The Indian attire saree goes centuries back to the Indus Valley Civilisation, and has transformed rapidly. Saree is a social evidence to the evolving Indian culture.
The evolution of saree moves parallel to the history of India, representing that it is not just a simple garment worn by Indian woman, but a symbol of India’s past, present, and future. Saree, a garment as traditional as it can be, yet represents contemperary women, with diverse choices. However, it has been wildly sexualised by Bollywood, with its tip-tip brass paani, yet saree was a choice of fierce women. This International Women’s Day, bask in the glory of Saree.
Called the ‘Sattika’, the attire consisted of a three-piece poshak which was an ensemble of antriya, the lower garment, uttariya, a veil worn over the shoulder and the head, and a stanapatta, a chest band, which later evolved into a choli.
The Mughals contributed not only to the architecture of India, but also to its dress sense. This period focused on a bright and lavish saree look. The Mughals perfected the art of stitching and had a great fascination with silk clothes. This era was obsessed with elegant, embroidery-rich, silk clothes. The modern way of draping sarees originated during this period. This period made the sari look very royal and graceful.
Indian women owe the modern jewelled pins and brooches for the draping of saris to the British, who transformed the way Indian women used to dress to suit their own rules. Many British colonies adopted western clothing during the British rule, but India held onto its traditional clothing.
The Late 90s
The late 90s focused mainly on the colour and the fabric. Highly influencedby Bollywood, this period witnessedwomen wearing bolder colours with sheer chiffon fabric, embracing and accepting, more than ever.
This era witnessed ample experiments with the traditional saree. Apart from colour and fabric, the way of draping saree also saw major changes. The concept of fusing with the western look was attained in the early 2000s giving the traditional saree, a stunning, and wholesome look.
Saree is widely diverse when it comes to the geography of India, blessed with the cultural diversity of our nation. There’s no particular style that can define the beauty of this Indian attire, as it evolves to something even more mesmerising with every state we cross, and every cultural difference we comprehend.
Feature Image Source: Ashwini Iyer for DU Beat