(Pic courtesy Babychakra and Festivelle)
Much before animal print was a trend, I was wearing this leopard print Zara shirt and this silk python print blouse everywhere, so much so that I am now completely done with the trend, right when the world is taking it up and how.
These are pics from 2018 and 2016. And now, leopard and snake is everywhere you look, in the stores, on the fashion instagrammers, on the catwalks.
What is the trend you’ve been bucking much before the world caught on?
I’ve already confessed I have a mortal terror of wearing sarees. I’ve tripped too often and sprained my ankles, ripped exquisite ones to shreds, pinned them ineptly and have had them uravelling visibly in a public situation, had horrific experiences of going to the bathroom in public places where the floors are literal swamps, and more, and so have actively avoided wearing them for all my 47 years. Let me also confess that I am most disorganised a dresser, so the effort of coordinating saree, blouse and petticoat, not to mention, having appropriate number of safety pins at hand is something that has been one of my perpetual failings.
Last year, I think I wore a saree just once, and that too for one of the functions at my niece’s wedding, for the other three functions, I made do with salwar kameezes. This year though, my resolution is to wear more sarees, especially for formal occasions and especially for litfests. I love being in long dresses in the regular course of affairs, but realise that one doesn’t quite have the gravitas needed on stage, something that a saree effortlessly endows one with. And as for the horror of all my Michelin man waist tyres being on public display, thank god for the new style of traditional blouses being dispensed with and anything and everything being okay in place of it.
For the Times of India Bangalore Lit Fest on Saturday, I borrowed this exquisite soft silk Ajrakh saree off my sister in law, Tara (in pic with me), wore it with simple double chain of silver beads and a black shell top. Works?
I look for quiet and calm amidst chaos. Therefore, comfort rules my dress code.
And my wardrobe consists mostly of sober cotton, handloom and silk kurtas. I end
up wearing black more often especially when I don’t want to think through colour
schemes. My collection of traditional dupattas/stoles from all over India blends
perfectly with my salwar suits. And the latest addition to my collection is an
Assamese handwoven ‘tongali’ (worn by the farmer as a waistcloth). In this
picture, with a plain silver coloured kurta, I have wrapped a stole embellished with
kantha work around my neck. This stole is from Bengal.
For any kind of meetings and get-togethers, I prefer the Assamese mekhela sador
(mostly the handwoven ones). And for formal gatherings I prefer a paat silk
mekhela sador. Paat silk is probably one of the lightest silks. In this photograph
clicked on the streets of New York, I am wearing a white cotton mekhela sador
with blue and purple flowers. The flower motif is a traditional design called king
khap. The Halloween pumpkins in the backdrop almost seem like an art
(Teresa Rehman is an award-winning journalist and author based in Assam. She
loves collecting ethnic accessories from different corners of India and the world.)