Lehenga Style Saree

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Actress Raima Sen in a Lehenga Style Saree

Lehenga style saree is a new trend of saree introduced in India. This is an aesthetic blend of the traditional saree and a lehenga choli. A lehenga style saree is normally 4.5 meters to 5.5 meters long. To wear one, unlike a sari, one doesn't have to form pleats but may simply 'tuck and drape'.

Like that of a traditional saree, the lehenga style saree is worn over a petticoat (inskirt, pavadai in the south, and shaya in eastern India), along with a designer blouse called the choli, which is the upper garment. The style[1] of choli mostly resembles that of the choli of a conventional Lehenga or Ghagra choli. Sometimes conventional blouses are also matched with lehenga style saree. The choli is mostly of a halter neck style, deep neck, or “backless” style. As with choli worn with the saree, these cholis are also embellished with kundan, beads, mirrors etc.

Origin[edit]

Lehenga style saree is a form of ready-made saree that arose from the need of an artistic yet easy to wear party attire. The easy-to-wear option of the garment tells the ladies just to slip into it and be ready in minutes. Stitched as a long flared skirt with a zip at the side, it is made to the measurements of the wearer. The ensemble needs to be slipped in, then the wearer can fasten the zipper and drape the pallu over the shoulders. This is an outfit for ladies who are not comfortable with usual draping and pleating that the regular saree demands. This style of saree’s pallu has the dramatic effect of the matching dupatta of the conventional Lehenga Choli.

Embroidery and embellishments[edit]

Various types of embroidery patterns are employed according to the lehenga style saree. Bagh, Chikan, Kashida, Kasuti, Kantha, Sozni, Shisha, Zardozi, etc. are some of the commonly practiced types of embroidery in the lehenga style saree.

Bagh is a special kind of embroidery done by women in Punjab to be worn during festivals and weddings. Bagh embroidery completely hides the base fabric and is a very heavy kind of embroidery. This embroidery on lehenga style saree is exquisite as often the cloth is barely visible and only the beautiful embroidery is easily seen. Kashida is a Kashmiri embroidery type. This is very colorful and depicts Kashmir in its patterns. The other famous embroidery on lehenga sarees is the Kantha work and Kasuti work of Bangalore.

Various rich and exquisite embellishments are used on lehenga style sarees patterns, which include silver embroidery, golden embroidery, metal beads, real pearls, wood beads, glass beads, mirror work, lace work, Kundan, sequins, glittering stones, zardozi, etc. Mostly rich fabrics like silk, georgette, brasso, brocade, chiffon, crepe, etc., are used in the making of a lehenga style saree.

In India, Sabyasachi Mukherjee is known for his lehenga style saree.

Draping a lehenga style saree[edit]

Compared with traditional sarees, the method of draping[2] a lehenga style is relatively simple and hassle-free. The plain end of the saree is tucked into the petticoat/inskirt and wrapped once completely around the waist, similar to wearing a regular saree. Whereas pleats would be formed in a traditional saree, at this point with the lehenga style one continues to tuck in the drape without making any pleats. (In a lehenga style saree, pleats are replaced with embellished gotas or panels at the front, which imparts a flared silhouette that is characteristic of a lehenga style saree.) Finally, the pallu is draped over the shoulder like a regular saree.

The only difference between a Lehenga style saree and a regular saree is that it doesn't require pleats to be formed at the front. A few lehenga style sarees come with side hooks too. The hook-it-and-fix technique fits the lehenga style saree snugly around the waist.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mohapatra, R. P. (1992) "Fashion styles of ancient India", B. R. Publishing corporation, ISBN 81-7018-723-0
  2. ^ Boulanger, C (1997) Saris: An Illustrated Guide to the Indian Art of Draping, Shakti Press International, New York. ISBN 0-9661496-1-0