Blending tradition with modernity


When Shilpa Shetty flaunted her sensuous body in a sari looking like a gown while judging a reality show, all eyes, largely female, were glued to the television for this latest update in the fashion trend.

Though Deepika Padukone has also sported a one-shouldered gown with its other end falling like the drape of a saree, during the promotions of Chennai Express, Bollywood divas Kareena Kapoor Khan and Katrina Kaif were also recently spotted in similar attire but in red.

The trend of sari gown is not new and is a proof of how the garment (read sari) has evolved with time. “Starting with Indian Christian weddings, where it was easiest and only natural for traditional white saris to evolve into this practical fusion, the sari gown became a fashionable trend,” says fashion designer Anu PD.  “Around the same time, the wave of young NRI brides brought with them the need to ease the process of getting into the traditional look. Creating the sari-gown meant just using the sari drape with a zipped up gown and the sari stays held in place.”

Easy as it sounds, the apparel has gained popularity with time and is making designers brainstorm over new ways of innovating on the six yards, considering that the “present generation of women scarcely drape a sari around themselves. It is thus imperative that new and stylised saris be created, while not destroying the usage of the original Nivi and other drapes,” adds the designer.

If the thought of carrying these is bothering you then you need to follow designer Pernia Qureshi’s tip: “It can be tricky to carry a gown-sari, but if done right, this style can be worn by women with varying sizes and heights.” The variables in terms of colours, silhouettes and embellishment techniques help to ensure that anyone can carry off this look effortlessly. “Additionally, the use of corsets and other support techniques can actually enhance any figure-faults that the ladies feel they have. In fact, I once had a pleasantly plump client come back to tell me about the compliments she received on her very svelte looks, courtesy her sari-gown,” narrates Anu about her personal experience.

While designs of sari gowns by Sonaakshi Raaj and Gaurav Gupta are being picked up by celebrities increasingly, even the local markets in the City are full of them. One can try options with embellishments in crystals, lace, 3D flowers, ribbon embroidery and even Zardozi in a beaten look. However, Pernia warns that “Striking a balance between embroidery and embellishments on the same garment is very important because if overdone, it can look tacky!”

While heralding the summer season, the fashionistas can look out for soft, flowy fabrics that make for a great evening ensemble in the form of a sari gown since the designers predict that the trend is here to stay!

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