Saris in the modern age: Convenient beauty for Indians and others
The Indian sari has been an essential fashion piece in a woman’s wardrobe for ages. This 6-yard wonder has managed to keep its charm, grace and elegance despite the Westernized trend in fashion. It’s worn during formal occasions, festivities, and in workplaces. Saris have evolved over the years in terms of style and design as more young women prefer to create a fusion that is more trendy than the traditional sari.
Saris are available in varied designs and fabrics like cotton, silk, georgette, crepe and much more. Due to heavy Western influence, saris and blouses are modified to suit one’s style.
AD Singh, a famous fashion designer based in Mumbai explains, “The sari is synonymous to Indian fashion and Western influence on Indian design has always been very strong right from the beginning of the fashion era. Hence the trend of having funky and bold saris and blouses is very in. The newer generation is educated and modern, so cultural parameters are lighter and there is more emphasis on trends.”
Catering to the youth’s take on modern fashion
Styles like reducing the width of the pallu (the loose end of a sari), wrap-around saris, gown-styled drapes, and narrow pleats are preferred by youngsters.
Wearable by everyone
Draping a sari can be a difficult, so for those who like easy-to-wear attires, there are options like pre-pleated and lehenga saris. Pre-pleated saris are like skirts with pleats stitched into them, and lehenga saris have a flowing silhouette (kali), and has a heavy pallu replacing the well-draped dupatta on the left shoulder. Lehenga saris are generally worn during marriages, and parties etc., and the pre-pleated ones are suited for any occasion.
The art of mix-and-match
An important spin on saris are blouses, which can add to the overall look of the attire. The traditional half-sleeved sari blouse is passe, glocal designs like halter necks, corsets, one-shoulders, backless or low back blouses, spaghetti straps, and short sleeves are popular now. Depending on the material, design, and embellishments etc., prices can vary from anywhere between Rs 2,000-3,000 for a decent sari. Saris can even cost over a lakh and will cost even more depending on who the designer is, whether it’s a bridal sari etc.
“Saris teamed with fancy blouses look really elegant. It’s a perfect blend of ethnicity and modernity. If I team it with the right accessory, the outfit looks incredible. I prefer pre-pleated saris since they’re easy to wear and carry, and there is no hassle of getting the pleats right when draping it,” says Dharini Parekh, a socialite and counselor.
Saris are available in different colours, but for the younger generation, pastel shades are the choice. The younger generation will choose peach, blue, off-white, and rusty reds. Bridal wear comprises of traditional colours like red, maroon or green.
Silk leads the way
Silk saris are something young girls cannot resist, especially Kanjeevaram silks, which gets its name from a town called Kanchipuram in South India near Chennai. Silk saris have gained popularity in the fashion capitals of the world. When combined with trendy corsets or embroidered blouses, it becomes a stunning attire for formal occasions, and marriages etc. Also in vogue are georgette saris, which are made of silk, polyester or nylon, all of which are fabrics popular amongst designers, and that are available in varied designs.
Saris are not only popular in India, they are a popular choice on the global market as well. Celebrities like Naomi Campbell, Liz Hurley, the Pussy Cat Dolls, Ashley Judd, and many more have worn variations of the sari on different occasions, which has created a buzz in the international fashion market. Generally, the classic 6-yard sari with embroidery work is preferred in the Western market.
The styles of this “traditional-with-modern” attire will keep changing, but it’s certainly here to stay.