I am a fashion purist! A big believer of time-tested classic styles, if you will. Transient trends such as the net saris and sequined petticoats do not cut it for me. And therefore, I am on a personal fashion mission to collect saris from all over India simply for the love of varied textures, fine weaves, striking hues and intricate motifs.
I have only begun and it has already been a fascinating exercise! I believe the sari is the greatest ode to our fabulous textile heritage and perhaps the longest fashion trend known to man! It is a forceful ideogram of my cultural identity and a resilient symbol of our sundry textile industry. So, dear Aalayam readers, sit back and take delight as I whisk you away on an aesthetic journey to discover the fabric landscape of India.
On a recent trip to India, I crumbled (miserably) under pressure - the pressure of having to walk away from breath takingly beautiful kanchi saris. I had resolved to buy just one since I was intent on buying other saris from across the country. But my resolve melted the minute I stood in front of a beautiful row of neatly stacked opulent kanchi saris and eventually I walked out of the store with 4 gorgeous kanchis, a happy camper! Ageless in quality and timeless in style, the kanjeevaram silk reigns supreme
I don't know of any other sari that can match the enduring elegance of the Kerala Kasavu. No, really! The tranquil ivory tone complimented by the luxe gold border of the kasavu sari has been a cultural trademark of the gorgeous women of Kerala from times immemorial and holds its appeal even today. If you are a sari aficionado, then your bank would be incomplete without the Kasavu.
I love the handwoven texture on mine- I think it makes the sari exotic!
We featured a little spotlight piece on the art of block printing in a previous post and here is an excerpt "There is nothing more simple and sophisticated than block print fabrics. An ancient textile imprinting technique, block printing is done by artisans in rural India and these handmade fabrics are perfect inspite of their imperfections!" The delicate beauty of the symmetric block prints makes the sari a visually appealing piece of art. My persimmon and black sari was a thoughtful gift from my dear aunt who knew of my sari -mission. The block prints on this beautiful cotton sari paired with a causal embroidered fabric bag creates an eye-catching ethnic extravaganza!
Did you know? Many of India's saris have a GI right (Geographical Indication)- an intellectual property right, mapping them to the region of origin (source:wiki)
It was a great pleasure to do this feature on a topic so close to my heart -India's unparalleled textile heritage! I would be remiss if I did not thank my mom, grandmom, mother-in-law and aunts for enabling my indulgence!
Sanganeri, bomkai, tanchoi, chanderi, paithini, venkatgiri….so much more to talk about!
All images are the copyrighted property of Aalayam. Credits: My husband!