Based in UK and India, fashion influencer Archana Dhankar swears by the elegance and charm of Indian fashion. Here, she shares six formal looks that can be worn with elan anywhere in the world.
Indian fashion is all about vibrant colours intricately woven into designs that are constantly evolving. It is at the forefront of the global fashion stage, making a mark of its own. I choose to wear and promote Indian fashion even in international settings as a mark of culture and as a part of my identity. I find passion in the craftsmanship, dedication in the finesse of every garment, and courage in the boldness of colours.
Indian fashion is not just my heritage but also speaks to the kind of woman I aspire to be – elegant, strong and full of life and colour. Its versatility lends itself to mixing and matching with all kinds of pieces and I know that, through my wardrobe and fashion choices, I can rely on my culture to reflect every mood on any day.
Some of my favourite looks have come from wearing vivid monochromes and versatile garments in both traditional and more modern silhouettes.
This purple sari-gown is a vibrant, yet easy-to-wear Indo-Western piece in my wardrobe. The one-shoulder cut and mermaid silhouette is very chic and modern and perfect for a cocktail evening. The sari drape across the body, with the mirror work along the border, and mirror and shell-lined belt add to the cultural quotient. It is a statement in its own right. I decided to slick back my hair and accessorise with bold earrings and a ring to match.
Pink is at the top of my list of favourite colours, and this delicate hue of pastel rose is beauty personified. Even the embroidery work on this is minimal to compliment the angelic, fresh colour, especially in the day. It is for that very reason, however, that I also wanted to bring strength to this perfectly graceful piece. So instead of wearing the dupatta across the front, I prefer draping it from its edge across my shoulders and letting the fabric fall down the length of the back. Some may think it adds a touch of modesty, but to me it is my cape – strength in grace.
Joyful and Empowering
Yellow is not always an obvious choice, but think of an afternoon mehendi ceremony and you would think of no better colour to bask in the sunlight on this fun day with friends and family. To me, the colour evokes pure joy and I feel radiant in this lehenga with traditional mirror-work, just to add some sparkle. Keeping my hair side-swept and open, neatly pinned with a foliage hair brooch, meant that I didn’t have to worry about any henna getting in the way of all the fun. A peachy-pink lip and traditional jewellery are just little adornments to make this look regal.
Calm of Nature
This is one of my favourite ensembles – the bright green almost exudes a sense of calm, but still depicts elegance. I love the versatility of it – be it an afternoon wedding function or just brunch, I feel very confident donning this. The outfit is adorned with antique-gold thread work which brings a sophisticated glint and makes it perfect for a formal get-together. I prefer not to let my makeup or accessories outshine this beautiful piece, so I tend to pare back with nude-pink lips and comfortable juttis.
The Power of Red
Red is an indispensable and irreplaceable colour in an Indian wardrobe, and a traditional red sari to me induces a sense of power and beauty. It is for that very reason that I often wear this timeless piece with conventional gold jewellery – jadau or polki, with a cummerbund and maang tikka to match. A sleek bun adorned with a gajra completes this portrayal of the Indian woman in all her splendour and elegance.
This co-ord set is a modern Indo-western take on the sharara and though solid in design and pattern, this vibrant yellow is a breezy, comfortable and chic ensemble to step out during the fun haldi festivities. The vivid hue is befitting for such an event but I like to add some pizzazz with simple accessories like jhumkas, a chic gajra bun and red lips for a pop of colour.
Archana Dhankar is a social-media influencer. Visit her page @archanadhankar for all things fashion, lifestyle, travel and more.
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