A Rare Christian Dior Sari Gown, circa 1953, Designed and Owned by HRH Princess Lillian (1916-2002), second wife of King Leopold III of Belgium.
Rare Christian Dior sari gown, circa 1953, labelled and numbered 26147, comprising shot gold and pink gauze bodice, buttoning at the back, the matching skirt with brocaded sari sash, silk slip; a cloth of gold bodice similar, labelled and numbered 26146; together with a cloth of gold strapless bodice, matching ivory and and gold brocaded sari skirt, both by Dannay of Geneva, bust 87cm, 34in, waist 67cm, 26in and a photograph of Princess Lilan wearing a sari-gown, (qty) Provenance: the late HRH Princess Lilian of Belgium, Sotheby’s, 19th May 2003, lot 51. H.R.H. Princes Lilian (1916-2002) was the second wife of King Leopold III of Belgium. A stunningly beautiful woman, she was renowned for her spectacular wardrobe and elegance.
This was offered for auctiona while ago (2003); it was estimated to go for about 1000 Euros and sold for 1900 Euros. In 2006, it was put up for auction again, and it sold of 750 Euros.. Of course the auction houses were different and there were many other factors that could explain the lowering of the price. I my guesstimate would be that this is worth about $5,000 or so.
Love these shoes, perfect for ethnic wear!
These are from Christian Louboutin created for Manish Malhotra’s recent shows.
Three Christian ladies from Kerala at the turn of the 20th century display three options for sarees: plain and sheer, simple woven checks, and a design with fancy borders. Each wears a Western style bodice with long sleeves, and the two standing have striped petticoats that show. Their jewellery is kept simple and they wear sturdy shoes, also of Western design. Perhaps this is how they dressed for church each Sunday. I suspect the colours would have been varied and lively but we can only guess at them now.
Updated Information: The source of the image above, the archive selling copies of it on their website, apparently misidentified the exquisite Winterhalter portrait. It is not the Maharani Bamba Duleep Singh whose history I initially posted, but the Coorg Princess Gowramma, also befreinded by Queen Victoria, also a Christian, and who also died tragically young! The Queen even tried to “fix her up” with Dulep Singh before he met and married Bamba Muller! So do stop to admire this Indian girl’s complete costume, and the way her saree is worn. I love the dozens of itty pleats falling from her waist, and the broad pallu wrapping around her, fastened by the gold belt. Oh, and lots of heavy jewellery too.
The Cinderella story belongs to Bamba, the girl in this sepia photograph – an illegitimate, Arabic-speaking, half-German, half-Egyptian (her mother of Abyssinian background and possibly a slave), raised by American missionaries in Egypt, married to Duleep Singh, a young and very handsome deposed Punjabi Maharaja Sikh-turned-Christian whose holdings, including the fabulous Koh-i-Noor diamond, were all confiscated by the British government. The Singhs were the darlings of Queen Victoria and her family for some time.
But the fairy-tale life of Maharani Bamba Muller Duleep Singh did not end happily ever after. Like others I’ve profiled here, wearing beautiful sarees when they were young, Bamba died before she was 40, the mother of six children who all died childless, and leaving a husband who had taken a mistress elsewhere. Life is lumpy, as a friend of mine says.
I think after seeing these pictures, I have used up my quota of cuteness for the day.
Meet the little stars in Singapore. The proud parents help the kids celebrate deepavali.
Very precious pictures.
The mother doesn’t look like the tiger mother sort. If she was, I wonder if she would let the daughter wear a readymade pre-pleated saree. The little girl would have to stay in her room, practice pleating the saree for about 100 times and when she can drape the saree in 20 seconds, and only then, she can go out to play.
Hmm, come to think of it, thats not a bad idea – they should do that in India.
This idea of celebrating new year in other cultures is a good one. I get drunk on Christian new year and I eat too much on Indian new year but I always wanted to go to a Chinese new year and get under that huge long dragon and shake it!
What can I say? Some people want world peace, I just want to a part of paper dragon.
I love this picture for multiple reasons. First of all I have a special liking for “uniform sarees”, secondly I have special affinity for simple sarees but this picture transcends all.
But the main reason that I like is that it is an iconic Christian+Hindu mix of traditions and colors!
These are Sisters and Novices. What is a novice, you ask.
A novice in Roman Catholic canon law and tradition, is a prospective member of a religious order who is being tried and being proven for suitability of admission to a religious order of priests, religious brothers, or religious sisters, whether the community is one of monks or has an “active” ministry. After initial contact with the community, and usually a period of time as a postulant (a more or less formal period of candidacy for the novitiate), the person will be received as a novice in a ceremony that most often involves being clothed with the religious habit (traditional garb) of the particular religious community. The novice’s habit is often slightly different from those of professed members of the order. For instance, in communities of women that wear a dark veil over the head, novices often wear a white one; among Franciscan communities of men, novices wear an additional shirt-like chest piece over the traditional Franciscan robe; Carthusian novices wear a dark cloak over the usual white habit; etc.
Novices are not admitted to vows until they have successfully completed the prescribed period of training and proving, called the novitiate. This usually lasts one year, the minimum required by Canon Law, though in some orders and communities it is two. Novices typically have dormitories in separate areas within a monastery or community and are under the direct supervision of a novice master or novice mistress.
The interesting part here is that the novices are wearing saffron sarees; saffron has a deep rooted significance in Hinduism. So instead of wearing traditional nun’s habit, with different color head scarf, they have chosen to wear a saffron saree.
The picture comes from Kurokami (Christina Stoppa)’s flickr stream. Her work is really appreciated.
Here I am posing with some of the sisters and novices from the Mother of Mount Carmel Convent in Kalamassery. The novices are the ones dressed in orange sarees.
Sunday, January 2nd, 2011
Mother of Mount Carmel Convent, Kalamassery, Kochi, Kerala, India