EXCLUSIVE: 'Working with Deepika is always a pleasure': Dolly Jain on draping actor's Cannes 2022 saree look

Celebrity saree drapist Dolly Jain spoke with Pinkvilla and shared tips that you need to know. She opened up about working with Deepika Padukone, Gigi Hadid and others.

Updated on May 14, 2023  |  06:00 PM IST |  562K
Dolly Jain, Deepika Padukone, Cannes, Bollywood, celebrity style, fashion
EXCLUSIVE: 'Working with Deepika is always a pleasure': Dolly Jain on draping actor's Cannes 2022 saree look

Dolly Jain, a drape enthusiast turned artist, sees the world of sarees as her oyster. She has seen and tried it all, yet she continues to strive for triumphant moments by draping sarees and dupattas. In addition to creating a narrative of her own by experimenting with saree drapes in 325 different ways, she has a Guinness World Record to back up her outstanding professional experience, and she has already traveled overseas to work with mega celebrities. From India to Cannes and beyond, Jain is the master of her own game and nobody would say otherwise. 

If you're looking for a few saree-draping tips that could be just enough to amp up your desi appearance, consider this your sartorial jackpot guide because we recently spoke with the award-winning celebrity saree draper Dolly Jain. This exclusive interview discusses her professional growth, her work as a drape artist for celebrities, and some advice for brides getting married this year.

Dolly Jain talks about draping a saree for Deepika Padukone, Gigi Hadid and shares unique tips

How have you evolved as a saree draper from day one to 2023?

I've evolved beautifully as a saree draper and I'm so proud of myself for how far I have come. I'm so proud that I am doing what I love the most and something which people thought was so ordinary that they didn't even realize that it has so much potential. And I saw this potential. And when I actually started, there was no one else doing saree draping at that time. Over the years, I've just been polishing myself, making the craft even better, and promoting it as much as I can so that the young generation knows the importance and beauty of the saree. In 2023, I surely see myself starting as a drape artist or maybe you can call me a saree draper. It’s been a 17-year-old beautiful journey where people call me the 'drape-preneur' of the country!

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You have worked with ample celebrities. Tell us about your first client. 

Yes, I've worked with a lot of celebs, and the first celeb I draped was Sridevi Ji. It was the most amazing moment because when I first draped her, I hadn’t gotten into it professionally. She was one of the first ones who saw potential in me and said, “Dolly why don't you take this up professionally?”. Her words stuck with me; this coming from a legend like her who has worn sarees from a very young age and knew how to drape them so beautifully. Her advice was a turning point in my life.

Can you tell us about your experience working with Deepika Padukone when you draped her saree for Cannes 2022? Was there a mood board given to you and how did you nail at your job?

There was no mood board as such that was given to me for Deepika’s appearance at Cannes 2022. It is only when I saw the saree and was told about the hair and makeup look, that I decided on a drape for her at that moment. Once you have the saree in your hands, you can connect with it and begin draping. Also, working with Deepika is always a pleasure because I have done her wedding and a few shoots with her and she is a treat to work with. A true Indian beauty who can carry off any look so beautifully and gracefully. Even during Cannes, I had draped her white saree which was designed by Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla and I think she did complete justice to it. Platforms like Met Gala and Cannes Film Festival where we have Indian faces and Indian celebs walking, puts the saree on the global map. I strongly recommend that everyone should walk in a saree because that's how we can promote sarees to a world audience.

EXCLUSIVE: 'Working with Deepika is always a pleasure': Dolly Jain on draping actor's Cannes 2022 saree look

You’ve draped dupattas for Kiara Advani during her wedding ceremonies. How did it go?

Kiara Advani’s wedding was also a very sweet affair for me. The outfit was designed by Manish Malhotra and it was a beautiful pink lehenga. The look was very heavy, but the lehenga's weight was not very heavy to carry. The dupatta was beautifully embroidered and the fabric was very good. So, it was actually very easy to drape the outfit and when you have such a beautiful bride like Kiara wearing it then you really have to do the minimalistic thing which just comes out.

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EXCLUSIVE: 'Working with Deepika is always a pleasure': Dolly Jain on draping actor's Cannes 2022 saree look

Can you tell us about one drape-related technique that you've experimented with? 

The technique that I've been using for some years is the stitching technique that I do for my clients. I use fewer pins and more of the stitching technique. I just feel that it just makes the whole drape fall beautifully on your body. And it's not like the pin might tear the saree, but I use a thread and needle which makes the drape fall uniquely and flawlessly. It's an idea that came to me and I'm very proud of using it on all my brides and celebs.

Do you have a go-to saree draping style which isn’t most commonly seen? If yes, tell us about it.

The first thing I check in a saree is the fabric- is it linen or organza? And I normally wear an open palla but when I have a lot of hand movements and work to do, then I wear it pleated, which is the universal style of draping. I have been wearing it like this for years.

Two chic and unique saree draping styles you recommend for wedding guests.

I think my two chic and unique styles for wedding guests are - a mermaid drape and the second is a lehenga on which a saree is being draped. If you're attending a wedding, you need the look to be grand and to make the saree look even grander, if you drape it on a lehenga it just elevates the entire look and makes it chic and classy.

From the start to end, tell us all about draping Gigi Hadid’s saree? 

When I got to know that I would be draping Gigi Hadid, I felt excited and it was like a beautiful moment. Another feather in my cap. I literally had goosebumps when I met her but she was so sweet, warm, and rooted all throughout. The saree she wore was very beautifully designed by Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla and it made for a beautiful silhouette. The make-up, the hair, everything fell in place and she really killed the entire look. It just looked as if the whole ensemble was made just for her.

When I draped Hadid, the first thing she said was “This is the first time I’m wearing an Indian attire. This is so easy to carry. I can walk and run in it.” We Indians think the saree is difficult to wear and carry but look at how these people really appreciate our garments.

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EXCLUSIVE: 'Working with Deepika is always a pleasure': Dolly Jain on draping actor's Cannes 2022 saree look

What are some errors to avoid when putting together a saree look?

Whenever you're wearing a saree there are a few things that you need to take care of. First, always wear your footwear before you begin draping the saree. Also, always use a stainless-steel pin to secure the fabric so that you don't end up tearing your saree. Make sure that you have an extra fabric attached, which is called a false fabric to protect your saree from its work so that you don't tear it. People have stopped adding false fabric, but I think it is very important to do that. Also don’t tie the petticoat too tight, use saree shapewear like the D’Coat that is designed to offer a sleek and feminine figure that accentuates contours for a more seamless fit.

Can you provide two saree draping ideas for brides in 2023?

I think brides have started wearing their mother's sarees a lot more now and it's such a beautiful thing. It's not important for you to always wear a new saree, your mother's saree can look very beautiful and classy because you will never get those kinds of pieces readily available. If you're wearing a new saree, make sure that you add an underarm pad to your blouse because you might stain your blouse. Be it summer or winter, you will end up sweating due to the nervousness and excitement of the big day, and the last thing you want is armpit patches ruining your look.

Two key learnings you’ve learned as a drape artist. 

The key learnings that I've learned from being a drape artist are that the six yards of elegance are so versatile and timeless that they can be draped by three-four generations of your family. Like the saree worn by my grandmother-in-law, was also worn by my mother-in-law, me and my two daughters also wear that saree although we all wear them in different styles. The saree has got so much potential that I would like more people to understand how to drape it. Another learning I tell people is to open their wardrobes and pair their crop tops and denim with the sarees from their mother or grandmother’s wardrobes because they have the most amazing sarees. I’m happy to teach them how to mix and match it and see the beauty of the saree. I have draped a lot of sarees, I have draped two sarees together, and then I've draped three sarees together, I've draped a saree and a dupatta together. So, I have done a lot of these combinations.

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Whose saree style do you dig? Let us know in the comments section. 

ALSO READ:  Parineeti Chopra and Raghav Chadha redefine love in engagement outfits by Manish Malhotra and Pawan Sachdeva

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About The Author

A fashion writer by day and a makeup inspiration by the night, Manjusha is also an ardent animal lover.

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