Nautch Girl – The Unlikely Bollywood Fashion Icon
The enigmatic nautch dancer has a fascinating, tumultuous and ultimately enduring story. As a Devdasi in the temples of the Vedas, she enjoyed a high social status and the patronage of Kings, for centuries, until she was cast onto the streets by the British Raj.
Like a true Bollywood protagonist, from privilege, She fell into a life of poverty and misery where morals and survival came into dramatic conflict. Ironically her salvation would take her from the streets to the silver screen, reincarnated in the forms of Vijanthimala, Meena Kumari, Madhubala, and Helen to name a few. Her triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds, makes her an enduring symbol of feminism and a perfect Bollywood fashion icon; she is everything fashion should be, beautiful but strong, sexy yet demure, confident yet vulnerable.