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At the time I began the Saree project, I didn’t know the world was coming to a collective halt. There was no mass news alert in November that could have warned us all of a Read more…
At the time I began the Saree project, I didn’t know the world was coming to a collective halt. There was no mass news alert in November that could have warned us all of a new calamity which was coming up sooner and faster than one could imagine. It feels like science fiction, and yet it’s impacting everyone, together.
I’m stuck outside of India, unable to visit my parents now, and having to work from home with a baby and no childcare support. But I am also inherently grateful for being able to manage this right now, and am thankful that so many medical professionals are working round the clock to help.
I continue getting to my backyard to drape Sarees, even if just for a photo on Instagram. It’s keeping me sane, and making me feel at-least something is normal. Mental health alone is a sufficient plus. I am also using this opportunity to support handloom weavers and small businesses when I can. This does mean buying from small businesses, sharing their stories and helping them through this crisis.
It’s harder to keep updating the blog though as I work through very long days. I’ve been updating Instagram and here’s the list from Week 9 through Week 16.
Week 9: Board meeting style (literally) worn with a clean silk Everlane shirt in another unblouse variation. Simple drape, no pins, loose pallu. In a lovely dual toned Mangalagiri cotton from Abraham and Thakore. Details on the instagram post here.
Week 10: Office meeting style in a Tussar silk specifically designed for office wear by Bunavat weaves (handloom production). Worn with an Everlane bodysuit. Details on the instagram post here.
Week 11: Saree as a pleated skirt in a Noorkari Chikankari Kota Doria saree which has so many other draping options- I can’t wait to try it in the summer again. Worn with a simple tank and sweater for nippy spring here in Michigan. Details on instagram post here.
Week 12: A new kashta with a six yard saree in a Meena Bazaar georgette that I wore for Navreh (beginning of the Kashmiri new year) with a Suta blouse. Details on instagram post here.
Week 13: The Ranchi drape with the Mangalagiri worn previously as a board meeting Saree. This is a shorter Saree and is quite literally wrapped up. Worn with a regular tee. Details on instagram post here.
Week 14: Boggili Posi Kattukodam without pallu worn with a tank and a ari-work jacket. Details on instagram here.
Week 15: A Saree skirt worn with a tank and Pashmina scarf. Details here.
Week 16: A dhoti styled saree worn with a belt. More here
All images on the main Saree project page!
There’s many different ways of wearing this drape. But at the rate that Sarees can be draped like dresses and skirts, sometimes I feel I should never get any of those again. The Saree is Read more…
There’s many different ways of wearing this drape. But at the rate that Sarees can be draped like dresses and skirts, sometimes I feel I should never get any of those again. The Saree is infinitely more flexible as a piece of clothing and almost always delivers. It’s been a cold winter day at 17F (-7C) and mild snow flurries. Life is seldom like a Yash Chopra movie so I booted up.
Drape: The Kashta is common in coastal areas in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa. It’s a lot like a Dhoti, and offers flexibility of movement since a part of the Saree goes underneath the legs making yoga splits easy (no, kidding!).
I modernized the drape a little. I wore it over three-quarters and the Kashta felt more like a draped skirt on top. Since I was going to be wearing a sweater as a blouse, I chose to not have a pallu at all. The Saree itself had a nice little detail at the end, so I brought it forward as a final layer. It was so cold that layering the Saree like that was helpful. The whole thing came together with an Obi belt.
Since the legs are split in the Kashta, it was easy to wear boots without any forced need to hide them. I am not short at 5’7, so the Saree was riding up a little (it would be far better in a full 9 yard design), so wearing long boots was kinda nice and helped in the snow.
Saree: The regular Saree worn with this drape traditionally is a 9-yard silk Saree. Since I was going to be wearing it without a pallu and almost like a skirt drape, I wore a regular 6-yard. I liked the dual colored Mul Saree from Suta I have had in my closet, and chose to wear it in this style.
Blouse: I wore a grey sweater.
Shoes: It was freezing outside, so I chose to wore my long Vince Camuto boots.
More images here.
My very kind and thoughtful sister-in-law has fueled my already insatiable desire for Saree wearing. She recently gifted me a Khun Saree from Sayali Rajadhyaksha’s curated collection. I attempted a newly learned central Indian drape Read...
My very kind and thoughtful sister-in-law has fueled my already insatiable desire for Saree wearing. She recently gifted me a Khun Saree from Sayali Rajadhyaksha’s curated collection. I attempted a newly learned central Indian drape with it.
Guledgudda, a small village in Karnataka is the home of the Khun weave. It is said to have been invented at the time of the Chalukyas between the 6th and 12th century A.D. The name comes from Khana (or square) motifs that are weaved in the fabric.
Traditionally, the fabric was used to make blouses accompanying hand-woven Ilkal Sarees. But designers are now exploring the use of the fabric directly to make Sarees or other garments, creating a mini-revival.
Drape: Chattisgarh Central Drape from Chattisgarh, duh. I selected this mainly because I wanted to be able to show the Pallu of the Saree which is handpainted and unique. The video I was learning from used a heavy Saree- a banarasi, and it made it easier to visualize this Saree in the drape.
The drape has pleats on the side, which are sort of hidden, but may bunch up a little (I am sure it can be made smooth with practice). But you need no pins to keep the Saree in place. It’s a challenge to remember the steps, but once you get it, it’s simple enough. I’ve learned that all drapes must be seen in a full length mirror (learning for next time).
Saree: The Saree felt longer than a 6-yard Saree and has Khun weave all over except the Pallu which has a handpainted design on cotton that’s very unique. It breaks the pattern of the Khun in the nicest way giving a good, light contrast to the darker shades of the weave.
Blouse: I wore a regular full-sleeves shirt given the winter time. The Saree itself had so many colors, that it worked to make the blouse less funky.
Shoes: It was freezing outside, and I wore my trusted, water-proof Lucky boots (they’re warm and snug).
More images here.
Baby was invited to his first playdate with the neighbor’s baby. I am not yet sure they did anything expect smile randomly and continue on with tummy time. But it was an opportunity for baby Read more…
Baby was invited to his first playdate with the neighbor’s baby. I am not yet sure they did anything expect smile randomly and continue on with tummy time. But it was an opportunity for baby to meet another baby, and for mama to get a Saree out.
It may not be the most traditional choice for a playdate with an infant, but that’s how so many kids are raised in India. If they can do it, so can I, right? E x c e p t, it started snowing the moment we were expected to step out. But snowdays in Michigan are not terrible winter days. It’s still around 30 degrees, which for January is plain and mild. It’s how Yash Chopra heroines must feel in Switzerland for all songs. We survived- the date and the Saree. Thankfully, the drape didn’t need much handholding!
Drape: Adivasi Drape from Kerala. The drape then also can be made into a blouse. So, you really do not need a blouse or a petticoat, if you do it right. Naturally, with winter time, I wore a blouse (also just my comfort level), and a jacket. It would have been nice to wear leggings underneath for the winter too, but for this time I skipped those.
The drape has no pleats and the extra length covers up to a blouse instead. It’s simple to wear, and you don’t need any pins or extra help to hold up or worry about perfection in pleats.
Saree: The Saree I chose is 6-yard cotton silk with a lot of gold accents, and a glittery gold border. The Saree is a gift and originated from Nasik.
Blouse: It’s not visible in the photos, but this is a yellow noodle strap from Suta, Bombay. It’s easy to wear with a front zipper, and I need to style it again for the summer to show it off a little.
Shoes: It was snowing heavily, so I wore my shiny new waterpoof Lucky boots with the Saree
Outerwear: I had a layer of a Kashmiri Ari embroidery cotton-silk jacket via Miheen and my regular (and lighter) Northface on top.
More images here.
I’ve been sticking to the promise of wearing Sarees. But I took a break in between- in getting all the images. Hopefully 2020 will keep up the inspiration without starts and stops on the blog Read more…
I’ve been sticking to the promise of wearing Sarees. But I took a break in between- in getting all the images. Hopefully 2020 will keep up the inspiration without starts and stops on the blog and the documentation. Here’s week 5.
Drape: Seedha Pallu is a very simple drape, commonly worn in Uttar Pradesh, among other states including Gujarat. The rest of the drape, except the Pallu is similar to the Nivi.
Saree: The Saree I chose is 6-yard cotton silk- and not necessarily meant for winter or snow. I wore it with a jacket as a blouse. I also wore a Petticoat and layered it up. The Saree is from Sanjay Garg’s Raw Mango and has gold zari bootis and a gold border on a soft pastel pink base.
Blouse: This jacket is also cotton silk and perfectly matched the Saree by sheer coincidence. It belongs to a skirt which I am going to feature in this series as well. The blouse is from Sougat Paul’s Soup.
To make it hands-free and avoid sticking safety pins in a new, delicate Saree (my wedding anniversary gift), I decided to wear a tiny belt and keep the Pallu in its spot. For the photos, I was wearing Steve Madden flats, but it did get cold towards the evening when I wore it with Lucky boots (not pictured).
This week's inspiration comes from Goa. The Kunbi drape has two distinct styles worn differently by Hindu and Christian women.
This week’s inspiration comes from Goa. I need to go to Goa with Ipshita and Mark, to repeat our Bombay adventures. I don’t know where all these eleven years have gone. Maybe it’s my post maternity state, but it makes me want to cry. I feel so overwhelmed by nostalgia. Is life just passing me by?
Now, Goa I remember vividly from my college memories, but it’s way too cool not to keep going back to. It has had several unique influences in Portuguese and Konkani style culture – that includes food and clothing among all else. The Kunbi drape has two distinct styles worn differently by Hindu and Christian women.
Traditionally, the Kunbi Saree is a colorful check pattern. More fine details are available here. I don’t own a Saree like that, and used what I had available in my closet. I tried the Hindu styling for this week.
Drape: This drape is mainly used by farming communities. It’s a nice hands-free Saree, and doesn’t require much. A cotton or a softer fabric that can be tied at the shoulder is essential. My Saree had this stiff Pallu so I had to use a pin to keep it in place. You can drape it with or without a blouse. The drape helps cover up. Here’s the YouTube link. Also, Kunbi folk dancers in action here.
Saree: The Saree I chose is 6-yard chiffon- and no matter what Yashraj films make you believe, they’re not suited for winter or snow. To feel a bit warm, I wore a dress underneath the Saree, and also a Petticoat and layered it up. The Saree is from Meena Bazaar (I have hardly ever left that store without buying anything), and has the Mukaish pattern on it in waves. The Pallu has some latkan or hanging beads for effect. With the way it is designed, it is perhaps made with Nivi drapes in mind.
Blouse: I dressed it up with a knitted, body con dress. It has been close to 30 degrees (0 Deg C) and I didn’t want to step out and catch a cold. Besides, I felt a dress was an interesting layer to try. The dress is from Nordstrom.
Since I am still on maternity break, my boots aren’t out yet. I wore this Saree at home (indoors) as we had some friends over, and wore my Nisolo shoes for a quick picture outdoors. I would not recommend wearing these shoes at this time outside in Michigan. But if you live here, you already know frost bites and cold feet are not a good idea.
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