Saturday, April 6, 2013

Book Review: The Style Diary of a Bollywood Diva by Kareena Kapoor, Rochelle Pinto

Title: The Style Diary of a Bollywood Diva
Author: Kareena Kapoor with Rochelle Pinto
Publisher: Shobhaa De Books (Penguin India)
Pages: 288
Price: Rs 699
Genre: Non Fiction / Style / Fashion / Bollywood
Rating: 7/10
Format: Paperback (Royal)

Kareena Kapoor, though not really a trend-setter, is almost always well-dressed. I noticed her experimental and interesting styling during the promotions of ‘Heroine’. Earlier, her Manish Malhotra dresses and saris were fashionable but they never stood out. To her credit, she did spark media frenzy for Size Zero because it was too drastic and shocking, considering she was chubby earlier.

The book has high production value (like a coffee table book) with lots of glossy pictures, although I am not such a huge fan of the cover page image of the lady (it looks ghostly/ pallid and not diva-esque). The font size on the back cover is also too big. But the book makes up with lots of gorgeous pictures – old and new, published and unpublished, glamorous and simple. The book also has a lot of doodled drawings which render the feel of a diary. The pages are in shades of pink.

The book has Kareena’s distinct voice and personality – unapologetic, undiplomatic and straightforward. It reminds so much of that line from Jab We Met, which translates to – “I am my biggest fan” and Kareena Kapoor is! It comes out very clearly in this book as well as in all her interviews. She has always been extremely confident, even as a newcomer. The book is chatty, conversational and confiding.

When I first read about this book, I was curious because it was something new. I don’t remember any other Bollywood actress writing about her style secrets. Which girl wouldn't want to know the style secrets of a Bollywood heroine who lives a life of glamour and style, and who is spoilt for choices?

I would say I have mixed views about this book, and whenever I feel that way, I jot down ‘what worked for me’ and ‘what did not’, to be fair to the book and to give an indication to the potential readers on what to expect.

> Tonnes of fabulous pictures – beautiful, glamorous and many from personal collection
> Neatly organized into 4 sections:
  1. Body Basics – Growing up years, Size Zero, diet plan, workouts, Yoga asanas, exercising while you travel, food, etc. 
  2. Fashion Fabulous – her favourite looks from films and how to get them, personal favourites / style, fashion tips, different kinds of clothing, favourite brands and shopping destinations
  3. Beauty Truths – Hair care / skin care / personal beauty tips and tricks, everyday maintenance and grooming, make up, understanding your best profile to look good in pictures 
  4. Man Power – snippets from her love life, making your relationship work, dressing and grooming your man and gifting right to your love
> Snippets from personal life like how she plans her travel, her favourites, her growing up years, her relationships, creating looks for her films, preparing for big events, etc. 

> Repetitiveness, like her favourite destination is Gstaad, she is a winter person, blessed with good skin and so on and so forth
> Exaggeration about sparking trends on how her looks from movies and public events were copied soon after. As far as I am aware, Kareena can take credit for Size zero frenzy and Long kurta with Patiala from the movie Jab We Met (which also was Imtiaz’s idea)
> Digressions from the book’s main topic like planning your wedding (!); detailed information on various types of everything – inner wear, Indian dresses, gowns, shoes, bags; dressing for office (!). 
> A lot of common style and fashion tips 
> Dilution of the main focus of the book : Trying to tell us the behind-the-scene story on Kareena Kapoor’s styling, and her tricks and tips; and also trying to be a fashion guide to a normal girl. The book should have focused on Kareena’s style and her favourites, and not attempt to bring out her ‘normal girl’ side, because there are no parallels between her lifestyle and a normal young girl’s. We cannot buy those brands or designer wears (forget about custom-made) neither can we shop on Net-a-Porter.

Frankly, I don’t know what I was expecting from this book because largely a star is as stylish as her stylist (her stylist, by the way, is Tanya Ghavri).

This book will certainly appeal to Kareena Kapoor's fans. The fashion and style enthusiasts may only end up pointing out the abundance of common information and tips in the book. 

All these fashion gyaan surely made me curious about fashion. I am not too much into fashion and latest trends but surprisingly I follow some fashion blogs, so of late I have started distinguishing designers and new trends. So, yes, this book made me excited about fashion because she is around my age. And celebrity or not, if you don’t experiment now then when? 

Here's an excerpt from the book.

Review Book courtesy: Penguin India
Image source: Amazon


  1. Never been her fan so this books doesn't matter to me!!! But I liked the way u have dissected the book :D

    1. Thank you Smita. It is really like a good coffee table book with lots of glossy pictures but the price is a little steep.
      By the way, I have added 2 more pages to the blog. Will look forward to your feedback.
      Have fun :D

  2. Have read some rave reviews of this book! Will definitely check it out at a bookstore. No, I wont buy it, though! :P

    1. Go on, check it out. May be you will change your mind and buy it :-)
      [Note: I have removed the word verification thing]

  3. Thanks for removing work verification. It was so much trouble..hope you have moderation on...

    Never knew Kareena has ventured into writing a book..Yea..would love to have a look at those pics, but will not buy..( may change my mind later ..a few years later)

    1. I did not realise that word verification was such a nuisance! Thanks to Shilpa for pointing that out.
      It is a nice read if you are into celebrity fashion or anything bollywood, which I am into :-)
      Do have a look. Gorgeous pictures!

  4. I admire her style and her personality. I think this type of book is just meant for people like me :)

    1. Go, grab it :-) I just thought price was a steep for the value. But a fan will have a different view of course!

  5. Replies
    1. If it has anything to do with my review, I am thrilled :-)

  6. The style queen also gives the readers an inside story of her shooting for the Grazia’s third anniversary issue cover in 2011 and the learning she got from it. The white Dolce and Gabbana dress which finally wound up on the cover, didn’t work for her initially.