The pandemic has wrecked lives globally and simultaneously also caused a shift in human thinking. Previously, sustainability and supporting local artisans seemed more like buzzwords and buzzphrases, but 2020 set that agenda in motion. Fashion houses are shifting to business strategies that are green and consumers are opting for products and services that are crafted closer to home. India is currently going #VocalForLocal and Bollywood celebrities have been active promoters and practitioners in doing so. Vidya Balan who was spotted e-promoting her movie Shakuntala Devi opted for outfits that were designed by Indian labels. From sarees to kurta-dresses to tunics, each look was a fresh take on traditional wear. She took an ethnic route for the promos and was styled by stylist-duo Pranay Jaitly and Shounak Amonkar of Who Wore What When.

Pranay and Shounak have always been supporters of homegrown brands and here’s what they had to say with regards to curating Vidya’s promotional wardrobe:

The idea for the campaign came from the pandemic. Vidya saw how many small businesses and brands were suffering the losses, the ones who had lesser to no means of bouncing back. When the promotions of Shakuntala Devi began, Vidya knew that she wanted to use her power to support the ones who needed that voice and so Vocal for Local began. From buying sarees at the grass-root level to reusing jewellery and blouses, we put together a wardrobe which is sustainable in all ways.

The wardrobe has been a range of established designers whose support to sustainability has been strong, to small/medium businesses, upcoming designers and even directly from the artisans. Vidya wanted to be quite casual in her style since she wasn’t stepping out. The looks have been a mix of classic sarees which are Vidya’s comfort zone, but with experimental blouse styles, to dresses, maxi’s and jumpsuits.

Ahead, we give you a virtual tour through the actor’s best promotional looks:

1. In Studio Medium

The elegance of the six-yard staple is unparalleled. No matter what the iteration, a beautifully crafted saree is guaranteed to make a sartorial impact. Take for instance this solid vermillion saree with a small opening on the pallu as a sleeve. The silhouette features a diaphanous, circular motif made from tying and dyeing. These two quirky elements effortlessly accentuate the outfit making it a show-stopper. To not take the attention away from the outfit, the actress picked a dainty, golden necklace with stacked beads and matching earrings.

2. In Shuffling Suitcases

This easy-breezy, khadi set is apt for the confusing season of monsoon for its raised hemline and skin-complementing fabric. Giving a break to her ethnic quest, Vidya donned a navy-blue, babydoll dress, gathered at the waist with elastic. The dress came with a plunging V-neck adding a risqué touch to look, that she balanced with a midi overcoat. The cotton coat in an off-white hue featured polka dots and square-shaped motifs in shades of blue. Flat, golden earrings with a floral design by Roma Narsinghani and strappy sandals rounded off her look.

3. In Rivaaj Clothing

Besides the flowy silhouette of the tunic, the hue and the print also make the outfit a note-worthy one. Cinched at the waist, the Indigo tunic features beautiful floral designs mixed with a bandhani-like print. To add some glam to the look, Vidya opted for statement-earrings featuring diamonds and rich blue stones by Méro.

4. In Label: Anushree

Vidya’s Label: Anushree kurta set is the lesson we all need in clashing prints. This silhouette of the kurta was quite interesting given its asymmetrical hemline with added panels on the sides. The ensemble served as a canvas for floral prints in multiple iterations—foliage-like designs on the sleeves and block-printed blooms on the front. Added embellishments around the neckline only elevated the outfit further. A multi-coloured pair of trousers with an earthy colour scheme was teamed with the navy-blue kurta. Playful jhumkas were her picks in the accessory department.

5. In ROUKA by Sreejith Jeevan

The rage around co-ord sets is unmissable and Vidya is the latest to give her stamp of approval. For one of her e-promotions, the actress picked this beautiful, canary-yellow set designed by Sreejith Jeevan. The solid-coloured ensemble featured giant, white polka dots adding a playful vibe to it. And the asymmetrical,  floor-grazing sleeves added a whole lot of drama to the look. For her outfit to be the focal point, the actress donned chunky, multi-hued earrings and skipped on adding any additional jewellery pieces.

6. In Ayush Kejriwal

Sarees are Vidya’s prominent comfort zone and the actor knows how to make a statement in any and every saree. This graphic printed saree checks all the boxes of classy, quirky and comfortable. Made from mulberry silk, the ensemble is a standout for its striking red hue and the busy print. The actor rounded off her OOTD with bright gold earrings adding some oomph to the outfit.

7. In ta’assur

If you’re someone that likes to sport ethnic ensembles but kurtas or sarees are not your cups of tea, give breezy tunics a try. Like Vidya’s burnt orange, cotton number. They’re fun, easy to wear and give the impression of an elongated body. (Short girls, take notes!) This one by ta’assur is crafted from cotton with an intricate foliage print mixed with stripes on the bust and sleeves. Pointed-toe heels in brown concluded her look for the e-event.

8. In Organic Hanger

Another fresh take on the traditional kurta-pyjama is this anarkali-style, knee-length kurta that the actor teamed with flared palazzo pants. The kurta came with striped collars which were a nice contrast to the solid-grey bust. The flowy part of the silhouette which is from the waist below came in a striped print with thin and thick and horizontal and vertical stripes which made for an interesting look. Transparent heels were her footwear picks for the day, while pearl-encrusted drop earrings by Méro rounded off her look.

9. In Raw Mango

Vidya’s promotional closet consisted of a variety of sarees and this one is a personal favourite. The soothing colour scheme of the look—powder pink with beige—makes it appropriate to wear across seasons. The six-yard staple came with a thin, hunter green border and leaf motifs in the same hue. The V-neck blouse added a boss-like vibe to the look and the dainty, diamond earrings lent a glamorous touch to the outfit. Subtle yet statement-making!

10. In Pramaa by Pratima Pandey

Breaking the ethnic quest is the actor’s boho-chic look designed by designer Pratima Pandey. Keeping things fairly fuss-free, Vidya along with her stylists, Pranay and Shounak, styled herself in a floor-length, strappy dress in a pristine white hue. The dress was a canvas of delicate flora and fauna print that she cinched at the waist with a belt. The actor rounded off her look with a tiered overcoat upping the ante of her look! Shoulder-sweeping, oxidised earrings added a finishing touch to her boho style!

What do you think of Vidya’s envy-inducing, promotional closet? Tell me in the comments below!

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