Monday, September 7, 2009

Style Icons - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

In her book “How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World,” author Jordan Christy laments the modern day loss of polite, well-spoken, gracious, charming and thoughtful women, like the yesteryear icons, Kate and Audery Hepburn. In a celebrity obsessed world, where Paris and Lindsay are emulated everywhere, she talks about the grace and charm that women from a bygone era exuded. As she goes on to talk about "real women with brains, beauty and self-respect", I start thinking about India’s own style queens of yesterday – Leela Naidu, and Gayatri Devi. Vogue chose them as being among the most beautiful women in the world. Ironically, and tragically, Gayatri Devi passed away just a day after actress Leela Naidu died in Mumbai.

Gayatri Devi was celebrated for her classical beauty and was a prominent fashion icon in her adulthood, Born a Rajput princess, she regaled the world with her intellect, beauty and regal charm. As Maharani Gayatri Devi she was an icon for her generation. A head-turner with her bobbed brown hair, chiffon saree, and understated, elegant jewellery, she was the quintessential fairy tale princess. Despite her life’s ups and downs, the doe eyed Maharani’s fabled beauty and grace stayed with her, till the very end. It comes as no surprise that she was often compared to former US first lady and style icon Jacqueline Kennedy.

Gayatri Devi

Leela Naidu, on the other hand, was an Indian actress. Her ethereal, mesmerizing looks and subtle, effortless style, tinged with the glamour of her profession made her a timeless beauty. As the world moves on to size zero, chic glamour, one can’t help but hang on to the fleeting memory of the women who truly embodied style and elegance.

Leela Naidu


NirmG said...

I love this article. I want to see more women in the public eye be strong models of the feminine mystique.

As far as style, I agree: There's too much over-exposure and not enough composite and modesty. Those are strengths that I see as desirable in future generations of women.

Those women were very sexy.

Sunset Goddess said...

Timeless beauty, class and elegance, quiet rare in today's world!
Too much info and too much exposure, never good...
Thanks for this, Piara!!!

vijay said...

beautiful women are these...Enigmatic persona and mystic aura of beauty..good one Prathishtha...looking forward to more interseting articles.

coco said...

Great post.

dapper kid said...

Oh wow definitely inspirational. It seems elegance is valued far too little nowadays, such a shame.

Mamma Mia! Me a Mamma?!? said...

I agree with everything you wrote :)

In fact, I wrote abouth the day after Maharani Gayatri Devi died.

It's an end to an era of grace, beauty and charm.

Eri said...


Just came across you blog and really enjoyed.

Please come and visit mine too, is a fashion inspired by Portobello Road, London.

Hope you like it and hope to see you soon.

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Anonymous said...

Gayatri Devi was not born a Rajput princess. She was Princess of Cooch Behar in Bengal.
Please do check for accuracy.