Kanjivaram sarees, also known as Kanchipuram sarees, are made in Tamil Nadu’s town Kanchipuram, comprising entirely of silk. They’re known for their exquisite quality and high prices, mostly because each saree is woven with hands, involving a lot of dedication and care. Each saree can take up to 4 months to be made, and are available in a variety of colours and patterns.
While today’s Bollywood actresses rely heavily on high end designers to style their wardrobes and spice up their fashion lives, Miss Rekha is someone who’s carved her own signature style by wearing Kanjivaram sarees consistently over the past many years to numerous public and private events. The Umrao Jaan actress can almost always been seen draped in her gorgeous collection of kanjeevarams, most of them accessorized mogras and gold work. Her style, accentuated with blood red lips and open hair, is comfortable, fluid and absolutely unique.
She is one Bollywood actress who’s maintained a desi style statement. In fact, so influential has been her style that the talented Vidya Balan adopted it as well. And we must say that Balan does it with great elegance. The actress is undoubtedly one of the most talented actresses of our time and is most well known for her unconventional looks and outstanding roles. Off the camera, she’s managed to make waves with her uncommon fashion sense. Also the recipient of a National Award, the Padma Shri Award and many Filmfare among others, Balan has definitely upped the ante for other Bollywood actresses. She is almost always seen wearing sarees, mostly because she’s a great supporter of the dying art of handloom and wants to act as a medium via which she can create awareness about it.
Much like Rekha, Balan accessories her Kanjivarams with embroidered potlis and big bindis on her forehead. At the recently held Lakme Fashion Week summer-resort 2015, the Bobby Jasoos actress sported a designer saree by Gaurang Shah, a designer who is well known in the fashion industry to work with textiles and khadi. At the event, she said,”I am someone who wears lot of handlooms. I strongly feel for it. Slowly I am gaining more knowledge about it so that I can do whatever I can for the weavers and the cause of the handloom.”
Most people are unaware of facts regarding Kanchivaram sarees, one of which is that their designs have been a major influence in Hindu architecture. In fact, the influence seems to have been mutual because a lot of temple designs were reflected in the sarees of yore. Motifs like parrots, tribal designs, pallava temples and even scenes are depicted from the Mahabharat, Ramayan and Bhagvad Geeta. The borders are sometimes the most beautiful aspect of these flowing sarees, where mostly zari work can be seen. The most common motifs used in the borders are that of rudraksh and temples.
In the end, we’re happy that influential actresses like Rekha and Vidya are going out of their way to bring desi back in the world of fashion!