Birthday love: When Deepika rocked the desi look

Amrita Tanna

Senior Editor


Deepika Padukone is all set to make her mark in Hollywood with the upcoming ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ this month. However, some of the international audience will not be used to seeing Padukone in her desi avatar and some of the looks that have become somewhat iconic for her in Bollywood. As Padukone celebrates her birthday on 5th January, is looking back at traditional looks of Padukone’s that she perfected.

‘Om Shanti Om’ (2007)

Deepika Padukone Om Shanti Om

Padukone made her debut in Farah Khan directed ‘Om Shanti Om’ with Shah Rukh Khan. She was known as the model turned actress from that point and it was somewhat inevitable that she would look beautiful on screen. The film spans across two eras due to the story being about reincarnation but it was Padukone’s look as 70s heroine Shanti Priya that really made its mark. Whether it be her pink dress when her dupatta gets tangled to Khan’s bracelet or her gorgeous black dress in the climax scene, she absolutely did justice to the attire.

‘Break Ke Baad’ (2010)

Deepika Padukone
Deepika Padukone

Although ‘Break Ke Baad’ didn’t exactly make a huge impact with the audiences or at the box office, Padukone definitely looked every inch the desi girl when she was in the wedding scenes of the film. Even though the wedding wasn’t hers, she was seen mischievously dancing in a very desi look, with an up hair do, giving attention to the details of her outfit.

‘Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey’ (2010)


In what was Padukone’s first out-and-out desi role, she absolutely nailed the simple girl look to a tee. In ‘Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey’, Padukone played activist Kalpana Datta in a story about a revolution. Her character is seen taking on the attire of a sweeper girl in order to gather information and Padukone’s de-glam look worked well for the film even if it didn’t manage to get the audience’s raving about it.

‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ (2013)

Deepika Padukone YJHD

Who can forget the nerdy Naina Talwar of ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’! Although her geeky look ruled the first half of the film, it’s Naina the doctor which we want to focus on. Her blue saree from ‘Badtameez Dil’ definitely created waves but even her simple desi look when Padukone’s character is seen sight-seeing with Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor) or even when she’s getting her mehndi done and Bunny steals her phone… or even her sexy red suit for ‘Dilliwaali Girlfriend’ were all particularly effective. And Padukone seems to look good in them all.

‘Chennai Express’ (2013)

Deepika Padukone

It was fully traditional for Padukone in Rohit Shetty’s ‘Chennai Express’ as she played the character of a Tamil woman called Meena. She was not only praised for her diction and her accent throughout the movie but also for her costumes which were traditional throughout. Her sarees and saree suits were colourful, breezy and gave Padukone a fresh look. They were in line also with conventional colourful looks often associated to the Tamil culture and suited the actress well.

‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela’ (2013)

Deepika Padukone
Deepika Padukone

Padukone’s first film with Sanjay Leela Bhansali gave the expectations of grandeur as expected. Her costumes for ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela’ in which she essentially played Juliet were nothing short of stunning. Bhansali is known for the way his visual palette appears on screen and he leaves no stone unturned to ensure each scene is beautiful. Padukone’s lehenga looks throughout were iconic, whether that be in any of the songs or in the popular scenes.

‘Happy New Year’ (2014)

Deepika Padukone in 'Happy New Year'
Deepika Padukone in ‘Happy New Year’

The outfits that particularly stand out in ‘Happy New Year’ are the ones Padukone was seen in during the song ‘Lovely’. She looked sexy, svelte and beautiful all in one frame. Padukone pulls off simple outfits as well as dressy ones with the same ease and there is no better example of a sparkly one like the ones she wore for this song, sung by Kanika Kapoor.

‘Piku’ (2015)

Deepika Padukone Piku 2

Although in ‘Piku’, Padukone’s outfits were mostly every day wear, she manages to make her glam self look like an ordinary working daughter very convincingly. Shoojit Sircar also ensured that she was seen in comfortable and believable clothing with minimal make-up which made absolute sense to the narrative. Padukone was able to wear work attire along with loungewear throughout the movie and it complimented the simpleness of the film which had its focus on relationships.

‘Bajirao Mastani’ (2015)

Deepika Padukone 2 - Bajirao Mastani

Once again, Padukone was seen under the eye of Bhansali in this tragic love triangle. As Mastani, Bhansali’s requirement was fulfilled by Anju Modi as designer who delivered stunning costumes for Padukone. Her gold layered dress of ‘Deewani Mastani’ particularly stands out in memory as does her maroon saree in ‘Pinga’. Throughout the film, she’s seen in grand traditional wear which sometimes looks lighter than it is. This is perhaps the beauty of Sanjay Leela Bhansali. would like to wish Deepika Padukone a very happy 31st birthday.