Here is a 1920s or early ’30s mystery fashion for you – what is she wearing? It looks like a sleeveless golden satin blouse, tunic or waistcoat worn over a short-sleeved blouse, topped by a green saree with gold borders. The flowers add just the right colour to make the outfit work, and the jewellery is kept minimal. But it kind of reminds me of the Spanish senorita look that was quite popular then. Que cute!
Eons ago, one of the stunning saree I put together was a crinkled saree, the texture of the saree combined with the choice colors and subtle hues can be very intriguing.
I like this brown and gold combo that Nikhil Thampi has.
He also has some other interesting sarees from 2013 Wills and I will showcase some of them.
Here is a little video of Survivor by Nikhil Thampi
For the past few months I have been thinking about the arguments for and against updating the saree, changing its more traditional aspects, going for odd new innovations and so on. The sad case of the Japanese kimono is the usual comparison, as in “…we must be creative with saree or it will become stagnant and die out like the kimono!”
These just-off-the-LFW-runway styles combine East Asian motifs that look like kimono patterns with Parsi embroidery techniques, and some fresh twists to the usual saree outfit. My favourite from this line by Ashdeen is the strapless, hip-length blouse with a coordinating simple saree, above.
Nope, our simple and elegant (and oh so adaptable), saree is not going the way of the kimono or dodo bird! Its easy draping and affordability beat the unbelievably complicated, restricting and expensive national dress of Japan by a mile.
Here is a lovely colored print of a vintage vamp – think silent film stars doing Arabian Nights or playing Cleopatra from ‘way back! It may have been an advertising card of some sort, but the model is uncommonly beautiful and her jewellery is amazing. The piece on her head is my favorite, but the belt, pearls, anklets and upper arm elements are lust-worthy too. A tighthtly draped saree highlights the woman’s smooth hip; her tiny green “blouse” has what could be gold discs over the bust. What actress or model today could make such a luscious outfit look this inviting without being either too coy or blatant?
This is an unusual studio image of a wary-looking woman in a very photogenic saree, and a girl (her daughter?) wearing a young man’s jacket and trousers with a large pair of gent’s shoes. The photograph, probably from the 1930s or so, was on ebay with no explanation. From the woman’s expression I don’t think it was meant to be funny, but what could the occasion have been?
The woven pattern of the saree includes a large repeated motif and dense but not-too-wide border, looking wonderful with a plain white or pastel choli. I like the pallu end brought around and tucked at the waist, adding another diagonal line of the border across the saree front. The girl’s big bindi is incongruously adorable, small earrings and a few rings on her hands completing the outfit. Feel free to offer your suggestions!