The Hindi film industry, among the most prolific in the world, has delighted audiences for decades with its colourful, exquisite and sometimes startling costumes. But are costumes more than just a source of pleasure? This book, the first in-depth exploration of Hindi film costume, contends that they are a unique source of knowledge about issues ranging from Indian taste and fashion to questions of identity, gender and work. Anthropological and film studies approaches combine to analyze costume as the outcome of production processes and as a cinematic device for conveying meaning. Chapters lead from the places where costume is planned and executed to explorations of characterization, the actor body, spectacles of fashion, to the imagining of historical or fantasy worlds through dress, to the power of stardom to launch clothing styles into the public domain. As well as charting the course of film costume as it parallels important trends in cultural history, the book considers the future of Hindi film costume, in the context of new strains of filmmaking that stress unvarnished realism. Fashioning Bollywood will appeal to students and scholars of Indian culture, anthropology and fashion, as well as anyone who has seen and enjoyed Hindi films.