Dating back centuries, Indian Women’s fashion has a rich history. Be it the intricate designs, vibrant prints, or magnificent weaves, Indian women’s fashion is still evolving and offers a diversified range of styles and trends.
Beginning with A, I decided to pick out two styles and two weaves to discuss Indian Women’s fashion.
Anarkali and Angrakha
Being around for centuries, Anarkalis and Angrakhas are traditional attire with a rich history and are still in the limelight of contemporary fashion. Having been worn for special occasions like weddings and festivals to now being part of fusion wear, these Indian attires are not going anywhere out of trend.
Anarkali, a long flowing dress was named after Anarkali, a famous dancer, and courtesan, who wore this attire when she performed for Emperor Akbar. It is said to have originated in the 16th century during the reign of the Mughals. Flaring out from the waist with a fitted bodice extending to the hips, the Anarkali attire is made of silk. Heavily embellished with sequins and embroidery on the bodice, the sleeves of an Anarkali can either be long or short and are usually made of sheer. It can be worn with a dupatta or as a dress in itself with just a scarf to accessorize or layer.
The Angrakha on the other hand, originated in the 18th century in Gujarat and Rajasthan. It was typically designed for men but was later adapted for women as well. Like Anarkali, the angrakha is a flowing skirt that flares from the waist but has a shorter bodice with a slit in the front. It’s usually made with light flowy fabrics like cotton and silk and often embellished with embroidery and vibrant prints for a grandeur look.
Both garments are worn during special occasions such as weddings, festivals, and religious occasions and do have a rich cultural and historical significance of their origin. They’ve become popular choices in contemporary fashion to be worn for formal occasions. Designers have also come up with modern twists making them into fusion wear, wherein the Anarkali can be worn as a floor-length gown and the angrakha is designed with unconventional prints and asymmetric hemline.
These attires have stood the test of time, and women wear them to be in connection with their heritage. Designers have adapted modern tastes giving twists to the attire in contemporary fashion.
This also is proof that these attire will remain popular for years to come and are timeless treasures.
Ajrakh and Arani silk
Known for their intricate designs and high-quality material, the Arani silk and Ajrakh prints are traditional Indian textiles that have been passed down for generations.
Traditionally made, the ajrakh is a type of hand-block printed fabric from Kutch in Gujarat and Sindh in Pakistan. The fabric has been worn by generations of people in that region which dates to 4000 years. Cotton and silk fabrics are dyed with natural colors like indigo and Mudder and printed with intricate designs. It is then washed and dried a couple of times to achieve the desired pattern and color. The result is a fabric known for intricate geometric patterns and vibrant colors.
Considered a symbol of the wearer’s heritage the ajrakh fabric is often worn for weddings and religious occasions. The fabric has a deep cultural significance in the area it is produced. Sometimes used as a traditional remedy for certain ailments, the ajrakh is also believed to have healing properties.
Arani silk originates from the town of Arani in Tamil Nādu. Known for its high-quality and durability, it is used to make sarees and traditional attires. ‘Rehwa’, a process that involves twisting two threads to form a stronger, durable fabric is used in weaving the arani silk. The result is a fabric known for its lustre and softness.
Highly sought after for their beauty and quality, the arani silk sarees are worn during weddings, and religious occasions and are even passed along through generations as family heirlooms. Being produced in the Arani town for centuries it is a major part of the local economy.
Ajrakh and Arani are important in India’s rich textile heritage. Produced using traditional techniques they have been passed along through generations to keep the art of weaving along. Often worn during important occasions like weddings, both have been deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of the region of their origin. Prized for their beauty and cultural significance be it the lustrous beauty of Arani silk or the intricate patterns of Ajrakh, people around the world continue to be captivated.
This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.