Hats Off To You, Dev Ji

Before the phrase Bollywood was ever uttered, there was the golden era of the Indian film industry.

And before media-dubbed King Khans and itty bitty Kapoors, there were the true giants of the big screen in Bombay.

One such gentleman was Dev Anand.

Sadly, I say it in the past tense, as he passed away earlier this evening in London, at the age of 88.

He was lauded for his vast contribution to cinema – as an actor, producer and director.

He was applauded for his style – which remained constant both on screen and off.

Dev Anand black and white film still on Exshoesme.com
This face had a few million women swooning, when it graced the screen. My mom was one of them.

Dev Anand in houndstooth hat, plaid shirt and corduroy jacket on Exshoesme.com
A tipped hat - a style tip we will always remember Dev Ji for.

Think of how modern this is – the mix of patterns, the layering of textures and the corduroy jacket against the tweed. Tom Ford would approve of that velvet ascot, “asserted by a simple pin”, as per Mr. Eliot, I presume.

So where shall I begin?

One could write a thesis on his scarves, another on his collars – and an entire book on his choice chapeaux!

Dev Anand with Zeenat Aman in 1970s on Exshoesme.com
Dev Anand with a young Zeenat Aman in the '70s. That pinned ascot becomes a foulard, here.

Then there is the khaki and pink – to think! Anand to be had, indeed.

Dev Anand in pink shirt and tipped hat on Exshoesme.com
He was always miles ahead when it came to style. That collar!
Dev Anand in 1940s suit on Exshoesme.com
Zoot suiting it up in the '40s.

I still remember seeing his films in the Naaz Theatre in Toronto in the ’70s. There will always be the hillside songs, and the yodeling will forever, live on. The yodeling, incidentally, was actually Kishore Kumar,  the playback singer who became known as the singing voice of Dev Anand – the two creative spirits would play off of each other and became great friends.

Dev Anand in newsboy cap and wide tie on Exshoesme.com
I shall forever remember him in the newsboy cap.
Dev Anand in newsboy cap and signature scarf on Exshoesme.com
You have to love a man who remains true to his style as he gets older.
Dev Anand in signature scarf in his later years on Exshoesme.com
That's a wrap. For the last time...

Hats off to you, sir.

You wore it all so well – fame and fashion, alike.


Translations: anand – joy/enjoyment; Joney Jeene May Kya Hai – Joney, what is there to living?; Abhi Na Jao Chhod Kar – don’t go just yet and leave us; Khoya Khoya Chaand – lost, lost moon.

Images: NDTV, IBN, Wikimedia, IMDB.

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