saree art

Vintage Traditional vs. Trendy Costumes

Vintage Traditional vs. Trendy Costumes    vintage sarees saree history saree art miscelleneous

These promotional postcards (the Modern Glass House in Bombay) from around the 1930s, are a nicely contrasting pair:  One girl is very simple and soft, outdoors with floral elements, while the other is trendy, educated and bejewelled.  The saree colours are also completely different.

The print shop was a calendar company, so these are likely smaller version of current pin-up girls.  Were I younger, slimmer and living back then, I’d choose the green and blue outfit, as it would suit my style, personality and colouring far better than the sloe-eyed garden sylph in peach.  I love peach and apricot tones, but look dreadful in them.

And I must admit that I also love rainy days, so the urban lady’s red and blue umbrella-as-accessory just tickles me!

 

Vintage Traditional vs. Trendy Costumes    vintage sarees saree history saree art miscelleneous

Ruth St. Denis, the ‘dancing’ goddess in saree

Ruth Saint Denis (1879 – 1968) embodied many goddess in her time as a dancer, including Radha, Quan Yin, Ishtar, and Isis, just to name a few. Among many photographs of her posing in sarees, this particularly one stood out because of the saree blouse. All those “beads” sewn on her blouse, could they be pearls?? 

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Tamil pulp fiction sarees

Tamil pulp fiction sarees    saree art miscelleneous

Born into a Tamil family, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I can speak in three languages, but I can only read and write in two – unfortunately Tamil is not one of them. 

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Happy Independence Day Obi

Happy Independence Day Obi    vintage sarees saree art miscelleneous

Totally fun item today to help celebrate:  A Japanese obi to wear with your sar… uh, your kimono!  Among the interesting foreign people and art to show up on similar Nagoya obis are Indian women and picturesque groups that include men and elephants, and all things Egyptian.  Hieroglyphic characters do look especially nice.

This obi has a bold look, primary colours on a rich, brick fabric that appears hand woven. The photo above shows the folded knot for the back of the obi.   And of course, the design for the front shows an Indian lady with the requisite fashion accessory – a large water pot.

Happy Independence Day Obi    vintage sarees saree art miscelleneous

Totally Classic Saree Sunday

Totally Classic Saree Sunday    vintage sarees saree history saree art

There are very few fashionable garments that are as enduring as the saree.  It is a true classic – virtually the same today as it was a century ago, or even five hundred years into the past.  This detail from a painting shows the wives of wealthy merchants in Cambay (now Gujarat), looking a lot like the cute movie actresses with pottery jars that I’ve posted here before.  It has a sweet folk-art look, and clearly shows the ladies in hand-woven sarees, contrasting cholis with elbow-length sleeves, stacked bangles and large earrings.

What’s so amazing is that this is from just over 500 years ago!  The artist/explorer was Ludovico De Varthema, an Italian who was one of the earliest visitors to India to make an illustrated study of his journey along the coasts.  His book, published in Rome in 1510, was also the first best-selling travelogue in history.  I love the women’s faces and dainty toes, their neatly draped pallus, and the flowers that look kind of like iris.

 

 

 

 

More Wordless Wednesdays: R. Ravi-Varma Meets L. Alma-Tadema?

 More Wordless Wednesdays:  R. Ravi Varma Meets L. Alma Tadema?    wordless wed vintage sarees saree history saree art

More Wordless Wednesdays:  R. Ravi Varma Meets L. Alma Tadema?    wordless wed vintage sarees saree history saree art