Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saree splendour
Anjana Sarin

Hot pick for Divali: Go for an embellished saree
Hot pick for Divali: Go for an embellished saree

When it comes to the festival season, fashion designers seek inspiration from our rich and varied heritage. Of late many designers have turned to khadi and jute to fashion out western outfits like boot-cut trousers and cigarette pants. There is no limit to the combination of colours.

One can have it in red, yellow or burgundy and the effect is gorgeous. The market is flooded with a number of traditional cotton weaves, various types of silk like tussar and Mysore crepe decorated with flowery butis and mokaish work, in which silver-coloured dots are strewn all over.

"Divali brings in lot of creative energy," says Madhavi Sharma, a Mumbai-based boutique owner, adds, "the younger generation is willing to experiment with new styles and looks."

According to Rohini Garg, a design consultant, there is a surfeit of colour in creations. Despite all innovations, Gen X would like to have the traditional Indian couture play a large part in celebrating their joy.

Surprisingly, the saree has retained its primal place when it comes to buying a dress for Divali. One can opt for crushed tissue sarees, which have weighty ‘shade on shade’ embroidery around the waist and with pleats in the centre as usual, so that there is enough length left to wrap it around your shoulders as a stole. For more elegance, one can combine this outfit with a halter top embellished with matching coloured stones or beads.

Another trend in vogue is the double-saree outfit. This consists of an entirely embellished zari net number with a mehndi colour saree with complimentary shades of deep green, blue or red. But to show this off you have to couple it with a full sleeve top that is decorated with subdued gold colour beads or even sequins.

Another style much preferred is that of a plain lurex georgette saree with a net diamante drape with left shoulder pleats. This combination worn with a matching lycra bustier looks deadly. On the other extreme are large-bordered saris in silk or cotton, with little embroidery but worn with appropriate bead/pearl embroidered sleeveless blouse.

Saree enthusiasts have started sporting nine-yard georgette saris converted as sarong skirts/ white chiffons with pearl embroidery on the borders or crushed tissue borderless. These can be turned over at the shoulder to serve as stoles with crushed cottons with metallic lycra tops.

If you are opting out for a bohemian look, you can go in for long flowing linen gowns, which imitate a ghagra-choli. Designers like Yamini Mehta and Keke Sagar are using light pistachio or ivory French lace shirts, with heavy beads and the inevitable swarovsky crystals.

Crystal with wooden beadwork gowns with boat necks are in vogue. Many partygoers choose one-piece gowns in velvet or lycra. Another favourite embroidery this season is the katav-karn, the special type of reverse applique tradition of Ahmedabad.

In case of salwar-kameez, we have hand-woven silk with exquisite phul-bhutis or the more traditional mokaish work that is silver sequins embellishing the dresses, besides the variety of embroidery ranging from kantha stiches to chikankari work. MF