Indian Route: An Ode To The Sari

Indian Route: An Ode To The Sari

5 yards of elegance and femininity – a sari is a beautiful example of ethnic exquisiteness, and is my first choice when I want to put my best foot forward.

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In the journey of life, I have discovered that every action, including the ones we overlook because of their simplicity, is firmly rooted in our mental and emotional state of being. This is probably why our lifestyle continues to evolve as we embrace new viewpoints and experience a thought transformation. I’ve seen my own personality metamorphose over the years and my sense of fashion move to a zone of personal style. Today, my choice of colours, prints and designs are a semblance of my current ideologies, my confidence and self-expression.

After all, style {or fashion} is a form of self expression. A significant transformation in my evolving personal style has been the frequent inclusion of saris. I have been buying saris right from the time I started earning. I make it a point of buying a sari every time I visit a different state in India, specifically handloom saris or ones that are a specialty of that state or region. I am also a proud owner of a Dhakai Jamdani sari that a dear friend got for me from Bangladesh.

People often ask, “How did you learn to drape a Sari?” My mother has been my inspiration and source of knowledge when it comes to draping the sari. Her love for saris and my joy in watching her effortlessly drape it to perfection fuelled my love for this graceful piece of clothing. The art of draping a sari combined with the eloquence and femininity with which you wear it lends exquisiteness to the attire. As for the posture needed for a sari, you either have it or you don’t. Sadly, this cannot be taught.

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The sari is an embodiment of beauty and versatility. Dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization which flourished between 2800 BC and 1800 BC, the sari carries a rich heritage of culture and traditions tied in its stunning prints, patterns and embroideries.

The Prarit word ‘Sattika’ is mentioned in early Buddhist literature and is known to be the descendant of the word ‘Sari’. Sattika was shortened into Sati over generations and it gradually evolved into ‘Sari’ as we know it today.

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In the beautiful folds and creases of a well-draped sari hides the rich history behind this raiment. It was once symbolic of the region and the beliefs of the wearer. The colours used in the sari were not just abstract, arbitrary symbols; they represented something much more meaningful. Red was related with courage while white was worn by priests and their followers as a sign of purity. The designs and patterns of a sari were usually unique to a specific group of people or a region. There was a differentiation of caste, culture and beliefs simply by the saris worn by women.

Darwin’s theory applies to the beautiful sari too. In its quest for survival, the sari has confronted modifications, invasions, migration and even globalization to create a niche for itself as a sophisticated and glamorous garment that gracefully enhances the beauty of any woman who wears it.

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The Sari has always earned a special space in my closet, and I can safely say the same for many women all over the globe. Here are a few reasons why one of the world’s oldest and perhaps the only surviving unstitched garment from ancient history continues to hold a sacred space in our lives:

1. Versatile – India’s versatility reflects in the draping styles of its most popular piece of clothing – the sari. Every state has its own specific style of wearing this graceful garment. Some of the most popular ones are the Gujarati draping style, the Rajasthani way, the Bengali style and the Maharashtrian way of draping the sari. Then there some very unique styles down South too. While traditional styles remain close to our hearts, women are also beginning to experiment with contemporary draping styles that add a new twist to this ethnic garment.

2. Sensuous – A sari beautifully flatters the silhouettes in its fluid drapes, offering a very feminine and sensuous appeal to the wearer.

3. Suitable to every occasion – The sari is perfect for almost any occasion; whether you are heading to an office party or a romantic date, a wedding or a get-together with friends. Furthermore, the choice of material and accessories you pick for the sari can give you either a casual or a festive look.

4. Glamorous – The luxurious sari is a favourite with most Indian designers, as it gives them the ability to choose from a range of materials, colours and patterns. This is probably why it is constantly re-worked and re-invented by designers, making it more contemporary while keeping its essential elegance and exquisiteness intact.

 

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Side note: Bollywood and Yash Raj have inconspicuously directed my imaginations of chiffon saris to Switzerland, snow, and dance! The fact that they drape so well, and can be dressed up or down just makes chiffon saris a must have in my wardrobe. The pure chiffon Archana Kochhar digital-print sari I am wearing in this post was purchased several years ago, and it continues to be one of my favourites!


End note: 
Touted to be one of the most beautiful garments in the world – an artistic canvas of the weaver and the printer – the Sari is the epitome of beauty and grace. Its beauty lies in the integration of colours, patterns and prints which are enchantingly interweaved to create the most sensuous and glamorous attire.

The Sari has been a thing of beauty for centuries, and by the looks of it, these 5 yards of material wrapped in India’s cultures and traditions will last for an eternity

 

Behind The Scenes

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Do you also share the same emotions for the awesome six yards like I do? Do you experiment with your looks? Post your pictures and tag us on Instagram and show us your potential!

 

*Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the brand, and is a narrative of the author’s experience. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review.

 

Retouch : Vinoth
Make up and Hair: Umme Salma
Photography: Manoj Sekar and Vidhyasakar

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* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *

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