Katy Perry in Manish Arora

Posted on April 05, 2012

Hi Katy. Why so pensive?


Katy Perry attends Indian Premier League (IPL) opening ceremony in Chennai in a Manish Arora dress paired with Charlotte Olympia sandals.

Are you having a moment of fashion pre-regret; that horrible moment just before you walk into a room when you realize your outfit isn’t working the way you wanted it to? Did you just catch a side-view of yourself reflected somewhere unexpected and momentarily thought, “Did the mirror in my hotel room actually lie to me?”

Charlotte Olympia Wire Heel Platform Sandals

Is it the shoes? Are you regretting them? Or the bindi? Or the dress itself? Because we’re here to tell you, this is all working for us. It’s fun and colorful, with just a touch of the exotic to it. And while we didn’t love the shoes before we saw the heel, once we got a glimpse of the whole picture we decided they were pretty perfect for the look. So buck up, KP! Don’t let the little voice in your head tell you you’re not the prettiest girl in the room!



Now about that hair…

[Photo Credit: Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images, charlotteolympia.com]

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  • Judy_J

    I really hate that skinny black belt on that dress.  Not crazy about the puffy shoulders, either.  But those shoes are great!

    • amywinns

      agree on the belt – totally interrupts the image. and although i don’t like the shoulder shape generally, it’s an interesting proportion for this dress.

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  • sarahofalessergod

    Cultural appropriation seems to be the new black.

    • Laura Rizzo

      It always has been. But she makes it seem celebratory, at least.

      • Lochery

         I think the bindi and whatever that thing is on her hand is a little much, but otherwise, I think it works.

        • Cathy S

           I kind of like the thing on her hand, but the bindi has to go. I’m not sure about the puffy sleeves, but the rest is nice.

        • Sobaika Mirza

          It’s called a Haath Phool, literally means flower hand.

    •  Boy, you said it!

    • leo ridela

      the bindi has become as much a fashion statement as a cultural symbol, even in india. gwen stefani was even known for it in the 90s. so i dont really mind it. plus she is in chennai for the indian premier league, so their is context to it.

  • I normally loathe platform heels, but these look fantastic!

    • JosephLamour

      I love those heels. And you know what, I like these strange hair colors on performers, the Perry blue, the Osbourne lavender and the Rihanna red, but only when it was straight or wavy and not Ronald McDonald-y. 

  • cmb92191

    I think she looks beautiful.

  • LOVE!

  • newtonGOTbeaned

    Adorable! And she looks less bummed than she has been lately!

  • MilaXX

    I like it and would risk injury to wear those shoes.

  • Only on her would this all come together. Love it!

  • Katy Perry takes the best chances with her clothing. Too many boring choices on the red carpet and elsewhere.

  • The fit at the shoulder line is kinda wonky and crumpled. plus, the lining if one of the sleeves is rolling out into view.  Otherwise I love the dress. its interesting, fresh, and perfect for her persona.  The shoes?  Maybe its jsut that strange twisted angle of the shot, but they make her feet look like there is Something Terribly Wrong going on down there.

    • kimmeister

      Yeah, the shoulders are bugging me too. I think the only way to make shoulders like that work in real life would be to stuff them with something to keep their structure.

      •  Looking at the second shot down, you can see that just under the bust, the snap, or whatever, that keeps it shut, is pulling horribly.  The same is true at the overlapping piece at the neckline.  The top is actually an inch, to an inch and a half, too small through the chest, and that’s why its doing that so obviously.  But for a borrowed frock, the amount of alteration required to make it fit properly, was likely more than they cared to invest, or had time for.

        • kimmeister

          I noticed that too.  But, she’s naturally busty AND slim at the same time, so I won’t cry any rivers for her if something occasionally doesn’t fit right because of that!

          •  It is, quite obviously from the number of things of this sort that we see here, a constant issue with the whole borrowed clothes thing.  they can’t do TOO much to them, since they have to get returned.  In this case, I would have tried leaving the top snap undone and using a discretely positioned safety pin inside that overlap to help the fit issue.

  • RzYoung

    I love this too, surprisingly although she’s just about getting on my last nerve. Love that bracelet, ring, glove thingy

  • At least the dress goes with the hair.  Dressing with blue hair sucks, I say this from experience. 

  • As a typical non-fan of overly designed shoes, I have to say that those are amazing!

    SIDENOTE:  Whenever you guys do a post about Katy Perry and refers to her as Katy, this Katy with a y just pretends that you’re talking to me…and squees on the inside.

  • Love the look, even the blue hair. It gives her an almost mystic aura and works very well with the colors of that gorgeous dress.

  • She is like fake gorgeous. Flawless.

  • quiltrx

    I don’t like the thick-looking crossover piece on the bodice, but otherwise I love the dress.  And those shoes are TO DIE.  She looks great.

  • Jennifer Hejtmánková

    The belt cuts through the image on the dress….should have left well enough alone, and ditched the hand thing…otherwise she looks great!

  • butterflysunita

    I do like that she’s wearing an Indian designer.

  • ballerinawithagun

    Hate the weird cap sleeves and is that a shoulder pad escaping from the bottom?

  • I don’t mind that she has blue hair. If anyone can work it, she can! The problem is the up-keep. It always looks a bit weird because of the roots and how it starts to turn green very quickly. Stick to blue wigs!

    • RebeccaKW

       I don’t hate the color either.  It’s what she’s doing with it.  The roots are always grown out and it’s always either limp or done up in some weird complicated way.  I agree-wigs!

  • Shalini Trivedi

    the “thing on her hand” is called a hathphool – literally means hand flower.

  • indigospade

    Personally  I love the blue hair on her. I love odd hair colors and wish they could be natural too because they’re so fun. And she definitely rocks the hair color and it’s always one of the most beautiful shade of blue besides aqua.

  • Only Katy could pull this off.  I do wished she’d move on from the blue hair.  

  • guest2visits

    I really don’t know how she did it; inspite of roots, strange shoulders, and shoes that she seems to be sliding out of; —
    she looks really good!  Still, I wish I could see what Katy would look like in ‘serious’ apparel for once. Like one of
    those Valentino or Dior gowns previously listed. OMG; she’d probably wear them with neon-blue sneakers!

  • shopgirl716

    Love it all!  Wish I could wear it.  I would  make quite a splash at the grocery store.

  • DominoEstella

    I wish the shoes actually fit her.  They look terrible in a size too big for her.  

  • PeaceBang

    I was on board to love the whole thing (except the terrible hair) until I saw the bindi. Then I went cold. Because sorry, honey, you represent the colonial power that oppressed India and that’s not cute, it’s ignorant and offensive. Back off of the bindi. 

    •  …yes. Admittedly, the bindi is a turnoff to me.

    • sweetestsith

      I was on board with everything (including the terrible hair – it looks much much much better than usual imho), until I saw the bindi. That took it about three steps too far. Points off for the oversized shoes too.

      Overall I still really like it, but those two things are driving me nuts!

    • Yeah, I really like everything else, but the bindi is offensive. Without it, I’d love this.

    • bklyngrrl

       She’s American and therefore does not represent the colonial power that oppressed India.  That would be Great Britain.

    • indigospade

       about as offensive as a Hindu wearing a cross necklace

    • MissAnnieRN

      I have a sincere question:  Why is it offensive for a white person to wear a bindi?  I am a white woman.  Do I represent my white ancestors who enslaved black people in America?  Do I represent the white settlers who massacred Native Americans?  Does this mean I am not allowed to appropriate traditions in black or NA cultures?  

      I am not Indian, so I don’t have any personal opinions on this topic.  But it seems rather unfair to continue to blame modern white people for the sins of their ancestors, no?

      • Fay Dearing

        Cultural appropriation is a very complicated issue, one that I’d encourage everyone to find out more about. Basically, the root of the issue stems from how cultures who have been/still are marginalized don’t want their cultural symbols to be ‘stolen’ by mainstream white culture.

        For example, I’m friends with a number of Native Americans who have expressed to me how much they hate white people having dream catchers. To them, it’s an appropriation of a spiritual and cultural symbol, one that white people tried to stamp out of Native Americans when we tried to westernize them. So while they don’t blame me for being part of the white majority group that subjected the Native Americans (we’re really close friends) they were quite bothered when they saw the dream catcher in my room. It bothers them because they are reminded of a time in their cultural history when they would have been punished for following the belief system that contained dream catchers, and here one is hanging in a white girl’s bedroom when she doesn’t even truly know the significance of it.

        To complicate matters further, one of my other friends told me during the same discussion that he wasn’t bothered by the dream catcher at all and that I should keep it. Both were active members of the tribe. So for cultural appropriation issues, where one person may not be bothered, another may be bothered a great deal. I should also mention that while it has never come up, the girl who was bothered by my dream catcher would likely have been bothered by even if I wasn’t white. If I was black she would likely be just as bothered since I still wouldn’t be a member of the cultural group that created dream catchers. To make things even more complicated, if I was Native, but part of a Pacific or Alaskan tribe that didn’t have dream catchers (or at least I don’t think they did, I may be wrong) she might still be bothered because dream catchers are closely associated with only some, not all, Indian nations.

        For the bindi issue, even though Katy Perry isn’t English, she’s still part of the white majority. White majority culture subjected India to colonial rule for a long time and a lot of Indian symbols have been taken out of context and applied to mainstream culture while removing the significant bits of Indian culture. (At this moment I’m mostly thinking of Yoga which has had nearly all of its traditional spiritual component removed in order to make it an acceptable exercise program to western audiences.) The rules of who could wear a bindi and when and how are ingrained in India’s cultural history and Katy Perry using it as a fashion choice strips the cultural meaning from it and changes it. I’m not going to say that this is a good or bad thing, just that some Indians could become understandably upset by seeing their cultural history taken out of context. Others, like Padma (who commented below me) aren’t upset. It’s a personal thing and no side is ‘right’ in the issue.

        Overall, it is my belief that white mainstream culture should try to leave cultural symbols to their appropriate cultures. (EX. American Apparel shouldn’t create and label products as Navajo when they’re just stealing the Navajo art style and forgetting all the symbolization that is in Navajo art.) Just about every culture that isn’t the mainstream struggles with this issue even if it isn’t based on racial lines. (Gay culture is currently struggling with this issue.) So for Katy Perry she should leave the culturally significant bindi at the door, and for me the dream catcher has come down from my ceiling. It’s my view that it’s just the respectful thing to do.

        As I said earlier, this is a very complicated issue and this post only really begins to graze the surface. There’s a lot of debate on cultural appropriation, some of which is very heated, and it dives into a lot more issues than just ‘white people shouldn’t be allowed to do X because of Y.’ If anyone is interested, I’d highly recommend taking the time to find out more. Cultural appropriation is an ongoing issue that could only benefit from more attention and opinions being expressed! Just remember that even people of the same cultural group may have vastly different opinions and keep an open mind! If nothing else you’ll learn a ton on differing cultures and beliefs which can never be a bad thing!

    • padma sallah

      Just thought I’d offer my opinion. I’m an Indian, and the bindi wearing doesn’t bother me. Heck, Madonna also went through as phase I think, as did Gwen Stefani. Anyone can wear a bindi. As far as I know, nobody would jump on them for that. Because as much as the bindi serves as a cultural indicator, it’s also a cosmetic decoration worn by A LOT of people.

      And pardon me if I’m wrong but to the best my knowledge, Katy Perry is American and as far as I can remember from History lessons, America had next to no part with India’s oppression. It was mostly European, specifically British.  

      • mountainFashionista

         As a white American woman, I’ve always assumed that bindis were nothing more than another type of jewelry.  Yes, they’re specifically subcontinental (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh), but are they also somehow connected with caste/class, religion, or some other cultural or political signifier that non-Indians should be especially sensitive to?

        I understand Fay D’s point (above) about dream catchers, since they’re religious symbols that have been appropriated as decoration, but I always thought that bindis were simply decorative to begin with.  As someone who used to wear bindis in college 20 years ago (given to me from an Indian friend), I’m genuinely curious. 

        The ones my friend brought to me were cheap & mass-manufactured, about 12-15 of them stuck with a bit of post-it glue onto a card wrapped in cellophane, with a label that read, “Confidence Bindis.”  They were cool, and I wore them all the time, back in the day!  I actually stopped when Gwen S. became popular because they were so rarely seen on white girls in the US, I didn’t want people thinking I was copying her.

        • padma sallah

          They used be. As far as I know (and I’ll admit, there’s quite a lot of stuff I’m not aware of about my own culture, shameful it is but I’m learning) in India, earlier, bindis were worn primarily by only Hindu woman. It represents quite a few things. However nowadays things are quite different. 

          I’m a practicing Hindu but I hardly wear the bindi, except on religious festivals and days my mother would like me too. I also want to mention that the days I dress traditionally, I put on a bindi because it is a form of decoration too. It is not that I mean disrespect to it but it’s just that it’s not such a focal part of being who I am or defining who I am.  

          But I do have other friends, Christians and Muslims respectively who also wear bindis. All the time. But it dosen’t change who they are or their faith either. They wear it for the decorative aspect of it.

          So to answer your question, bindis are not connected by class/caste, but rather used to be a religious thing ( I grew up being told that) and are now mostly decorative. Nothing that will set off any political or cultural ramifications.

          Hope I’ve explained myself properly. 🙂 

          • mountainFashionista

             Yes, thanks very much!

    • I completely disagree – she’s wearing it in a respectful way. And in India it’s become a fashion statement as much as anything else – why shouldn’t Indians have the opportunity to export our fashion to outsiders? 

  • mhleta

    I love that she makes bold choices, that she’s fashion fast-forward and experimental without looking like the grand marshall in the Mummers Parade *coughGagacough*. KP always strikes the right balance between fun and elegant–elefunegant. HOWEVER, if I were Queen, I would take a way points because the shoes look a bit too big, and I would turn the dress into a pencil skirt and put her in a solid, sleeveless sky-blue silk top with some sort of frippery around the collar and then I would give her a big MUAH on the forehead and switch around the place cards so she was sitting next to me. And I would also order her to stop barking like a seal in her songs. 

  • Those are pretty amazing shoes.

  • See? This is the best she’s looked in ages! 🙂 You can do it, Katy! Now do it more often!

  • uprightcitizen

    Love the fabric, and the idea. Love the shoes. The shoulders are a little odd, but they cut a nice silhouette from a distance. But the fact that the lining of one sleeve is showing is really unforgivable in a dress that costs as much as that undoubtedly does. If you tried on a $50 dress at Marshall’s and the sleeve lining was hanging out like that, would you buy it?

  • marilyn

    The freakshow is back.

  • formerlyAnon

    I’d give this a strong B+. Maybe even A-.

    I have become fond of the blue hair. Sometimes I even think it works. Overall, it is just clunky enough that it is strangely endearing, and for her persona it never looks flat out Wrong and Awful. But that’s just me.

    The bindi is too much IMO, but at least it is easily removable, unlike the dreadful White Boy Dreads. There is something just a bit too stiff and large about the shoulders for me. But not enough to ruin the dress, which I think is very pretty. I am not sure about the belt. I *think* it detracts rather than adds something. Like the shoes a lot.

    •  The belt causes the stiff, sequin-y material to bunch and look like a spare tire. Not good.

  • rose88

    Mixed feelings on this look.  I love the pattern, the blue hair, the wild jewlery and the platform shoes, she makes it work on her.  But the dress is one size too small, which is especially unflattering with all the colors going on, and the shoes are at least one size to big.  I’d give it a WERQ if everything fit well.

  • DeborahLipp

    I wish her hands weren’t blocking the view of that really gorgeous and interesting image print.

    • kimmeister

      I can’t really tell what it is, I just know it’s colorful and fun!

  • Sartorial_She

    Those shoes are nothing short of hideous.They also fit like ass.

  • Call me Bee

    Nope.  Sorry–she’s never the prettiest girl in the room.  Listen to you inner voice, Katy and go home. 
    (Man I am crabby today…)

  • granddelusion

    Why do her shoes look different from the still? I’m not crazy about them to begin with, but Perry’s look awkward and architecturally unsound. Also hate the sleeves, but other than that, I think the dress looks great.

    • granddelusion

      Even though it doesn’t seem to fit. A bit too snug.

    • kimmeister

      “Architecturally unsound” is such a perfect phrase to describe some shoes!  (Like the heel-less ones that some celebs have been sporting lately.)  I might have to borrow that phrase . . .

  • leave_Blake_alone

    Hair is questionable (still) and I think the belt is kind of aging and not good, but I still like the dress and LOVE the shoes.

  • Thathoodwink

    Manish indeed. More like mannish…those shoulder treatments make her look like a linebacker. Everything else about the dress is very nice.  I love those shoes.

  • TheOriginalLulu

    Not my favorite look of hers, I gotta say. I wouldn’t actually mind the dress if it didn’t have those awful shoulders.

  • I love this kind of madness on an rc, but somebody needs to put a retaining row in that right sleeve!

  • I love those shoes. 

  • crash1212

    Those shoes are $2,395. I love them anyway. Also like the dress – might love it if the shoulder umbrellas weren’t so big and stiff looking.

  • piecesofconfetti

    Love this look.

  • deathandthestrawberry

    I love the dress. I think she may be too busty for it though. It’s looking a little heavy and ill-fitting on top.

  • Not crazy about the dress – it’s the shape around the shoulders and neckline.  Those shoes are serious fun though – very Katy Perry, whimsical, unusual, with an edge of “I’m CEO, bitch.”

  • BeeBeauNYC

    I don’t mind it, but Katy, please please please kill the blue hair. 

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    I like the look, especially the shoes, but given the Indian influences (the place she got married) and the fact that she is holding her ring finger in one of these pictures I would guess that divorce is on her mind. SadBindi.

  • So over her stupid blue hair.

  • Oh, this is fabulous–it totally suits her.

    …I might cut a bitch for those shoes…

  • plinkiedoodle

    It’s time to move on.  The hair.  So over it. 

  • Kirsten Henry

    This is really tacky to wear to the IPL opening

    • reebism


    • padma sallah

      Haha. Actually in terms of everything that would be happening there right now, she’s very tastefully dressed.

  • sid123

    shoulder pads fit for a game of rugby.  

  • Those shoes are spectacular.

    I almost wanted to declare the bindi too much, but with the overall look? Hell, it’s Katy Perry and she’s making it work.  I do wish the belt gave her just a bit more breathing room, though.

  • Those cap sleeves are doing weird things to her upper arms.  It looks like her shoulders are protruding from one of those foam character costumes. 

  • ThaliaMenninger

    The dress is awfully top-heavy. The padded sleeves (or whatever they are) and the big top over the skinny skirt are not pleasing to my eye.

  • Sophie Collier

    The slave bracelet thingie looks dumb, but I’m okay with the dress and shoes.  Not sure if the bindi is a no-no or not.  Thought the blue hair was gone finally.  Oh well.   Maybe this is an old photo.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    i could live w/o the appropriated bindi & the sleeves. nobody needs shoulders like those, no female body anyway.
    love the shoes but not when shot at that angle. charlotte olympia just makes the bestest bestest shoes period.

  • If it weren’t for the hair, I’dl be happy as a clam. Seriously, this might be the first time in a long time that I like what she is wearing. Love those shoes.

  • spooki C

    Ew to everything. Usually I kinda like what she wears even though I can’t stand her. Also, if you’re going to dye your hair MIND YOUR ROOTS!

  • I love the dress, but I think it would look even better sleeveless, I’d lose the belt too, but over all just right for Katy.  Love the filigree heel shoes!

  • Lisa

    See, I love this.  I really do – it’s just so *her*!  And it’s really great on her.

  • Susan Walker

    I am a woman who misses shoulder pads, but those padded cap sleeves are a very bad idea.  In the first photo they are fighting with her perfectly marvelous bust.

  • P M

    Regarding her expression: maybe it’s the heat in Madras (I was born there, and it was Madras, NOT Chennai, dammit). Or maybe she can’t wear a shorter hem. Or maybe it’s the godawful traffic and noise (no, really). 

  • PantherontheRunway

    I actually really hate the dress! I’m not sure if it’s her bring the dress the down, or the dress isn’t that great to me, but something about her in it isn’t working well. Honestly I think its her skin tone in the dress, it looks weird
    The bindi and the shoes are to die though!WANT!

  • Louise Bryan

    This just looks stiff and weird to me.  I do not like the shoes, either.  It’s too too.

  • Susan Crawford

    I love Manish! I love the fantasy and color and detail of his clothing. I love those cra-zee shoes, too. But I think I am officially over Katy and her blue hair. On another person, this whole look would have had a fabulous, fresh, vibe, but Katy looks as though she is really trying to bring it, and not quite making it. Ditch that blue hair and the matching bindi, grrrl.

  • ccm800

    Bag the belt- YUCK! 

  • JimMcC

    Dear Katy Perry,



  • bitterk

    Ridiculous from blue head to gold toe

  • judybrowni

    As dear Saint Tim of McGunn would say, “That’s a lotta look.”

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    I wish she’s put her hair back to a normal color.  

  • TieDye64

    This just looks like she’s trying way too hard. The shoes are fun.

  • ItGirlTori

    If her skin were blue she could have called herself Krishna! Its tacky- fantastic in the New Agey Western vistor to India sort of way. Love it. Totally doesn’t fit in the context, but for who Katy Perry is, this is perfect. Glam New Age in context. Yep. She did it. Can’t call her a dirty hippy. Dumb American yes, but not dirty hippy.

  • I hate it. This is everything I hate about KP’s style in one look: trying to look cute and colorful with an edge of fashion, but ending up looking like a blind, mis-matched and mis-proportioned mess.

  • I love it – her hair also looks great. As an Indian, I especially love that she’s wearing an Indian designer. I know some people are going to cry cultural appropriation, but I think what she’s wearing is fantastic. And honestly, if this is cultural appropriation, I suppose it never becomes appropriate for a non-Indian person – or maybe a non-POC – to wear an Indian designer. I find that very problematic.

  • Larkin21

    Those shoes only look good at an eye-level, profile view. They don’t look good looking down at them. You know, how you generally look at shoes … especially when someone is wearing them. Like them in theory but that’s it. The dress is pretty and is very flattering on her.