Okay, *confession coming up* the the words in the post title are a perfect way to tell you I've an OCD with alliteration.
I haven't' seen Slumdog Millionaire yet. So if you're looking for a review, I'll be able to point out to some really good ones. Here, Here and Here. Whatever your rationale is on what should be depicted as India's reality, you're likely to find some provoking thoughts at these blogs.
I'm not likely to see the movie in the near future either. Considering that the only nights free for movies are no-school nights aka Friday and Saturday, considering that all the goddamn night shows in Ahmedabad for the movie are called Slumdog Crorepati, aka, Hindi version, and considering that the husband would rather not spend Sunday afternoon locked up in a auditorium filled with Gujjus who're talking nineteen-to-a-dozen, I'm very likely to be the only person who gets to watch the movie next year, when it goes on DVD.
So what am I doing here? Try this for a mix. Throw in an inclination to climb onto the Slumdog blog bandwagon that's in full force right now. Then stir in some serious reading time spent on following leading lady's fashionable antics, thanks to the delightful High Heel Confidential and the formidably informed Catherine at Red Carpet Fashion Awards (Both links show the complete fashion evolution of Freida since Slumdog started garnering eyeballs). And then, garnish, with an idea picked up from Sujatha's blog: 'Fridays are those kinds of days, footloose and fancy free, deserving of total timepass posts'.
I've always cringed seeing Indian actresses on red carpets abroad. Even Aishwarya Rai, who could have the world's best stylists fighting over her, has always looked a tad uncomfortable in western wear - though I must say her recent appearances have shown a new confidence with low necks and drapes. Preity Zinta gets it right sometimes with the glamour quotient, but she insists on dressing down and wearing off-the-rack pret too often. The other set includes the likes of Nandita Das who, admirably wear traditional stuff and come off looking gorgeous most of the time, but for a dowdy moment here or there. There's no experimentation, no tease, no awe, no thankgod-no-Dior/no Channel/no Versace/ no Manish Malhotra moment.
That's why pretty Fredia Pinto warms the cockles of my fashion-loving heart: From the predictable classic brands to new emerging hot names, from simple silhouettes to draping ones, to a bold move with a Christian Lacroix that looked like a bomb but got her kudos for her bravado - she's made the clothes work for her, wearing them, instead of the other way round. Unlike the Indian press, the western press can be quite unforgiving, splashing errand-running-outfits on front page, sealing the epitaph on most actresses. But even here, she's managed to emerge fairly unscathed, bucking the diktat here and there, wearing the trends instead of just following them. Maybe it helps to have a good stylist, but there are plenty of examples around of people who've had the best and come off looking like prom queens.
This girl is comfortable in her skin. She doesn't do makeup that's shades lighter or ages her up too much. She's 23 and looks like it. There's no gauche-ness with western wear, and hair piled up, left down, or pulled up in a ponytail, her smile wins more fans than critics.
Freida is one of the most watched, clicked, google-ed actresses today, and there are more reports and forecasts about what she'll be wearing to the Oscars, than there are about Hollywood's mainstream actresses.
Red Carpet's Catherine sums up the western press reaction towards Freida's fashion choices pretty well: 'How this new kid on the block is getting couture for her first red carpet season, is nothing short of outstanding.'
And the last word in fashion in blogworld, the Fug girls, have this to say about her: 'We love Slumdog's meteoric rise for giving us Freida Pinto. Six months ago, we hadn't even heard of her; now she's dominating the industry's highest-stress period of endless junkets and red-carpet appearances. And instead of cracking under pressure Pinto is delivering a master class on how to step into the spotlight with grace, an infectious smile'.
Here are some of my favourite dresses on her:
(Pictures courtesy: High Heel confidential - in some pictures the pic on the right compares the dress as worn on runway/designer's website. Click to enlarge pic)
And the only time I've absolutely hated what she was wearing, is when, unfortunately, she was in traditional wear.
I doubt she's going to be wearing any Indian designer to the Oscars or the BAFTAs (this Sunday), but I will join the world in scouring for her face on the red carpet melee. Shine on Freida! And then perhaps I could raid your closet.
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