Madhur Bhandarkar is famous for making films on hard gritty subjects and not shying away from portraying the reality (including the ugly side) of things. Some of these movies include Chandni Bar, Page 3, Traffic Signal, etc. Madhur also won a national award for the direction of Traffic Signal. In addition, while his movies may not be super-hits, they make money, and for movies that are about the ills of society, making money is a big plus. Also, because his movies are seen as good cinema, actors and actresses can develop a great reputation by acting in his movies. Fashion is one such movie, that gave a filip to the careers of actors such as Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut and newcomer Mugdha Godse. Priyanka Chopra in fact has got a very good reputation after this movie, something which also got enhanced after her role in another movie, 7 Khoon Maaf. In fact, Priyanka also got a National Award for Best Actress for her role in this movie.
The movie also bears an uncanny resemblance to the story of Geetanjali Nagpal, the former model who was found in a pretty bad condition on the streets of Delhi in the year 2007; however, Madhur has denied that Fashion was based on the story of Geetanjali. The story of the movie was by Ajay Monga, with narration by Priyanka Chopra. Music for the movie, with some acclaimed songs such as ‘Fashion ka Jalwa’ and ‘Mar Jawan’ was by Salim-Sulaiman, with lyrics by Sandeep Nath and Irfan Siddique. The movie was fairly successful, and won a host of awards at such events such as Filmfare Awards, Star Screen Awards, IIFA, and Stardust Awards.
The movie is the story of the ups and downs in the fashion industry, especially when success goes to somebody’s head. The story is that of a girl, Meghna Mathur (Priyanka Chopra) who wants to be big in the fashion industry in Mumbai and leaves her house against the wishes of her parents since she wants to follow this career. However, life is not so easy, and success does not come easily. And of course there are other models who are on top, such as the current reigning super-model Shonali Gujral (Kangana Ranaut). However, after some efforts, and being tutored by her friend and another struggling model Janet (Mugdha Godse) as well as a struggling make model Maanav (Arjan Bajwa), she finally gets lucky and is noticed by one of the executives (Anisha Roy (played by Kitu Gidwani)) of a big modeling agency Panache. Anisha in turn introduces her to her boss Abhijit Sarin (Arbaaz Khan). Abhijit is impressed by her, and since Shonali is struggling with her drug problem, he decides to replace Shonali with Megha, part of the downfall process for Shonali.
Megha is now successful, which means that she gives up her relationship with Maanav, and starts having a relationship with Abhijit, even though he is a married man. Their relationship proceeds, till she gets pregnant and is pressured to abort her child; something which causes her to break the news to Abhijit’s wife, causing her to get fired from her peak position and further fall in the clutches of drugs and alcohol (a path that Shonali is already following, increased after she had a wardrobe mal-function). When Megha has a one-night stand after a party where she has got drunk, she realizes how much she has fallen, and decides to leave the industry and return to her parents in Chandigarh.
However, this is not the end. Her parents encourage her to get back to her life, also as a way of getting back her self-confidence, and she decides to make up with Janet and gets back to Mumbai, however, no longer the top model. Things shake her when she sees Shonali on TV as a homeless drunk, and she brings Shonali back in order to make her better again, a process which also acts as a healing ritual for her. Even though she is not able to save Shonali, Megha gets back her confidence to again become a top model.