Make room for the six-yard wonder

Make room for the six-yard wonder

Make room for the six-yard wonder
With “Make in India” becoming quite the buzzword these days, and a renewed interest in Indian textiles and weaves emerging across the country, every woman should aim at owning four must-have saris in her wardrobe. These include saris for daily wear, weddings, semi-formal occasions and for office wear. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to draping this six-yard marvel and experimentation is the name of the game.

Wedding splendour

While a rich Kanjeevaram silk with a heavy zari border is ideal for that big fat South Indian wedding, lighter Kanjeevaram silks are suitable for summer weddings and pre-wedding events. “Team them with pretty vintage or contemporary silver jewellery and you are good to go,” says Madhavi Rongola, a sari enthusiast. Kanjeevaram is a must-have in every bride’s trousseau, no matter which part of the country she is from.

Shyamala Ramanan, business head, Taneira, a brand that creates exquisite saris, says, “This season, purple, gold and green Kanjeevarams are doing the rounds, with classic motifs such as the mayil chakram.”

Hyderabad-based designer Gaurang Shah has just launched a new range of Kanjeevaram saris in Bengaluru for the wedding season. His saris always have an added dimension and he transforms the good old Kanjeevaram into a piece of timeless art, by giving it a contemporary feel without sacrificing its traditional charm. “I have used the traditional weaving method of korvai,” he says.

“The sari borders are as big as 24 inches, and I have also revived the three shuttle loom, which makes it possible to weave the body and border in different colours and textures,” he adds. “Traditional designs like rudhraksh, hansa, yali, jangla and animal motifs like lions, deer, parrots and floral motifs from the temple walls are made for bridal and festive occasions.”

He has also given an entirely new twist to the Kanjeevaram sari by introducing ikkat with it, and using yarns like organza and muga with traditional silks. “These saris are perfect for brides, summer weddings and cocktail parties,” he adds.

Glamour by day

Madhavi Rongola co-founder of the House of Taamara, an exclusive outlet for saris and accessories, says that cotton saris like ikkats, kalamkaris and Chettinads are ideal for daily wear and for casual events. “You can mix and match these saris with different blouses and have some fun by giving the garment a new flavour. New, well-fitted blouses worn with your older saris add that glitz and glamour to the overall look,” she explains.

Madhavi, who owns an extensive wardrobe of saris, comprising traditional weaves and motifs with interesting cholis, has some advice for women who choose saris as daywear. “Georgettes and chiffons stick to the body and should be avoided by curvier women as also the organza, which is most unflattering,” she advises. She holds classes on sari draping on a regular basis and hopes that this will encourage more women, especially the younger generation, to wear this national garment with pride and grace.

Semi-formal style

“Banarasi tanchois can be worn for semi-formal functions while bandhini saris can be worn for any occasion as they are truly multipurpose,” says Vatsala Bagla, sari connoisseur and designer sari retailer, who works with weavers across the country. Tanchoi is made of pure silk and satin, and is a weaving technique that Banaras weavers learnt from the Chinese centuries ago.

“Look out for sunshine yellow Banarasis and double shaded tanchois to wear with contrast brocade blouses this season,” says Shyamala.

A Mysuru georgette is also a must-have for semi-formal dos. It is easy to drape and is great for cocktail parties and social events. The late Maharaja of Mysuru, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar designed several Mysuru saris himself and brought out many collections with traditional motifs and symbols of the royal family.

South cottons from Chennai with huge borders and strong colours can be worn with embroidered ready-made blouses. “If you are tall, you can carry off big borders quite well! Traditional silk-cotton saris from Chennai can be worn for religious functions and semi-formal events,” says Madhavi.

Corporate chic

Vatsala adds that says that a printed Bengaluru silk, which is a lighter version and a printed chiffon or georgette sari are good investments for office wear. It will also be a good idea to buy ready-made cholis in black, bottle green, gold, maroon and silver, that can be worn with a wide range of saris.

Give a contemporary twist to your six-yard wonders by learning to drape them in different ways and by mixing and matching cholis. A simple sari can be jazzed up with a prominent piece of jewellery or contrast cholis with ethnic embroidery and sexy back cuts.
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