From Barbie to Shah Rukh Khan's Jawan, how dressing up for the movies became a movement

Ayaan Paul
Ayaan PaulSep 08, 2023 | 16:59

From Barbie to Shah Rukh Khan's Jawan, how dressing up for the movies became a movement

The act of dressing up for the movies, whether you're wrapping yourself in bandages a la Shah Rukh Khan's Jawan or donning your pinkest, sparkliest ensemble for Barbenheimer, is nothing short of a delightful celebration of cinema. Here’s a quick look at why getting dressed up holds a special place in the hearts of cinephiles.

A festival

Shah Rukh Khan, the indisputable King of Bollywood, doesn't just release movies; he unleashes full-blown festivals. His stardom transcends borders, making him a global icon. This immense popularity is vividly demonstrated during his film releases, which transform into grand festivals celebrated with unparalleled zeal and fervour.


Jawan is, of course, no exception.

Picture fans forming human towers outside theaters, dancing inside as if the cinema floor was a nightclub, and even wrapping themselves up like an extra from the movie - head bandages and all. SRK fans go to extraordinary lengths to express their happiness upon their superstar’s latest movie's release.

The anticipation for Jawan has reached a fever pitch, with fans eagerly awaiting every reveal. Khan's decision to unveil five distinct looks for his character has further intensified the frenzy surrounding the film. 

The Warriors FAN Club, dedicated to Shah Rukh, has gone above and beyond in promoting the film. They distributed an impressive 50,000 posters across 50 cities, eclipsing their previous effort of 20,000 posters. Their promotional activities extend beyond traditional advertising, with charitable endeavours such as distributing food to the underprivileged and providing notebooks to students.


Google joins the celebrations

Even Google's getting in on the act, offering a playful Easter egg for Jawan fans. Type 'Jawan' into Google Search, and lo and behold, SRK himself answers the walkie-talkie with a "Ready." 

Dressing up for the movies

But this trend of dressing up for movies isn't just a Bollywood extravaganza; it's a global phenomenon that has fans across the world showing off their fashion flair. It may not be your run-of-the-mill runway show, but it's happening right in your friendly neighbourhood cinema.

Beyond the shores of Bollywood, this trend of dressing up for movies is not confined to a single genre or region. It's a phenomenon that transcends cultures and has been gaining momentum worldwide. While it might lack the glitz of major fashion events like the Oscars or the Met Gala, it thrives in the more accessible setting of local cinemas, creating a unique and communal experience.


This trend of dressing up thematically for movie screenings has been evolving, with moviegoers finding creative ways to connect with their favourite films. Some choose to recreate the outfits of prominent characters, immersing themselves fully in the movie's world. Others opt for more abstract interpretations, embodying themes and concepts from the film. 

The range of outfits is staggering, spanning from simple nods to extravagant, meticulously crafted costumes and accessories made from scratch. The result? A parade of handcrafted creativity that would put Hollywood costume designers to shame.

For instance, remember the "GentleMinions" trend when Minions: The Rise of Gru hit the screens? Teenagers and young adults flocked to theaters dressed in oversized coats and suits. They didn't just wear the outfits; they lived the role, strutting up to the cinema and buying snacks with all the flair of a supervillain.

Barbenheimer fashion

Then came ‘Barbenheimer’ and suddenly theaters resembled a dreamy pastel wonderland. From shades of pink to bows, ruffles, patterns, and glitter galore, fans channelled their inner dolls.

The convergence of two highly anticipated films, Barbie and Oppenheimer, caused a frenzy on the Internet, with memes, marketing campaigns, and scheduling debates spreading like wildfire. The excitement surrounding these films demonstrates how dressing up for movies has become an integral part of the overall cinematic experience, blending fashion and film seamlessly.

Social media became the hub for fans to unite, plan outfits, and exchange style tips. It's a community that takes movie-watching to a whole new level, bringing fashion and cinema lovers together. It's like the Internet found the ultimate crossover event, and it's all thanks to fans who decided that dressing up for movies isn't just a pastime; it's an art form.

The movies are for everyone

What made the trend all the more remarkable was its power to unify. It was a celebration of shared enthusiasm, an ode to togetherness. While not everyone gets to walk the red carpet at fancy premieres or attend star-studded events, dressing up for movies invites everyone, regardless of their background, to express themselves freely.

And let's not forget the sheer fun of it all! Playing dress-up isn't just for kids; it's a timeless joy that lives within us. That's why cosplaying for Comic Con or selecting costumes for Halloween remain evergreen favourites. Dressing up for movies is like a trip down memory lane to your childhood closet, but with a big-screen twist.

In the end, dressing up for movies is a fabulous celebration of the magic of cinema. Whether it's SRK fans turning Jawan into a mummified dance party or a pink-clad Oppenheimer audience pulling up to IMAX screens, it's a reminder that movies have the power to inspire creativity, foster community, and keep the spirit of cinema alive. 

It's a celebration of the joy of cinema, fashion, and the shared experience of watching films on the big screen. As theatres reopen after the challenges of the pandemic, dressing up for movies offers a heartwarming way to come together, celebrate togetherness, and keep the spirit of cinema alive.

Last updated: September 08, 2023 | 16:59
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