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Sari - Introduction

 

Nothing identifies a woman as being Indian so strongly as the sari – the quintessential Indian female garment. The 6 yard, unstitched, fluid garment over and around the body, adjusted with little tucks and pulls is one of the most graceful pictures ever. “The sari undoubtedly is the most sensuous garment ever.”  “And the best thing about it is that it conceals as much as it reveals.”  The sari is one of the most feminine outfits ever. And that’s the secret behind its survival through various fashion eras like bell-bottoms, drainpipe and now low-rise jeans.”

The origin of this fabulous garment is a bit obscure due to lack of proper historical records in India but one thing’s for sure – the sari boasts the oldest existence in the sartorial world. It is more than 5000 years old and is mentioned in the Vedas. Sari (original – Chira in Sanskrit for cloth) is of varied length. From 5 yards to 9.5 yards tied loosely, folded and pleated, it can be turned into a working dress or party wear with manual skill. For the day-to-day dressing of middle class women, a 5-6 yard is comfortable today.

The material and the print on the sari can vary according to your choice and the occasion. The common materials for a sari are silks, cottons, chiffons, organzas and georgettes, and the common types of saris are Kanjeevaram (a traditional South Indian sari), Paithani (a typical peacock and parrot motif sari from Maharashtra), Banarasi, Bhagalpuri, Orissa Ikkat, Maheshwari, Chanderi, Gujrati Patola, and Jaipuri Leheriya. “I feel that a chiffon, a georgette and a nice Kanjeevaram is a must-have for every woman.” The chiffon is appropriate for a kitty party, lunch or dinner at the club or at the race course, or even for shopping. The georgette can be worn for a cocktail or small party, while the Kanjeevaram can be worn at weddings or extremely formal affairs.” Saris are beautiful, and it is up to the wearer to bring out the best in them.

“What one needs in their collection is not a particular sari but superb blouses to go with it, because the blouse can make or break the look of a sari.” Her suggestions are beautifully embroidered blouses.

The sari is associated with the ancient North Indian terracotta worn by a woman, to the creations crafted by the 21st century designers. Today sarees continue to be worn for both fashion & form. The fashion-conscious understands the versatility of the drape while the urban and rural dweller its utility.