I love everything related with fashion. I am never too busy to check out new fashion trends, follow fashion blogs and check out the photos of the celebs taken at various award functions, weddings etc. Recently Ritiesh Deshmukh and Genelia’s wedding offered me a great opportunity to check out wedding trends. As I went on checking all celebrity sarees , and it is not only just this occasion but many more before and after this, one thing that came to my mind was most of the our actors prefer donning designer sarees. May it be Over The Top transparent, sequined Manish Malhotra or inspired by ethnic weaves by Sabyasachi. No wonder it came as a breezer when I spotted Asin in Genelia- Ritiesh wedding the traditional Kasavu saree from her home state complete with jasmine flowers in her hair.
I agree, there is nothing wrong in wearing designer sarees and they do look lovely in most of the cases except for some really hideous designs by so called modern designers, yet I can’t help reminisce over the soft rustle of kanjeevarams, Patolas and Mysore silk as we used to run through them as small kids at social occasions. Their muted voices like those of khandani bahus have lost in the loud noises of chamak chhallos of so called designer sarees. Here I am talking about the designer sarees as in the ones you get at retail shops in abundance, not the exclusive ones. So here are my top 10 Indian classic weave sarees I would like to see coming back on the social scene…
1. PAITHANI – Nothing can beat a classic Paithani worn along with traditional ensemble of nath, bajuband and traditional necklaces. Every Maharashtrian lady worth her salt has a Paithan in her wardrobe. They come in vibrant colors and have a typical pattern of peacocks or creepers on their border and pallav as you can see below in the picture.
2. KANJEEVARAM – This is one of the most popular of traditional sarees thanks to Vaijayantimala and Hema Malini. Nevertheless, it is so regal that it always steals the show when draped nicely. They are generally marked with broad border, many a times with a temple pattern. Originally coming from a place called Kanjeevaram in Tamil Nadu, they can be found in all the cities across India.
3. CHANDERI – This lovely saree hails from the town of Chanderi from Madhya Pradesh. Famous for its fine, almost transparent weave, its suitable for any function . Here’s a photo of Kareena wearing these sarees gifted to her by the weavers of Madhya Pradesh while promoting 3 Idiots
4. BANARASI – There was a time when no wedding would be complete without a traditional Banarasi saree or shalu as it was locally called. This is a very rich saree, most of the times heavily embroidered with gold thread with Mughal patterns. It comes from the handlooms of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. This is one saree which has power to lift up any occasion from ordinary to special. Best reserved for weddings. Here you can see Katrina wearing it with a contemporary blouse while Aishwarya wearing one with a traditional blouse
5. KASAVU – This one is Kerala’s most popular saree. Every Mallu woman has one in her wardrobe, especially reserved for occasions such as Onam or visits to the temple. This rich cream colored saree with brocade border and pallav looks simple yet very very elegant.
6. GARA – These intricately embroidered sarees are considered as one of the most prized possessions of Parsee families. Often passed down from generation to generation as family heirloom, their value is perhaps equal to the entire family’s wardrobe put together. Originally they were imported from China and were famous for their intricate Chinese embroidery around their border. The fine embroidery and weaving would take a long time hence they used to be very expensive and were used only on special occasions such as weddings.
7. SAMBALPURI - Sambalpuri Saree from Orissa is traditionally a tie and dye Ikat saree made on hand loom. It is famous for its symbolic motifs of Shankha(conch), Chakra (wheel), flowers. In these sarees, the yarn is dyed in a pre-conceived manner so as facilitate the weaver to follow his design. The unique feature of these sarees is that they have almost identical pattern on both sides. This saree gained popularity under the patronage of the late Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.
8.BALUCHARI - The well- known Baluchari saree of West Bengal is originally from Baluchar village near Murshidabad. It was patronized by the Nawabs of Bengal. Once a flourishing trend, this art later declined in the British period. The classic Baluchari saree has scenes from Indian epics depicted on its pallav, while the repeated motifs from the pallav are used in wide border.
9.BANDHANI OR BANDHEJ – These are tie and dye technique sarees are from Rajasthan and Gujrat. Bandhani has got its name from `bandh’ that tie a knot. Small circles and dots are formed to make designs in different dynamic colors. These sarees are made in Rajkot, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kutch and many other parts but the most famous is the Gharchola of Jamnagar. This particular saree is worn by a Gujrati bride. It is usually a red saree divided in squares by rows of white tie- dyes spots or zari. The smaller the dots the more fine quality the saree is. White Bandhani saree with red border is called Panetar which generally gifted to a Gujrati bride by her maternal uncle.
10. DHARMAVARAM - Dharmavaram are the most well known among the many handwoven sarees of Andhra Pradesh. Originally from the small town of Dharmavaram in Anantpur district . they are famous for their broad solid colored borders with contrast pallu brocaded with gold patterns. It takes around 4-8 days of two persons hard work to weave one saree depending on the intricacy of its work. These sarees can be found in cotton, tussar and cotton sillk apart from silk.
I know, I have not included many other beautifully woven sarees such as Kota, Mysore silk, Venkatgiri, Pocham palli, Munga silk, Jamdani, but to cover those and many more, I will have to write another blog. For the time being I will do some thinking on deciding which of these sarees I would like to buy first.