line. Dressed simply in a white shirt and Jeans she apart from swaying Aamir Khan off his feet was able to literally swoon the whole country as well.

From the previous generation it was in SHOLAY that Jeans made its debut in a big way as attire that had element of rebel and exuberance of youth written on it, and it got manifest in the characters portrayed by Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra. As a matter of fact in SHOLAY for the first time probably in Hindi cinema, Big B had packaged a pair of Jeans with a Black shirt and it became a fashion statement.

As the generational shift acquired its mooring, Jeans slowly weeded out hose pipe pants and flaring bell bottoms, and it became the fabric which defined the chutzpah of the character. In ANDHA KAANOON after a long time Amitabh Bachchan had returned to Jeans in a big way, and again the element of casual that he had brought to his character of Jaanisaar Khan got manifested in a big way through Jeans as well.

The generation of Big B probably did not patronize Jeans in a big way owing probably to the fact that this generation was at the cusp of nationalism, where Jeans still was considered as western attire.

But as the new generation made its debut in Hindi cinema, brought on the profuse dozes of Abba, BoneyM, Pink Floyd and Woodstock, Jeans came to make their presence felt in a big way in the world of Hindi cinema. The same kind of paradigm shift was noticed in case of the female actors as well, and experimentation with Jeans as an attire by the female actors also allowed them to experiment with their looks as well. If there was one film that can be considered as a film that promoted Jeans in a big way it was JAANBAAZ and it can always be a matter of debate whether Dimple Kapadia looked more beautiful in a Jeans in JAANBAAZ or in SAAGAR. Jury would go in favor of JAANBAAZ. Incidentally, Feroze Khan can be considered as the father figure of Jeans in Indian films, as right from the time when he made DHARMATAMA, followed by QURBANI and YALGAAR, to JAANBAAZ, his films are a living tribute to the humble Jeans in its most alluring manifestations.

It is a tribute to the fascination of Jeans that a film by name of JEANS was made in Hindi and the female character in this film was enacted by Aishwarya Rai sheer coincidence or fortuitousness, decision is left to sail in the wind. Even a song was written on Jeans epitomizing its association with youth, 'Purani Jeans Aur Guitar'...

Jeans as it represents youth, the sense of aghast that is being experienced by the purists, may be condoned as an indulgence and exuberance of youth and nothing else.

Jeans represents youth and youth is allowed to err sometimes, but the magnanimity of the elders is to condone it and allow moving on.


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