Woven Paradox: A Spring Saree Story

Woven Paradox: A Spring Saree Story

“I enjoy the saree. I think it’s the sexiest garment ever. It shows you the right amount, it covers the right amount, it’s extremely versatile, it suits every body type, it suits every face.”

Vidya Balan, Award-Winning Bollywood Actress

A saree is a paradox in cloth form. Its versatility as Bollywood actress Vidya Balan so aptly describes, comes from its ability to be what the desired wearer needs it to be. It has the beauty and grace of the culture of India, all within yards of woven cloth, and part of the beauty of both is that they are adaptable to the regions and their people.

The Look

Here we have a Kanjivaram or Kanchipuram saree, traditionally woven in Tamil Nadu, India. The saree is woven from pure mulberry silk thread and paired with zari, fine gold thread.

Kanjivaram / Kanchipuram saree from Polki-Dolki

On the saree spectrum, Kanjivarams are definitely one of my favorites because there is something so beautiful about this particular weaving. The level of grace I feel in these sarees also make it perfect for formal events, in this case my best friend’s Walima. The silk and zari combo brings a shine to the fabric that stands out in person and in pictures, and so with this particular blue, I felt it perfect for a beautiful spring wedding event!

This saree, from our Polki-Dolki collection (coming soon!) features a typical wide border that runs the length of the saree and a heavier pallu, or mundhi – the larger design at the end of the saree. I love the way the weaving features small petals throughout the blue with gold booties or motifs breaking up the color and adding some depth to the design. The gold majority of the pallu helps it stand out when draped over one’s arm, creating a complimentary contrast in the design. I’m a huge fan of the umbi designs on the pallu because they flow well with the floral theme of the saree and the design itself is traditional in essence.

Outfit and makeup by Akiti; hair by Salon Simran

The blouse of traditional sarees are usually adorned with the same border designs and booties so that one may get it made to match the full look. I prefer to customize my blouses to add a bit of a flare to the saree alongside the graceful borders. My mother actually designed this particular blouse by keeping the original saree blouse cloth for the bust area, sleeves, and lower back, but added an embroidered, cutwork design to cover and accentuate the back. The yellow birds add a pop of color as well to make the cutwork stand out and aptly break up the way the gold somewhat blends with my lighter skin tone. We chose mega sleeves because they work well with this fabric, look, and size of the accent borders. The front of the blouse was kept plain so that the beauty of the zari saree border would maintain as it is draped across it.

Custom blouse design by Polki-Dolki

The Accessories

I wanted the saree to be the focal point of the look, so even though it was my best friend’s wedding event, where one typically wears their heaviest outfits and jewelry, I went for more accent accessories than a large jewelry set. For my particular face structure and personality, chand balis have always been a favorite, so here I wore gold chand balis from Harsahaimal Shiamlal Jewellers in Moradabad, India adorned with diamonds, pearls, and semi-precious turquoise stones throughout. The hint of white from the pearls brightens the look, while the size of the stones maintain the delicacy of the outfit so as not to embolden it.

Chand Balis from Harsahaimal Shiamlal Jewellers in Moradabad, India

To continue with the gol (rounded) theme that stems from the floral designs in the saree and now the balis, I added a diamond and gold tikka from The Pink Bazaar. This was a brilliant find at one of their pop-up shops in New York City, and has been my go-to tikka for a variety of my desi wear. The delicate tear drop shape and smaller drops off the edge matched perfectly with the umbi design of the saree’s pallu and the droplets of my earrings.

When I chose this saree, I wanted to ensure I had two key elements in my outfit: maintain the tradition look but accentuate with modernity. To maintain the traditional aspect, I kept my hair in a non-elaborate updo with a low bun, very typical of South Indian looks with sarees (hair by Salon Simran in Dayton, NJ). To add to the modernity, I added synthetic fabric flowers that matched the antique gold and white accents of my look, instead of the usual gajras one would wear with this saree. Finally, to close out the traditional look, I coordinated a 5-inch set of chudiyan that matched my colors as a large set of chudiyan add to the look without overbearing it.

This look is perfect for any formal event, especially if it’s a traditional one like a pooja, wedding, or more conservative occasion. The hint of modernity allows you to align with the traditional with a bit of flare – adding to the beautiful paradox!

Memorial Day in Style

Memorial Day in Style

This year’s Memorial Day goal was to relax and take a breath before the beautiful summer begins. With a focus on errands and recharging for the week, I was not focused on hair or makeup, but rather enjoying the day and getting things done. I pulled together this outfit to do just that, so I left my hair up and took the day with just an SPF moisturizer.

The goal for the day’s outfit was comfy, cute, and chill. Even though this particular holiday marks the start of the summer fashion season, it was abnormally chilly and called for something cozy as well.

The result? My absolute favorite track suit combo from Adidas! It’s an old one, but I love bringing back evergreen (in this case blue!) looks, especially when they’re perfect for the vibe I’m going for. Check out their latest track suits here if you’re looking for this vibe.

Although primarily a polyester blend on the outside with the signature Adidas logo and stripes in white, it features a soft fleece lining that made it perfect for the chilly weather. The best part is that it’s matching set with crop top and hooded jacket so that no matter which way the weather swung, I was prepared.

I absolutely love the color because it aligned perfectly with the mood I was going for – chill and relaxing. Psychologically, the color blue invokes those moods in us and it successfully did so today. It also helped that it matched perfectly with the Memorial Day theme of our American Flag!

But to fully tie in the beautiful red of our flag’s colors, I paired this look with my Tommy Hilfiger Bucket Bag that aligned perfectly with this sporty fit. I’m obsessed with this bag because it’s not quite a backpack and not a polished purse either, so it’s perfect for that in-between look for days like these. It features a beautiful leather strap that is comfortable to hold in my hand or on my arm. If you’re looking for functionality, it even comes with a longer leather strap inside. I keep it in the bag at all times just in case I ever need it! There’s definitely enough space for the strap and so much more given its size. It’s great for someone like me who always carries a ton of stuff but still wants the cute look, so I very much appreciate the two pockets inside along with the one on the front (perfect for my keys!) to keep everything organized. The gold emblem on the corner is just enough to give this casual look a little bit of flare without overpowering the comfort look and pairs really well with my everyday gold and diamond jewelry.

I’m a stickler for matching, so of course I closed out the look with my white and gold Guess sneaker wedges. More often than not, you will find me in heels because I have an incredibly high arch, so flat shoes can actually be painful after a while, and because I love the grace that comes in my posture with a heel! That’s why I love these because they give me the sneaker look and comfort that I want, with the added bonus of the posture I’m looking for with a heel. Guess currently has two beautiful options similar to mine and they’re on sale!