Summer wedding chic is what is trending at Pookaari this month! The fashionable accessories of the season are haathphools, semi precious stones in 3 layer necklaces and kundan earrings. For the traditional mehendi, wear a statement kundan chanbali paired with a traditional ghaghra and choli to get noticed. Tassel earrings with a traditional twist and delicate haathphools (hand harnesses) are a huge trend at the moment. The haathphools are the trendiest accessory for a wedding. This look is perfect for a night of dancing and making merry at the wedding sangeet.
The Blouse – A style statement of its own!
Its the month of Thai and the wedding season is about to begin. What better to wear than saris for the numerous functions at a family wedding! A sari is never complete without a blouse.
Don’t we all remember our grandmothers obsessing about matching their blouse piece colour with the colour of their sari? The so called blouse piece has come a long way over the years.
The blouse is one metre of fabric that can transform your sari into a style statement. It can lend you the intrigue that no other garment can give. People tend to remember a stunning blouse much more than a dress or any other outfit you choose to wear for that matter.
You can pair different kinds of blouses with the same sari to achieve various kinds of looks. For work, wear a three quarter sleeved blouse with a closed neck. Blouses in cotton and linen keep you looking sharp and formal for a day at work. The same sari paired with a cap sleeved blouse in a shimmery fabric can be worn for a formal dinner. The “in” thing to do now is to work the sari with a variety of blouses.
Some of my favourite established designers for blouses are Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra. Sabya’s blouses are a must own piece of clothing in your wardrobe. The best thing about Sabyasachi is that he uses different Indian textiles and hand embroidery to create one blouse that makes you feel like an Indian princess. Sabya’s blouses are a sure fire hit when paired with any of your Kacheevaram saris. I’m partial to Manish Malhotra’s blouses for the beautiful nets and chiffons that only he can create magic with. His creations will usually have either a sheer back or sleeves leaving you with a feeling of whimsy.
Among the emerging designers, I quite like blouses from Pallavi Jaikishan, Swati Ubroi, Shyamal & Bhumika and Sashikant Naidu.Pallavi’s blouses are heavily embroidered and come in vibrant colours. You can’t go wrong with her designs when you want to shop for a family wedding. Swati Uberoi’s blouses sport different cuts and the traditional gota work on silk. They are perfect for a mehendi ceremony. Shyamal & Bhumika are Ahmedabad based designers, who work with more classic colours like crimson and navy, giving the blouse the versatility to pair it with different saris. Sashikant’s blouses are made from luxurious fabrics like khadi and silk. He is famous for his kalamkari handworked and silk khadi pin tucked blouses in various solid colours. It was a revelation when Sashikant mentioned that his pin tucked blouses take up 5 meters of fabric to get the sort of finish that they have.
I, for one, have always liked to own versatile blouses that I can wear with different saris as the occasion demands. A good start is to buy a basic black blouse and a gold blouse. Make sure they are not very heavily embellished so that you can repeat them without being noticed. You can safely experiment with different cuts. Boat necks, elbow length sleeves, shirt blouses and collared necks are fashionable right now. Invest in a handful of blouses that fit you well and keep you looking trendy.
-ShriVyshnavi Annush for The Hindu Metroplus
Surukku pai is a small bag usually made out of fabric with drawstrings used as a closure. This could easily be one of the oldest accessories in the South of India. The surukku pai culture began in Madurai. Most of us will remember our grandmoms or their friends sporting a surukku paitucked into their sari at their waists. A vivid memory I have, is of the elderly ladies who were regulars at the Jaganatha Perumal temple, fiddling with their surukku pais. It was an accessory with a lot of utilitarian value. Usually the ladies would wear malli poo in their kondai and carry their Vethilai paaku and some money in their pais. Those were the good old days when cellphones didn’t exist and nobody carried their makeup around. So you didn’t need a huge bag. The surukku pai was a much more aesthetic and handy version of the manja pai.
Chenthamarai, a tailor in Papanaickenpalayam reminisces that he used to stitch the surukku pais from the left over bits of cloth given to stitch blouses at no extra charge. In more recent years the paati’s surukku pai has transformed into a more contemporary fashion accessory. The surukku pai has given way to the chic potlis or the batwas of today. Younger women generally tend to pair a polti with a sari or a salwar kameez. The potlis come out in a rainbow of colors during the wedding season when they attend many a muhurtham. Designers have also made the batwa an accessory to own. My favourite designer duo of the batwa are Chamee & Palak. More widely known for their lehengas, their batwas are unique and ornate.
A temple border kancheepuram sari paired with a simple mangalagiri cotton potli for a morning function is elegance personified. On the contrary, carry a hand embroidered batwa made of benares silk fabric for a night out to feel luxurious and grand. The beauty of the modern surukku pai lies in the fact that you can use it to dress up or dress down as you deem fit for the occasion. The potli is also a good gift to give your family and friends. It is indeed a lovely piece of handcrafted art that represents our culture and heritage and therefore the most appropriate gift to give your friends from abroad. It shows them our diverse crafts and the variety of textiles our country has to offer. Be a fashionista and carry your surukku pai with pride!
– ShriVyshnavi Annush for The Hindu MetroPlus