Okay, so I have to admit that I like saris, and having been brought up in South India, Kanchivarams areat the top of my list when it comes to wedding wear. However, until recently, I didn’t consider them a party wear option. So what made me change my mind?
It was a recent photograph that I saw of Bombay Jayashri on the red carpet at the Academy Awards. Granted that she may not have looked as glamorous as the Hollywood stars, but she certainly brightened up the place with a splash of colour and a touch of elegance and class.
This got me thinking about expanding my wardrobe, so that I could include saris for formal parties (usually, I stick to western formals). I browsed online to see what I could find and came up with a few ideas, which I am sharing with you.
For starters, when I browsed through the options available online, I realised that I had to revise my notion that Kanchivaram sarees were solely for grand occasions. With the right accessories and blouse, it can be as glamorous as a ball gown or dress. Here’s my take on three looks that you can carry off depending on your mood or the occasion.
The ‘bowl them over’ look
If you thought of wearing saris only to achieve a traditional and demure look, think again! Black is my favourite colour for the night, and paired with a gold halter blouse, this one is guaranteed to create an impression and leave people breathless. Gold motifs on the pallu and pleats, and kundan work add a unique touch (I did not so far associate the latter with Kanchivaram).
The Ice Maiden
This gorgeous Kanchivaram sari has such soothing tones that it brings to mind ice and snow. The tissue temple design along the border adds an exquisite touch that makes it different from traditional Kanchivarams. This, in my opinion, would be a perfect choice for an evening party in summer or even a ladies lunch.
This sari caught my eye as it blends tradition with modernity in such a pretty manner. I love the brightness of the pink and mustard as well as the gorgeous cutwork on the border and pallu. It would be perfect for a semi-formal office party.
While Kanchivaram saris are expensive, they are treasures, as they are hand woven and the zari contains silver threads dipped in gold. An advantage that they have over designer dresses, which are also expensive, is that they are timeless and will never go out of fashion. In fact, if maintained well, you can pass them down the generations, just as you would do with family heirlooms.
So, would you consider wearing a sari to a party? And, how would you accessorize it? I’d love to hear your opinions.
About the Author:
Neeta Rajendran is an Indian fashion designer and blogger. She along with her mother Chandra run the Indian Ethnic Fashion chain “Sakhi by Chandras” with an online store at http://www.sakhifashions.com/. Designer Saree is one of her special interests. Neeta has an engineering degree and a NIFT diploma in fashion design.