picture from BollyWHAT? (slightly cropped by me)
Sunny’s post, a few months ago, about the James Bond film Octupussy, got me thinking about the appearance of sarees in western films. In particular I seem to recall that sarees appeared quite often in films during the mid to late sixties. These appearances were mostly in the background (I suspect as a way of giving a scene an ‘international’ feel, airports, hotel foyers etc.) but not here.
This is a still from ‘The Pink Panther’, made in 1963. It stars Peter Sellers (in the middle with his back to us) and Claudia Cardinale as Princess Dahla. (Where she is a princess of is neatly side stepped in the film.) As much of the film is set in a ski resort the princess mostly wears warm western clothes but towards the end the action moves to Paris and Miss Cardinales wardrobe becomes more interesting. Only one saree I’m afraid but this striking pale pink number is reserved for a pivotal scene in the film.
I love the retro forties glamour in the way that this picture is posed and processed. The lady on the staircase is Scarlet Roman, a Mexican student currently studying in China. There she met her Sri Lankan boyfriend and this picture, and the two below the fold (click on the pictures to go to their respective Flickr pages), were taken on a trip to Sri Lanka with him. While there she admits to becoming a real sari fan, as these pictures demonstrate. So hopefully we may see some more of her saree pictures in Women in Sarees.
My thanks to Scarlet for letting me post her pictures here.
picture from hindustantimes.com
Hollywood actress and former model, Halle Berry in a rich, dark red saree that, I think, really suits her colouring. It’s a shame we can’t get a clearer view but this is from the briefest of clips (less than a second) in a trailer for the film ‘Cloud Atlas’. The film, due to be released in October, is based on the novel of the same name by David Mitchell. It’s a complex tale consisting of six interlocking love stories ranging in time from the 1850s to the distant future.
This picture does seem to have caused a little flurry in the Indian press but I believe that, considering how pacey the film will have to be to do justice to the book, this may end up being as much of the saree that we see!
Click on the picture to see the ‘Cloud Atlas’ trailer. I warn you, if you blink at the wrong time, you’ll miss the saree!
This isn’t a genuine wedding photo, it’s part of a publicity still for the BBC’s 1996 adaptation of Iain Banks’ novel The Crow Road. The wedding is a pivotal moment in the story but, curiously, the fact that the bride is wearing a saree goes entirely unexplained. This saree is completely detached from Indian culture. Neither the bride, groom or, indeed, any of the wedding guests have any Indian connections and the wedding takes place in the Western Isles of Scotland. So why does Verity Walker (played by Danish actress Simone Bendix) wear this rather lovely white and gold saree for her wedding rather than the more traditional western wedding dress? My guess is that it’s designed to show Verity as a worldly and cosmopolitan woman but, as a saree fan, my guess could be a little bit biased. Although, if the saree is written in the book, then the explanation may be more complex.
This is Anja Ploetz, a Paris based photographers’ agent in the fashion industry. In a recent interview in the New York Times (which you can read here), she talks about her love of sarees and how, for the past two years, she has only worn Indian dress.
To me this seems like nothing more than a fairly light interview accompanied by a rather nice picture but take a look at the comments of the NYT readers! Do we find this article as controversial as they do?
Hi, my name is Trevor. I’ve been commenting here for a year or two now. I’ve also suggested some ideas for the blog to Sunny. Perhaps because of this he recently asked if I’d like to become a contributor. I leapt at the chance! So here I am.
A little bit about me. I’m a white, male, fifty-something from the UK. I live in Milton Keynes and work in London. I have no connection with India or the fashion industry, I just happen to love seeing women in sarees. So much so that I created a Flickr group called ‘Women in Sarees‘ which now has over 800 gorgeous images and nearly 200 members. (Some of the more interesting pictures from there, may pop up here, particularly if there’s a story behind them.) You may also find me posting a lot of firangi images (and not just on Fridays either) because I do feel very strongly that any woman, regardless of race or colour, can look lovely in a saree.