Actor Paoli Dam unveils the looks of Abhishek Dutta's jail brand, Parole

Tolly actor Paoli Dam nails the first look of Parole’s female wear, while sharing her fashion and fitness secrets with us

Sharmistha Ghosal Published :  26th July 2019 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  26th July 2019 12:00 AM

Paoli Dam in Parole

This year started on a high note for Paoli Dam with the superhit movie Konttho. Paoli, who now divides her time between Kolkata and Guwahati after her marriage to busi - nessman Arjun Deb, will be seen in three other films this year — Shantilal O Projapoti, Password and Sanjhbati. “I know people won’t believe me, but those who are very close to me know that I am basically a very lazy and laid - back person and that is reflected in my sense of fashion, too. I simply love comfort clothing,” says Paoli Dam. The busy actor took some time out and exclusively shot with us for more than three hours in this sultry weather donning four beautiful looks from Abhishek Dutta’s label Parole, a brand he created showcasing clothes made by jail inmates.

“It’s absolutely a brilliant cause and when I went inside the women’s correctional home and saw these women making outfits in stitching and knitting units, I felt good about those clothes. Whatever reason they are inside for, making them independent by teaching skills is something I support,” the star tells. We chatted about her personal style, fitness and diet in between the shoot. Excerpts:

Distressed striped cotton jacket with wrap tie-up skirt in orange and white

A wardrobe full of memories

I have three wardrobes, two in Kolkata and a huge walk-in one in Guwahati and 70 per cent of my wardrobe is occupied by saris of all kinds that I have collected over the years. I love hoarding things since each one brings back memories and recently I discovered one precious black silk sari with muga work all over. It was gifted to me by Rituparno Ghosh during the shooting of Sob Choritro Kalponik. It’s priceless.

Comfort is key

When it comes to fashion, comfort is a priority for me and I love wearing organic, natural and sustainable fabric, including cotton, linen, yeri and muga. They are extremely light and breathable. For traditional wear, my first and last choice is a sari — I can wear them anywhere and anytime. I always have two blouses for each of my nine yards, one in traditional style and the other a little offbeat to quirk up the look. I love wearing dresses a lot and the silhouettes vary depending on my mood, ranging from an A-line straight dress to a flowy one, or a combination of both.

Stretched-cotton palazzo pants with tape detailing

Skirts too are my favourites, especially the ones that end just above my knees. Sometimes, I opt for the long A-line denim skirts—so retro in look and feel. I love experimenting with colours and cuts. When it comes to colours, I love red and white, apart from fuschia, turquoise blue, lemon shades and bold neons. Once, I wore a short jumpsuit embellished with yellow and blue large floral prints by Diane Von Furstenberg Studio for the premiere of my film Khawto.

Mad about shoes

I am crazy about shoes and have a wardrobe full of them in all colours possible. When not working, I wear sneakers and flat pumps but for formal occasions, it’s always formal pumps with heels. I also have boots in camel and brown colours and pair them with matching bags. I was never much of a watch-person, but now I love wearing sleek watches.

Off-shoulder cotton tie-up top paired with a printed Handwoven linen jamdani toga dress 

Fitness and diet

I believe in a proper lifestyle and always have homemade food even when I am shooting. My diet usually consists of chicken, fish and vegetables. I am a gym per - son and work out daily for an hour at least and my fitness regimen comprises a bit of cardio, weights and rehab exercises, including stretching and strengthening.

Raising the bar

City designer Abhishek Dutta is ready to roll out his latest venture, Parole, with a gala fashion show this month

Sustainable fashion is in vogue for quite some time and is steadily gaining popularity with labels, both big and small, harping upon the importance of eco-friendly sartorial choices. But designer Abhishek Dutta has taken sustainability a notch higher by empowering over 50 jail inmates — both male and female undertrials and convicts — with a clothing label of their own, Parole. What started two years back as a tailoring workshop under a shed inside the Presidency Jail in Alipore to impart skill development to the prisoners has turned into a whole new label, making them gainfully employed.

Cold shoulder rooster print shirt paired with a handwoven, enzymes-washed linen denim slitted skirt

“I thought of calling it Parole because it gives a new lease of life to them and empowers them for a new beginning after completing their term,” says Abhishek, the brain behind this movement. The brand, which will be formally launched with a gala fashion show on July 30 at a five-star hotel in the city, will see a few inmates along with top national models and actors. They will showcase 80 looks from the first collection.“We have kept the looks very fuss-free and smart and all the clothes are hand-woven. It’s mainly affordable daily wear, targeted at people between the ages of 18-40 years. A hint of my trademark quirkiness will always be there,” tells the couturier.

Designer Abhishek Dutta

There are four categories of clothes under the label — namely Denimatic (made with enzyme-washed linen denim fabric in indigo, grey and black colour palette), Printrazzi (dresses and shirts in very quirky and colourful prints like rooster, seahorse and dinosaur), Powerholic (interesting formalwear comprising double-breasted and lapel jackets, jacket dresses, fitted pant or skirt suits and shirts in checks and interesting colours including red, orange and canary yellow, besides the usual black and blues) and Infusion (an Indo-Western fusion mostly in solid colours with minimal applique, jamdani or embroidery work).

“After the launch of Parole in Bengal, I intend to take the collection to other cities across the country in fashion weeks in the next few months. In the future, we also plan to set up such fashion units inside the premises of other jailhouses outside Bengal, including Bihar and other states,” concludes Abhishek.

Launch on July 30. Parole will also be available online. Price starts at Rs1,200.

Pics: Tathagata Ghosh; Location: Alipore Jail and Alipore Women’s Correctional Home; Clothes: Parole by Abhishek Dutta; Make-up: Aniruddha Chakladar; Stylist: Sumit Sinha; Jewellery: Sakshi Jhunjhunwala