Saturday, October 27, 2007

| Shalwar Kameez

What is Salwar / Shalwar & what is Kameez?

Following definitions will explain you all about salwar kameez and embroidery, workmanship used in shalwar kameez.

Kameez - A three-quarter-length tunic for women, usually knee-length or longer. Plural is also "kameez

Salwar or Shalwar - Loose pants, broad at the top and narrower at the ankles

Sharara - A very full, flowing pants which look like a long skirt, worn under a short tunic and with a dupatta.

Churidar - Closely fitted pants, with bunches of folds at the ankles looking like a stack of bangles

Dupatta - An unstitched length of material for the upper body traditionally worn by both sexes, but now mainly worn by women as part of a salwar kameez (paijama and tunic) ensemble.

Kurti or Tunic - A short kurta usually worn by women a type of grass fiber)

Zari or Jari - metal wrapped yarn used for zardozi embroidery

Badla - Flattened gold or silver wire

A question of culture

The sari is, without argument, the most graceful form of attire invented by homo sapiens. That is why the Begums Jinnah and Bhutto wore it on formal occasions. They were also wearing Salwar Kameez in other occassions. Over time, however, the salwar came to replace the sari even in public. Was there a larger significance in this? The respected Pakistani columnist M.B. Naqvi thought so. Fascinating piece by him on how Pakistani society was torn between identifying with West Asia or South Asia. Naqvi suggested that a woman's choice of Pakistani dress intimately embodied this dilemma; thus to wear a sari was to see oneself as part of a wider subcontinental culture, while to don a salwar was to place oneself in an Islamic world alone.

The sari was once viewed as something that could be owned by all Indian women, Hindu or Muslim, Christian or Parsi. The salwar kameez , on the other hand, was viewed by some as a dress worn exclusively by Muslims. Hindu and Sikh women knew often wore the salwar kameez. Salwar Kameez is also called Shalwar Kameez in countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc.

Salwar Kameez Islamic, Sari Hindu?

After Jemima Goldsmith married Imran Khan and went to live in Lahore, she was visited by her close friend, Diana, Princess of Wales. Soon afterwards, Jemima and Diana were photographed wearing the shalwar kameez. Surely it must be a hard job teaching Lady Diana how to get into shalwar kameez.

Earlier in 60s & 70s Salwar Kameez or Salwar were seen as Pakistani dress or Punjabi dress (also known as Punjabi suit), the sari as an Indian dress or Hindu dress. But in recent decades the salwar kameez has spread to parts of India. Same is the case with saree, it has become very famous fashion attire around the world. Shalwar kameez fashion has not only taken India by storm but it's becoming famous around the world. Salwar has now become very famount Indian Fashion.

The victory of the salwar kameez (shalwar kameez)

Salwar Kameez has now become so famous as Indian dress that in the smallest town of Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Hariyana, Andhra Pradesh, etc. school going girls wear salwar. Earlier in 60s they wore the pavade, a kind of long skirt sometimes called the half-sari. Yet within one generation they had so easily, and comprehensively, shed an older, so-to-say traditional, form of dress for a previously alien one.

Is it better to see the salwar kameez as a peasant dress, worn by women in the Punjab countryside because it made their work easier, rather than as a specifically Islamic dress? What is the significance of the Bengali term dhoti-panjabi? When did the shalwar kameez first come to rural South India? What has been the role of television and film in facilitating its spread? And how and why has it become so popular among young girls, regardless of caste or religion?

These questions call for serious investigation. Why has the salwar become so ubiquitous in a region where it was unknown only a generation before? The answer must be that this is a dress not seen as "Western" or immodest, and yet a dress that allows one to go to school or college, and to participate in the work force. Jeans and tops can be worn in cosmopolitan cities like Bombay, Delhi, Banglore, Madras. The salwar kameez is suitably "decent", yet it allows far more mobility than either the pavade or the sari. One can walk in it, one can bicycle in it, one can even run a 100-metre race in it.

Lehenga Choli

It has many different names. Call it Lehnga or Lehenga or Lehngha. It's also known as Lehnga Choli.

As most of the modern world seems to be severing its link with the natural and organic processes of textile production, the Indian subcontinent still retains a hold on many of its ancient clothing traditions -- and choli / Lehenga is just one part of that.

The classicism of Indian textile lies not only in the sophisticated craftsmanship and quiet and simple elegance, but also in the emphasis on the drape of the garment, which is ready to wear straight from the loom, further enhanced by the personality of the wearer. Majority of Indian fashion designers are still continuing with the ancient tradition of ethnic Indian lehenga, presenting it with the new age look, embellished with embroidery and other works by highly skilled artisans of India. But not to forget that Lehenga choli originally came from Muslim empire. In muslik community, specially in Pakistan lehnga choli is a Indian wedding dress.

Indians have been very fashionable from the very ancient times. The sculptural evidences found so far depict that choli has always been worn in India by the women.

In different parts of India, brides wear different kinds of clothes, ornaments, and adornments. The bride's clothes are usually typical of the area. A Punjabi bride would wear a salwar-kameez, and a Maharashtrian bride would wear a nine-yard saree and a Rajasthani bride would wear a lehenga.

The lehnga-choli is representative of the traditional Rajasthan/Gujarat style of dressing. The rich colors which they use are symbolic of festivity/fertility. Metallic yarn is traditionally used on these garments. During the actual wedding ceremony, conducted in front of the fire, the motifs and the colors of the ensemble glow.

In Gujarat they call it ghagra choli. During navaratri festival, women wear gagra choli for navaratri dandia raas.

The lehenga-cholis with their glittering mirror-work look most attractive. The blouses have elaborate mirror-work and patch-work on them and are very colorful. It is designed to leave the back and midrib bare. These type of dresses are mainly worn by women in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat.

Saree is also interesting Indian costume.

Bollywood Lehenga All Embellished with Handcrafted Gold and Silver Zardosi, Dabka and Salma with Multi-Color Beadwork. Diya Mirza wore a Exquisite Golden Zardosi Onto Peach Pure Crepe Ghagra, Choli and Odhni in the movie 'Rehna hai tere Dil mein'

Bridal Lehenga Wearing of bridal lehenga chole is a fashion with lasting values and rich craftsmanship. Bridal lehengas are so much in fashion that in addition to wedding, they are worn even at beauty pageant contests at national as well as international level

Chaniya Choli The home of the chaniya-choli is no doubt Kutch, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The outfit is popular in the west and north of India. In the south, another more streamlined version known as the pavade is popular. Fabrics that are used for chaniya-cholis normally range from cotton, silk to khadi and at times chiffon

Designer Lehenga Designer lehenga with rich traditional chikan embroidery in colored thread all over and an equally enamoring dupatta to match makes for the most auspicious ceremony of your life. Designer Lehenga - choli sets are stitched in different types of fabric: Silk, raw silk, cotton prints, georgettes and so on

Embroidered Lehenga A embroidered lehenga or heavy lehenga have Embroidery, like every other art form, needs to be understood to be fully appreciated and enjoyed. Insight of the principles not only creates the urge to "paint" with needle and thread but gives one the knowledge that enables a more keen perception of the old masterpieces as well as modern day pieces Embroidered bridal lehengas are hot this wedding season

Ghagra Choli The Indian ghagra Cholis with their glittering mirror work is the most attractive. This comprises of long pleated skirts, known as Ghaghra or Lehenga, and is worn with twin blouses. The blouses have elaborate mirror work and patch work on them and are very colorful. It is designed to leave the back and midriff bare

Indian Cholis The Choli : It is the tightly fitted, short blouse that ends just below the bust worn under a sari. It is either long sleeved, short sleeved or sleeveless. Indian cholis as a form of garment are getting more famous and daring as dandiya festive garments

Indian Lehenga Choli The Indian lenghas with their glittering mirror work is the most attractive. This comprises of long pleated skirts, known as Lehenga, and is worn with twin blouses

Sharara Sharara is a short/ long blouse worn with matching pants fitted till the knee, with a big flare from the knee onwards. Sharara cholis are usually heavily embellished and worn with a matching long Chunnri

Traditional Lehenga or Trendy Lehenga Traditional lehengas include embroidered lehengas, traditional ghagra cholis, tremendous lehenga. Embroidered traditional Indian lehenga-choli is quite famous round the globe. The traditional lehanga-choli in soft pastel shades with light embroidery is an ideal outfit for the Sangeet ceremony

Indian Wedding Lenghas A wedding is an auspicious occasion when the attire demands keen attention, careful planning, elegant display because it is specially meant to make an individual look her /his best. During a modern wedding, appearance means almost everything. Today, the brides have a wide variety of bridal dresses to pick and choose from. Wedding lehengas is one of them

Zardosi Lehenga Zardosi lehenga is the traditional wear of Indian women since mughal time. Popular among royal family of olden days, Zardosi lehngas come in many different styles. The Zardosi lehnga-chole made up of a comfortable fabric, can be worn on festivals or other celebrations. Zardosi lehangas are glamorous and elaborate