Did anyone see Priyanka Chopra at the Oscars tonight? She looked AMAZING in a sheer Zuhair Murad gown.
I mean, the woman is gorgeous no matter what she wears, but she really looked wonderful on the Red Carpet. But you know what? While she looked amazing, she also kind of looked like everyone else at the awards ceremony.
Maybe it’s because Zuhair Murad is a Lebanese-born designer who has created countless red carpet stunners for stars like Marion Cotillard, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, and more. The designer’s name is far from unique in the Hollywood sphere, and for good reason, as you can see from our leading lady on this fine evening.
Maybe it’s because her hair was a simple ponytail, or because she wasn’t dripping in show-stopping jewels.
No, I think the main reason that Priyanka looked like everyone else is because she had the opportunity – one could even argue the responsibility – to stand out, and instead she chose to blend in.
In case you’re not familiar, Chopra is a huge Bollywood star, and has become a crossover hit with her TV show Quantico on ABC. She is also the first Indian to present an award at the Oscars, which is actually a pretty big deal considering how large India’s film industry is (yet how little crossover there is).
I realize that I am highly sensitive to this because of my ties to – and strong feelings about – India. But I notice that in general, India tends to be represented as a traditional, “exotic” (read: “different”), un-modern place compared to the Western world. But one doesn’t have to go to India (though I have been, and I can vouch for this) to know that India – while beautiful in its ties to tradition – is also an extremely modern, trendy, and inspiring place – and it doesn’t even take much digging to realize this.
This was such a great opportunity for Priyanka to change public opinion of Indian fashion and show some national pride. Because of this, I was fully expecting her to arrive in something whispering of India – something new. Something to represent her country (like Saoirse Ronan did) and finally bring a modern Indian designer into the spotlight – something we haven’t seen much of.
I thought maybe she’d wear something Western with a little Indian flair. Some type of fusion ensemble? A simple Western silhouette with a heavily beaded dupatta? Perhaps no Indian embellishments at all, but at least something by an Indian designer?
Instead, we got another dress by a popular designer with not even a hint of Indian flair. It’s a shame that such a successful actress from such a vibrant nation decided to Westernize herself for a platform that would have loved to see her celebrate her roots and the culture that made her a star in the first place.
So since Priyanka opted not to honor her homeland on this momentous evening, I took the liberty of making some suggestions myself! Here they are…
What Priyanka Chopra Should Have Worn to the Oscars
- Arguably India’s top designer, I have no doubt that Sabyasachi could have crafted something immaculate for Priyanka. The brand has been led by its namesake, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, since its inception in Kolkata in 1999. Sabyasachi has designed for multiple Bollywood movies and has an impressive Bollywood celeb clientele. His designs are romantic, lush, and dripping with embellishment; I would have loved to see her in a Sabyasachi design! Also the brand’s Instagram account is amazing, so I recommend giving that a quick follow.
2. Tarun Tahiliani would have been a great choice, as he is great at creating fusion pieces that combine Indian elements with Western aesthetics. He also does some interior design work, so he’s basically my design dreamboat.
3. Bollywood staple Manish Malhotra has previously designed for Priyanka, as well as countless other Bollywood stars. His designs have been seen in many Bollywood films, including unbelievable classics like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. He would have been a great choice.
4. I’m a little biased on this one*, but Diva’ni could have killed on the red carpet. They’re the official fashion label of Yash Raj Films, which created those ultra-classic movies I mentioned above (DDLJ and KKHH). Even though they’re a relative new brand (less than 5 years), they’ve been seen on multiple red carpets in India. Their designs have a modern, glamorous flair and I have no doubt they could have created something amazing for Ms. Chopra.
*Disclaimer: I won my UNREAL wedding lehenga for my American wedding from a contest by Diva’ni. (Check out my submission here!)
5. I follow Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla on Instagram, but until I wrote this post I didn’t know much about the brand aside from the crazy unique designs. A quick Wikipedia search told me that founder Sandeep Khosla is Punjabi, just like my husband! His work has already been seen at some American awards shows – Dame Judi Dench wore their work on several red carpets, and recently on Giuliana Rancic at the 2016 Grammy’s. But enough about that, let’s check out some designs!
Honorary Mention: When I was in Delhi, I was fortunate to come across some designs by Anamika Khanna. She does amazing work, but unfortunately doesn’t have much of a social media presence. Since I couldn’t find any convincing photos of her work, I didn’t feel right putting her in my Top 5 and just asking you to take my word for it. But seriously, you should take my word for it…she’s unreal.
Here’s to hoping these amazing designers will get their day in the Hollywood limelight someday soon!