Luscious Benares Saree on a Vintage Sunday

Luscious Benares Saree on a Vintage Sunday    vintage sarees saree history

This is Miss Bidya Dhari from Benares, and I sure wish we could see her saree in colour!  I hate settling for a black-and-white version of what was undoubtedly a rich shade of something gorgeous in silk with gold decoration.  The image is probably from 1910 or 1915, a commercial card printed in Saxony rather than India.  Having a name on a postcard is unusual – except for public figures and performers.  Wonder who she was and what she held in her left hand?

Payal Khandala’s simplicity

Payal Khandalas simplicity    designer saree

payal khandwala is the eponymous clothing label of artist Payal Khandwala. Her play on colours, deep understanding of textiles, and technical knowledge of patterns help create an acclaimed and distinguishable language of garments.
She had something similar in 2013, which looked a lot better.
But the main reason I wanted to showcase this saree was because of the blouse and its plainness. I wouldn’t mind having a plain top like this be a part of the saree. 

A New Old Postcard of Gauhar Jaan

A New Old Postcard of Gauhar Jaan    vintage sarees saree history saree blouse design miscelleneous

Some of my first posts on Saree Dreams featured the enigmatic performer Gauhar Jaan.  Here she sits in a studio shot, demurely draped in a minimalist white saree with the pallu over her hair in back, and tucked across the front to the waist.  She looks rather like a Parsi lady – at least quite different from some of her more usual flashy stage costumes!  The blouse appears to be of embroidered velvet, the jewelry simple.  She was a complex woman; a singer with a mysterious background and life, very famous at the turn of the 20th century.  When I find a new image of her I feel as though I have discovered something about an old friend.

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

Wordless Wednesday Saree

Wordless Wednesday Saree    miscelleneous

Every Wednesday, we let the pic do all the talking.

Shirley’s Psudo-saree Gambit

Shirleys Psudo saree Gambit    miscelleneous

This is another of my (very) occasional posts about sarees in western films. Like the previous post, this one comes from the mid-sixties. ‘Gambit‘, made in 1966, stared Micheal Caine and, as seen in this picture, Herbert Lom and Shirley Maclaine. From this distance Ms Maclaine’s lovely white outfit could easily be a saree but I think the reverse angle picture below shows that it probably isn’t. However there’s more to this outfit than meets the eye.


Shirleys Psudo saree Gambit    miscelleneous