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Demurely Draped

Thursday, March 01, 2018

There’s no piece of clothing more traditional than the saree, but it has come so very far and is now styled in a variety of ways. Aakriti Patni & Pearl Mathias bring you a few saree styles you can try this season

Georgette or crepe, Banaras or brocade, whatever material they come in, there’s something about sarees that is quite unmatched in the fashion world. Traditional though they may be, they lend your wardrobe an oomph factor. But, they have definitely come a long way — blouses are barely evident with some styles, while with others a western influence is clearly visible. Here we talk about some of the most recent styles that have drawn from the original, bringing you our favourite picks from different designers so that you can experiment with them as you please.

Beauty & the belt

A fun, albeit not so popular, accessory to glam up your saree with is a belt! You can pick leather belts for casual occasions or embellished and embroidered ones for a grander affair.

  • Our pick: A classic colour when it comes to traditional Indian wear, designer Nikhil Thampi uses the golden hues to elevate the status of the humble saree to one where sophistication meets style like never before. The belt adds a touch of elegance to the outfit, as does the gold embroidery. Pick it up at Aza stores across the city and for Rs. 45,000.

Statement sleeves

Another way to raise the oomph with your saree is to pick a classy blouse. Skip the usual brocade pieces and switch to the off-shoulder trend. You can even pick blouses with ruffled and frilled sleeves.

  • Our pick: Merging the hottest trends of the runway into one saree, this Nikasha creation involves a funky off-shoulder blouse that has ruffled pleats on the front. We love how the contemporary design melds with the traditional colours and patterns, effortlessly bringing the two worlds together. Pick it up at for Rs. 58,850.

Lavish those layers

At Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week A/W 2013, Manish Malhotra popularised the trend by layering a sheer black saree over a red metallic ghagra. From then on, the saree style has spiralled into layering and draping using eclectic styles and patterns.

  • Our pick: It’s all about layering and designer label Sukriti and Aakriti pair a hot pink saree with a sheer pale blue wrap, which instantly transforms the traditional piece into a contemporary one. We particularly loved the contrast the colours brought out and the draping style that emphasises the modern couture vibe. Pick it up at for Rs. 49,000.

Classy in a cocktail sense

It’s easy to recognise a cocktail version of a saree thanks to its sultry cuts, stylish drapes and eye-catching embellishments. Looking for a way to get experimental with traditional tastes? The cocktail saree is a good way to begin.

  • Our pick: This pre-stitched chiffon saree by label Varun & Nidika is sultry yet classy. The distinct cocktail look plays it simple with solid colours and pleats, but uses a crop-top style blouse for a shimmery effect. Pick it up at Ensemble stores at Bandra and Lionsgate for Rs. 66,640.

Don that dhoti

When we caught sight of Sonam Kapoor elegantly draped in a dhoti style saree by Tarun Tahiliani, we knew we were going to buy into the trend soon enough. Taking experimentation up a notch, this style is for those who feel sartorially bold.

  • Our pick: Always pushing the boundaries of traditional wear, designer Siddartha Tytler’s dhoti-style saree is classy with a twist of contemporary fun. We particularly love the lace net blouse that perfectly complements the design of the dhoti saree. Pick it up at for Rs. 1,01,803.

Jacketed judgement

Of the several ways to add zing to your saree style, the jacket trend is in vogue right now. It doesn’t require much effort. Simply pick a jacket that matches your saree or get one tailored and pull it on over your outfit, leaving the upper buttons open if you prefer.

  • Our pick: This ‘slip on the cape’ jacket from AM:PM’s PISHTAQ collection embodies a contemporary vibe with a unique draping style, a matte grey jacket and a monochromatic navy colour scheme. Pick it up from designer stores across the city for Rs. 69,950.

Cape carefully

Kareena Kapoor Khan was featured in an edition of the Harpers Bazaar Bride in a cape over a black saree, a creation by Gaurav Gupta, and it bowled us over. Capes have been enjoying their moment in the sun in the western fashion scene and it’s time to bring them to the traditional scheme of things as well.

  • Our pick: A taupe blouse featuring floral embroidered neckline with a sari drape attached to a pair of pants, the star of this outfit is a black long shrug adorned with bold floral embroidery and a scalloped waistband. Designer Anamika Khanna is known for her bold styles and subtle designs, and this saree reflects just that! Pick it up at designer retail stores across the city for Rs. 85,000.

Fringe fashion

We’re drawing inspiration from Sonam Kapoor once again as we talk about the fringed saree style. She rocked an Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla creation with panache, and you can, too, if you’re looking to make a statement.

  • Our pick: Go above and beyond with more than just a saree with a fringed hem! Pair this embroidered black chiffon fringed hem saree from designer Ridhi Mehra with her embellished gold tassels crop top for a funky fringed look. Pick it up at (Rs. 27,800 for the saree and Rs. 19,800 for the crop top blouse).

There are many ways to drape a saree; you don’t have to stick to the traditional method. Here we’re telling you about a few innovative ways in which you can take your style quotient up a notch, just by draping your saree differently.

Half saree style
The great thing about this style is that it is quick to put on and doesn’t take much fussing about. The compact-looking style involves tucking big pleats into the front and is paired with a tight-fitting blouse for a sleek look.

Butterfly style
This is a minimalistic style and is also popular with celebs at gala events. It involves creating fringes or folds in the saree, giving it a fan-like effect.

Mermaid style
With the mermaid style of saree, the lower portion of the garment is draped to appear like a skirt, or the tail of the mythical siren of the sea, which is probably where it gets it name.

Scarf style
Instead of draping the pallu of a saree, this style has you turn it into a scarf. This simple modification gives a saree a new dimension and has you looking fashionable and on the edge of haute even in a saree.

Trouser style
This is an ultra-modern way to drape a saree, and may still be seen as too forward. You’ll need to wear tight fitting pants and pick a shorter than usual saree to pull of this very urban look.

We’ve dipped our toes into the whirlpool of saree styles. But now we take a look at some of the traditional sarees that will simply never go out of style

The Banarasi saree

A type of saree that is as old as the city in which it originated, the Banarasi saree is one of the finest sarees available in India and truly is the epitome of elegance when it comes to the traditional women of our country. Identified by its symbolic ‘bootis’ and floral motifs, which are said to have been inspired by Mughal architecture, Banarasi sarees are known for their gold and silver brocade work, fine silk and opulent embroidery. These sarees are heavy and are worn on grand occasions.

The Pochampally saree

Originating from the small village of Pochampally in what is now the state of Telegana, this saree is famous for its traditional geometric patterns, which are produced through the ikkat style of dyeing and weaving. Known for its traditional flair, so much so, that Air India adopted it as the official uniform for its female cabin crew.

The Kancheepuram silk saree

Woven from pure mulberry silk, the Kanchipuram silk saree, hailing from the temple town of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, is considered to be special, and is typically worn by South Indian women on all auspicious occasions. With its characteristic vibrant colours and mythological scriptures dominating its patterns and prints design patterns, this type of saree is nothing if not royal. According to legend, the Kanchi silk weavers are descendants of the master weaver for the Gods themselves, Sage Markanda.

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