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The Indian Sari- Fashioning the Female Form

Updated on April 22, 2011
Victoria Becham in a sari
Victoria Becham in a sari
Alyssa Milano in a sari
Alyssa Milano in a sari
Angelina Jolie in a sari
Angelina Jolie in a sari
Cameron Diaz in a sari
Cameron Diaz in a sari
Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell
Anna Kournikova in a sari
Anna Kournikova in a sari
Ashley Judd in a sari
Ashley Judd in a sari
Dame Helen
Dame Helen
Jelena Jankovic
Jelena Jankovic
Liz Hurley in a sari
Liz Hurley in a sari
Madonna in a sari
Madonna in a sari
Nicole Scherzinger in a sari
Nicole Scherzinger in a sari
Pussy cat dolls in sari
Pussy cat dolls in sari
Aishwarya Rai in sari
Aishwarya Rai in sari
Aishwarya Ria in sari
Aishwarya Ria in sari
Freido Pinto in sari
Freido Pinto in sari
Freido Pinto in sari, the actress of slumdog millionaire
Freido Pinto in sari, the actress of slumdog millionaire

The ancient and exotic sari, India’s traditional national dress for women, has withstood the test of time and is now over 5,000 years old. For those who’ve never put one on, a sari can be a bit of a mystery with its many pleats and folds.

The word sari is derived from Sanskrit which means 'strip of cloth'and in Prakrit, and which was corrupted to sāṛī in Hindi

In the history of Indian clothing the sari is traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished during 2800-1800 BC around the western part of the Indian subcontinent. The earliest known depiction of the sari in the Indian subcontinent is the statue of an Indus Valley priest wearing a drape.

A charming folktale explains the origin of the Sari as follows:

"The Sari, it is said, was born on the loom of a fanciful weaver. He dreamt of Woman. The shimmer of her tears. The drape of her tumbling hair. The colors of her many moods. The softness of her touch. All these he wove together. He couldn't stop. He wove for many yards. And when he was done, the story goes, he sat back and smiled and smiled and smiled".

Like the Greeks and Romans who followed them, the ancient people of India mainly wore garments that were wrapped and draped, rather than sewn. This was not because they did not know the art of sewing—early Indian people were experts in fine weaving and embroidery—but because they preferred the flexibility and creativity that draped clothing allowed. Loose, flowing garments were practical in the hot climate of southern Asia, and the sari, woven of cotton or silk, was both cool and graceful. Though rich and poor alike wore the sari, the wealthy could afford to have fine silk fabric with costly decorations, while the poor might wear rough plain cotton.

I believe the way you dress tells a lot about a person. It tells what mood you're in, and how you feel about yourself. Being the symbol of elegance, beauty and sensuality, sarees have always been a very crucial part of Indian women’s life. Any woman can look like diva with unique draping style, designer blouses, fabulous prints and vibrant colors of Saree.

Naveen Patnaik, a politicial from Indian said “The sari's radiance, vigor and variety, produced by a single straight length of cloth, should give us in the West pause and make us think twice about the zipper, the dart and the shoulder pad.” Saree has not only fascinated the Indian woman but has also become popular in the West. Many Hollywood celebrities have tried out this graceful attire and stunned people around. This stunning piece of fabric makes all women look gorgeous and elegant. A saree can be draped in different styles depending upon the comfort and the kind of look desired. Most commonly, the sari is wrapped around the waist, with the loose end of the drape worn over the shoulder, baring the stomach.

There is no mystery in a sari for Indian girls like me. We've discovered it, rediscovered it, redraped it. I've grown up seeing my mother, grandmother drape it. Saris are at the centre-stage in the global fashion arena. Anyone and everyone wear them these days. Any other outfit cannot match the amount of elegance and charm a sari exudes. The draping styles may have changed, the way it is teamed up with designer blouses and accessories may have undergone a major overhaul, but this strip of pretty cloth has always managed to deck us up with unmatched grace.

Though many Indian people, both those living in India and those who live in other countries, have adopted Western dress, it is very common for Indian women to wear the sari for important ceremonies, such as festivals, engagements, parties, and weddings. Vidya Balan, a famous actress of India says it all-“ I think sari covers the right amount, and exposes the right amount-its such a tease and I like teasing…” Who doesn't :)

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    • profile image

      angel 

      3 years ago

      Such so nice sarees .

      All sarees so nice.

      Thanks hub.

      http://www.angelnx.com/

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      5 years ago from France

      Beautiful, I will be wearing one for the first time for an Indian themed party tonight and I am very excited about it. I had never explored the sari before, and I was very wrong, it is a beatiful creation.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Nidhi, you certainly have a way with words. you write in simple language but so enchantingly and the pics are awesome.

      Good hub.

    • ranasaeed profile image

      ranasaeed 

      7 years ago from Lahore Punjab Pakistan

      Sari is a traditional as well as gorgeous dress in south Asia and now is getting popular in other countries of the world.

    • nidhi.singh profile imageAUTHOR

      Nidhi Singh 

      7 years ago from Austin

      Thanks jenscott. Sari has always been an important part of indian women's life. Its very elegant and graceful, that you can guess from the pictures too.

    • jenscott profile image

      jenscott 

      7 years ago from United States

      I've always thought saris were so gorgeous, but I never knew much about them. I learned so much from your hub, and the photo collection is beautiful. Great job!

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