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Celebrating Onam and don’t know what to wear and how?

Date : Nov. 1, 2016       The Hindu

One of the most fascinating things about festivals in India is that most of them, though regional, are inclusive.

In most cities that are multi-cultural, Onam is a celebration for all who wish to participate.

We find people partaking in its traditional sadhya or wearing the gorgeous Kasavu sari/mundu, donned traditionally by Keralites for this festival.

If you too are looking for some fashion advice, here is what experts have to say.

Fashion designer and proprietor of Styyle Fairy, Mable Thomas states: “The Kasavu sari is a traditional weave of Kerala, typically kaithari or handloom, though the market is flooded with their power loom versions. Now, there are plenty of non-Malayalees too who love draping themselves in the white and gold for Onam.”

Roopa Reddy, creative head and co-founder of House of Blouse, says: “I think the Kasavu sari is one of the most understated, yet hauntingly beautiful sari in the whole of India. Draping this traditional off-white and golden sari is not just restricted to Onam only. This sari, with its sheer beauty, has ensured its place in many wardrobes. Another trend which is fast catching up is to take the traditional Kasavu sari and dye it in rich deep colours.”

Freelance designer, Karuna Rampal, feels the sari is classy and white and gold are the perfect combination.

Every year designers come out with interesting new Onam fashion ideas. “I decided to keep the weave authentic, without much of an intrusive design, and pair it with interesting blouses such as Kalamkari crop tops, brocade jacket blouses, peplum blouses, corsets, pure silk zardosi blouses or even a simple linen crop shirt,” Mable explains. Roopa adds that she likes the sari teamed with brocade blouses and the current trend is also to wear Currently floral blouses and printed, dyed or woven fabrics such as shibori and ikat are trending. She suggests“pick a floral or ikat blouse in a raw silk or silk and make it interesting by using striking borders in mirror work orsubtle gold filigree work. They are a hot favourite this festive and wedding season. ”

Owning a gorgeous Kasavu sari is one thing and styling it fashionably is quite another. Mable says:

“Trendy blouses can be complemented with a single-piece accessory such as traditional jhumkas, old-fashioned nagapada thali or gorgeous kasu malas to get the right Indo-Western mix. Slip on heeled sandals, stilettos, or kolhapuris, and you are good to go.”

Roopa casts her vote in favour of “footwear with beaded embellishments or Indian motifs and a brocade clutch purse to complete the look for Onam.” She adds: “One simple mantra is to stick to a majority shade of off-white gold. You can add a little colour by wearing emerald jhumkas or a ruby neck piece.”

For those who find it cumbersome to drape an Onam sari, Roopa recommends “a floor-length anarkali using the Kasavu shades. The lehenga can be paired with a long white-gold kurta and a gold tissue dupatta, making it an elegant option for this fest.”

If you are dressing up for Onam for the first time, there are some pointers you might want to keep in mind. “There are no dos and dont’s as each individual has their own style.

However, try to dress based on the Onam event that you are attending -- a light weight set mundu (a two-piece version of the Kasavu sari) for a home lunch, an elaborate set mundu/sari, painted or with embroidery for a traditional Onam dance, an Onam tissue sari with broad Kasavu or zari border paired with an embellished blouses for a more formal do or weddings.”