A century of beauty

Published Jun 1, 2015, 4:27 am IST
Updated Mar 29, 2019, 12:51 am IST
Coco Chanel had once said, “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” As if reiterating her view, Seattle-based Cut Video has been bringing out short videos documenting how the definition of beauty has changed in countries over a century. After featuring nations like the US, Mexico, the Philippines, Vietnam and Iran, the seventh episode focuses on India. The clip went viral in a span of two days and has over two million views on YouTube. 
Speaking about how he got the idea, director Blaine Ludy says that the inspiration first struck him, when he read a Buzzfeed article on a teenager, Annalisa Hartlaub, who created self-portraits showcasing 100 Years of Fashion from the 1920s’ to the 2010s’. Blaine had two people researching on the looks. Rhoya Selden, who is a history major at the University of Washington and his friend Sangeeta Jain, who shuttles between India and the U.S. 
The duo focused on images from Bollywood. Looks were pulled out from books and the Web. They also had friends and family in India look over the research. “India is a large country with many regions and ethnic groups. Bollywood was the right choice to focus because celebrities and pop culture influence beauty trends,” says Blaine. 
The team roped in Trisha Migani, an Indian classical dancer  for the shoot. “We chose Trisha because she has an excellent personality. If a person doesn’t have any character on camera — you have no video.” Trisha, who has been getting rave feedback says, “The difficult aspect, but my favourite, was capturing the attitude and mindset of each era. The styles were all different and each one carried a unique story. I had a great time telling each story.” 
Shooting around 10 looks in just a minute can be rife with challenges. Blaine says, “It’s tough to work with one length of hair, when the looks require short and long hair styles. Also, I’m always prepared with at least one backup look for each decade.”


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