‘Alia nailed the bridal look perfectly.’
Katrina nailed all the looks at her wedding.’
‘Kiara was a bubbly bride, sweet and fun.’
Celebrity draper Dolly Jain, who makes the sari a style statement everyday, is a must-have at Bollywood weddings because she can drape six yards of silk, cotton or georgette in 18.5 seconds flat. She can also drape our national attire in 365 styles and counting.
Speaking to Rediff.com Senior Contributor, Roshmila Bhattacharya, Dolly reveals, “Srideviji was the first celebrity I draped a sari for. She observed me closely and told me that I had magic in my fingers, that there was something special in the way I draped a sari and I should take it up professionally. It’s been 18 years since…”
‘Srideviji was the first celebrity I draped a sari for’
My mama (uncle) and Srideviji lived in the same building so one evening, he invited her home for a party.
While she was there, she spilt something on her sari and when she went to fix it, I followed her and insisted on helping her.
Srideviji was the first celebrity I draped a sari for.
She observed me closely and told me that I had magic in my fingers, that there was something special in the way I draped a sari and I should take it up professionally.
Her words inspired me.
It’s been 18 years since…
‘Oh my God, the silk sari collection Jayalalitaa had!’
J Jayalalithaa had taken out three saris and left it to me to decide which one to drape her in.
I don’t know why, but I told her I wanted to see more options.
She then took me to her wardrobe which had only Kanjeevarams.
Oh my God, the silk sari collection she had!
Looking at them, I don’t think I even blinked.
I was absolutely mesmeriSed, not just by her saris and by how beautifully she kept them.
I chose a purplish sari with a golden border.
Initially, I wanted to change the drape, even experimented a bit, but eventually, I felt that given her body type, we should stick to what she had been doing.
She was so cooperative, with absolutely no airs.
I feel so blessed that whether it’s an actor, politician or industrialist, no one has ever thrown tantrums. They have all been really nice and polite.
I’m often told that there’s a positive energy when I’m around, that my clients are reassured nothing will go wrong, and even if there is a problem, I will have a solution to it.
That makes me feel special, and at the same time, more responsible.
‘Vidya Balan has the body for a sari’
When I started doing videos, people connected with me everywhere because I’m your average Indian woman.
I’m just five-feet-two inches tall, with a dusky complexion.
I’m bottom heavy, have a fat tummy with stretch marks and a not too great bustline.
The Dolly-jaisi–main-hoon empathy has made my tutorial videos extremely popular.
There’s an almost instant connection with Vidya too.
She is beautiful, a great communicator and has the body for a sari.
What else do you need in the brand ambassador of our national attire?
‘With Deepika Padukone, there’s the Bangalore connection’
I was at Deepika’s wedding at Lake Como, also at the receptions in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, and every moment was unforgettable.
She is a born star.
I feel you look beautiful on screen only when you are beautiful from within, like Deepika, who is always so warm.
Having been a part of the film industry for so long, she knows her best angles.
She is poised, and there is the willingness to wear a sari.
I always say, when there is willingness, with a million-dollar smile, being an Indian, you can flaunt any sari.
I wish all my celebrity clients lots of luck for the future and want them to grow bigger with every passing day, but I admit, there’s a special attachment with Deepika.
It’s been a long and beautiful journey with her, and even today, I drape Deepika for photo-shoots, ad campaigns and film premieres.
There’s the Bangalore connection with her.
I live in Kolkata now, but you can never take Bangalore out of a Bangalorian, no matter where they live.
‘Alia chose my favourite colour for her wedding sari‘
Almost 80 per cent of my wardrobe is ivory.
I have all kinds of saris in different colours but I could live in ivory.
So when Alia chose my favourite colour for her wedding sari, along with my favourite designer Sabyasachi (Mukherjee) and my favourite fabric — organza — I was mesmerised.
A week before, I had draped a Delhi bride who had worn so much make-up that I felt in those three-four days, even she forgot the girl she was.
Alia kept her look simple and elegant.
Her make-up was minimal and she let her skin breathe.
She chose to get married in her own house, with only those who love her, instead of calling 10,000 guests who will enjoy the wedding but then will bitch about everything later.
Alia nailed the bridal look perfectly.
‘As an Indian, I’d say Katrina nailed all the looks at her wedding’
As an Indian, I would say Katrina nailed all the looks at her wedding.
Since Alia had got married in hot and humid Mumbai, ivory was the perfect colour for her.
Since Katrina chose Rajasthan, where the royal touch comes through the bright colours of the land, the pinks and reds she chose were perfect.
Both did justice in their own, special way.
‘Kiara was a bubbly bride, sweet and fun’
We gave Kiara pinks, pastels, even a bold mustard yellow, knowing she can carry off any look.
She was a bubbly bride, sweet and fun.
Actually, you can put a celebrity in any box and they will nail it.
Swap Alia for Kiara or vice versa and they will do justice to any look because they have the body and features to carry off any Indian garment.
The difference lies in who is the fashion icon you are following and wish to emulate.
‘Sonam Kapoor has the body, looks and attitude’
Sonam was the one who started the iconic looks we see today.
Since her sister Rhea is an excellent stylist, there is no way she could go wrong with her clothes.
Besides, she has the body, looks and attitude.
Sonam embraces both Indian and western wear with such confidence.
She can innovate because she has the height, personality and willingness to experiment.
‘Priyanka Chopra is the desi girl in videsh‘
I admire Priyanka as a person and appreciate all that she has achieved.
She has nailed it, right from what she was to what she is today.
I’m looking forward to seeing what she does in the future.
She’s so well spoken that every time I listen to her, I’m motivated.
God has given all women wings to fly, but Priyanka has got extra wings which give her the liberty to soar and explore every corner of the world.
She’s the desi girl in videsh.
‘I had Gigi Hadid ready in 20 minutes’
Among international celebrities, I have draped Gigi Hadid.
I was supposed to do Zendaya too, but both were there at the same event and at the same time.
The sari was decided upon by the designer duo, Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, and I had Gigi ready in 20 minutes.
It was a big deal giving my love and fabric to an international star like Gigi, and knowing she was wearing a sari for the first time.
It is only when we drape someone who is not an Indian in your national attire, that they begin to feel like us, get an essence of our culture.
Otherwise, even with all the rituals and the best of cuisine, the Indian experience remains adhura.
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