Costume trail: what Dolly ki Doli's wardrobe tells you about Sonam and gang

This isn’t to suggest Kapoor has abandoned haute couture in her latest film. It is a real possibility that Kapoor could have chosen this script only to be able to dress up as a bride from different communities.

hidden January 29, 2015 17:24:03 IST
Costume trail: what Dolly ki Doli's wardrobe tells you about Sonam and gang

By Mitali Parekh

Producer Arbaaz Khan can add this to his short list of achievements — he ensured the budget for Dolly Ki Doli was not commandeered by Sonam Kapoor’s wardrobe. Considering how most Bollywood films lavish all their attention upon the star’s wardrobe, it’s good to see a film in which there is no great divide the heroine and the rest of the cast in terms of costumes.

This isn’t to suggest Kapoor has abandoned haute couture in her latest film. It is a real possibility that Kapoor could have chosen this script only to be able to dress up as a bride from different communities. Cleverly, that has been condensed into one song. There’s the Anupamaa Dayal salwar kurta to lust after in the Punjabi wedding and the gold lace sari of the Parsi wedding – these along with the other community weddings shown in a montage ensure the movie doesn’t become a fashion spread disconnected from the rest of the movie.

All this restraint and realism could be credited to stylist Karuna Laungani who falls outside of Kapoor’s fashion posse comprising sister Rhea Kapoor, stylist Tanya Ghavri and entrepreneur Pernia Qureshi. Laungani styled Kapoor for Khoobsurat too, though the results were very different.

Costume trail what Dolly ki Dolis wardrobe tells you about Sonam and gang

Courtesy: Facebook

Dolly’s designer togs flash only in some songs — a Manish Arora lehenga for “Babaji ka Thulu” and an Anita Dongre lehenga for “Phatte Tak Nachna”. There is a smattering of Madsam Tinzin salwar-kameezes in the movie, but none so stark as to remove her from the storyline.

Off-duty Dolly is a subdued grunge girl in jeans and tee. Where Dulhan Dolly favours Kapoor’s trademarked braided hairstyles, Dolly wears her hair pulled back into a ponytail. She almost always wears an over-shirt or jacket — the sartorial manifestation of her defence mechanisms. Most importantly, Dolly is not white-washed. Sonam’s skin colour remains fairly true to her original tone — but for when she is in Udaipur, which is, ironically a city that bakes you within minutes.

While following the same palette, the costumes of the rest of the cast are stereotypical and tautological. Inspector Robin Singh (Pulkit Samrat) echoes Dabanng’s Inspector Chulbul Pandey, with his moustache and kadak vardi, while hinting to his home state with the bali in each ear. The loud Punjaban Archana Puran Singh wears even louder kaftans. Haryanvi Sonu Sarawat (Raj Kumar Yadav) wears bundi over his kurta-pyjamas, and a gold chain and rudraksh mala just like his father. Delhi-boy Manjot Singh Chaddha (Varun Sharma) wears polo tees. Dolly’s ‘mother’ is in the starched nondescript saris of a small-town homemaker and an unimportant supporting actress.

What is most disappointing is Malaika Arora’s choice to do one more item song. As producer of the movie, one hoped to see her in a more empowering role, not just a sex symbol suspended in the middle of the movie. Even there, the styling, make-up and costume looked tired and boring — not erotic or sensual. If that is the niche you are going to carve for yourself, don’t be lazy about it.

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