Celebrated drape artist Dolly Jain shows us two eternal wedding sari drapes

Dolly, who has draped the who's who of Bollywood like Sonam Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma among others, shows us two very popular drapes.

Sharmistha Ghosal Published :  25th November 2022 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  25th November 2022 12:00 AM
Two of the popular drapes

Two of the popular drapes

Draping a six-yard around one's beautiful self is a practice that dates back to centuries. But draping it stylishly and properly in a number of ways is a very recent phenomenon kickstarted by none other than Kolkata's very own Dolly Jain. Dolly, who has draped the who's who of Bollywood including Sonam Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma among others, shows us two very popular drapes on the stunning model Sushmita Roy and also tells us how to wear your saris right.

How does it feel being the celebrity drape artist?

It feels great when they decide to depend on me for draping on their special days. Sometimes they have also mentioned that when it comes to makeup artists, if one is booked there are other options but but there's only one drape artist. So, yes, I feels proud that 17-18 years back when I dreamt of making it my career, I never knew that it would be as large as it is today. That I am getting the recognition I truly deserve being a drape artist, feels me with a sense of pride and honour.

Dolly Jain

Over the years what are the lessons you have picked up?

Never listen to what society says if you choose a road which is less travelled. You will have to hear harsh words from society because they are not ready to accept a woman jumping out at something that never has been thought about. If you believe in yourself and know it's the correct thing to do and you have faith, go ahead and pursue your dream. Just believe in yourself and take at least an hour out of a day and you will never know when your passion becomes a very thriving profession.

With the wedding season starting, what are the drapes that are trending big time this year?

This year, brides are definitely opting for more saris than lehengas and even those opting for lehengas are taking saris to replace the dupatta which they are using as veil. Since Alia wore a sari, a lot of people are opting for the unstitched piece of magic that can also be draped as a lehenga or a pleated skirt.

What are the two drapes that you have shown us and why?

The two drapes comprise the universal style and an open palla common drape style. A pleated drape is sonvenient if you need to run around and keep your hands free. And if you are attending a party as a guest, then the open pallu drape looks extremely classy and elegant.

Pleated pallu drape

What are the things one needs to keep in mind while draping a sari?

One has to consider the mind set of the woman who's wearing the sari -- whether she is a sari person or whether she hasn't worn it before, what's her structure like, the gentry she is moving in and how open she is to flaunt her skin. If she doesn't look good guide her correctly so they don't make a fool of themselves by wearing a drape which doesn't suit their body. A lot of things have to be kept in mind including checking whether the blouse is properly fitted, the underskirt is in proper shape or not and if the drawstring is tied properly. A huge thought process goes behind doing a perfect sari drape.

Which kind of saris has a great fall and drape?

All saris including silks, kanjivarams, cotton and organza have their own grace and own fall and it depends on what your body type is and for what occasion you are draping.

What are the sari fabrics that are raging this season?

Organza and silk and a little velvet are trending. But next season it will be all about velvet.

How can one manage the pleats well?

If the pleats are made broad enough not too narrow pleats and pinned properly. 

Some tips to manage a drape well through the whole occasion?

Rather than keeping an open palla or the flowy fabric in your hand, get the whole thing pinned up properly to enjoy the event without any hassle of handling the pallu.

Tell us what kind of drapes work well for the bridesmaids and the moms.

There are many nice drapes that would look good on them but I would rather say that since they are the ones going to be around the bride helping her, it's better to keep their hands pallu-free with properly pinned cape style, half mermaid or reverse mermaid drapes. The mothers can add a bit of drama to their drapes by adding an extra dupatta to the sari.

Open pallu drape

Some useful tips for a would-be bride?

Always use under-arm pads to prevent your designer heavy blouses from getting ruined. Try your clothes two days ahead because you might put on or lose weight and you won't want a fitting issue on the D-day. Also, wear your footwear once or twice or choose shoes that you've been comfortable wearing, otherwise the whole pain is going to show on your face and photographs later.

Tell us about D'Coat?

D'Coats are next generation petticoat. In 17 years of my career, I knew all the while that the problem was not always the blouse or the sari but the underskirt too. The clients always wear either too flared or too tight or the wrong material when it comes to underskirts and they keep complaining about the sari not falling the way they want it to fall. For the past three years I've been working on underskirts that the world would remember. They are made with pure cotton and are not too fitted to allow women to do anything wearing them.

You have inspired a whole generation of young females to wear saris and also pursue draping as a profession. Any word of advice for them?

For all those who have taken up sari draping as a profession, I have given out so many videos on social media. So, follow them to learn and come up with more new drapes. Try and make whoever you are draping as comfortable as possible and don't go on forcing them to try out different styles if they are not ready for the same. Always ensure that the comfort of your client has been taken care of and make them fall in love with saris again and again.

Pictures: Saurabh Mukherjee/Model: Sushmita Roy/Hair and makeup: Abhijit Paul assisted by Sananda Mondal Laha/Styling: Poulami Gupta/Saris: Tatwamm and Pallavi Poddar/Jewellery: Nemichand Bamalwa Jewellers (Salt Lake) /Location courtesy: Hyatt Regency, Kolkata/Food partner: Saptapadi