Hi guys! As a Pakistani woman, one should have a collection of sarees in her closet ready to pull out whenever an occasion calls for it. I started my personal saree collection in 1998 on a trip to Pakistan. Sarees are perfect trousseau items and can serve as heirloom pieces for your future generations as well. I have been wearing sarees since I was sixteen. Growing up in Pakistan in the 1990’s, it wasn’t a common sight to see sarees on women. My maternal grandmother and all her sisters wore sarees daily, including during work, at home doing chores, and for special occasions. It’s quite common for people to be familiar with this outfit. For others, you can learn from this post. Here goes:
A saree is a long (around 5-6 yards) of fabric. Women can wrap it around their bodies in different ways and wear a complimenting blouse with it. The fabrics can come in an assortment of colors, designs, and quality.
I wore my first saree when I was sixteen at a Halloween party at my mom’s workplace. I didn’t want to spend money on the costume, but I still I wanted to dress up so I chose to be an “Indian princess”. I still remember that sari. It was coral/peach color with black beadwork. It wasn’t too expensive so my mom wasn’t too upset with me wearing it. Anyways, it was quite a fun experience and I remember getting a lot of compliments. I think that was the first time I felt like a young lady too.
Even today I am in love with sarees. Culturally Pakistani women wore saree only after they got married, but now many young unmarried girls don sarees at weddings and parties as a fashion statement. The last time I wore a saree was a Tena Durrani sari at my brother’s wedding reception (Valima). I actually haven’t worn sarees that many times. I think I have worn them a total of 7 times in my lifetime (1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2012, 2013, 2016) Most of the saris I have are unworn and reserved for my dowry. Fun!
Anyways, I was thinking how can I help my readers build a collection of sarees that are trendy and timeless at the same time. So I decided to write a post on top designers that offer a variety of sarees for your trousseau. Here goes:
1. Sabyasachi: When you first hear the word saree you think of India and no other Indian designer designs saree like Sabyasachi Mukherjee. He knows how to intricately weave (pun intended) tradition with modernism like no other. His bridal outfits are a favorite among Bollywood celebrities. I know many people would agree with me, but my favorite saree of his is the half-n-half velvet/tulle sari. The workmanship is quite different from a Pakistani formal and both tulle and velvet parts have beautiful machine embroidery on it. These sarees come in different colors and quite stunning. So if you need to have a winter season item in your saree collection, then Sabyasachi is probably the first place to start. All you would need to add is a cute clutch and nice hair/makeup. If you want a more affordable designer doing a similar style, then look into Saira Rizwan.
2. Feeha Jamshed: is a Pakistani designer whose ethos is based on very modern, cutting-edge and youth-oriented cuts and silhouettes. She has a selection of digitally printed silk sarees that are to die for. I own two from her collection (the Full Stop saree and Husk saree) and paired them with her stunning embroidered blouses. The digital prints are very unique and untraditional making them appropriate for fun and less formal occasions such as bridal showers or birthday parties. If you are a distant guest at a wedding, then you can get away with wearing her sarees in a wedding. For light party wear sarees, a girl needs to look no further than Feeha Jamshed.
3. Faraz Manan: is a couture label based in Lahore. He is arguably the biggest fashion label in South Asia with both international and national clientage. If you want to know how big he is, you should know he has dressed Kareena Kapoor and Nawaz Sharif’s daughter. His craftsmanship is very distinct and intricate. You can spot a timeless Faraz Manan outfit anywhere. How? He usually works with light and neutral colors, but I have seen him use rich colors in his bridals occasionally. So why do you need a Faraz Manan sari? A Faraz Manan sari is going to cost you about $10,000+ so invest in it if you plan to stand out and want to wear a sari at your wedding. Maybe you are the mother or sister of the bride. Or the bride herself. A Faraz Manan heavily-embroidered saree can add an oomph factor to your closet.
4. Studio S: Seher Tareen is an Art enthusiast who incorporates art history in her designs, particularly her sarees. A personal favorite of mine is her green and cream Degas sari. You can wear it with lace-up pants or get it stitched like a traditional sari. What is different about Studio S. saris are their 3D embellishments. Besides embroidery, which is common, she plays with satin lace-ups, tassels, and other creative 3 dimensional embellishments. And the homage she pays to each artist, such as Degas is quite stunning as well. If you like art and want to have something different in your collection, then do look into Studio S. Here sarees, like Feeha Jamshed’s sarees, are a fun and flattering for that ultra-modern girl.
Another saree that is a must-have in your sari collection is a French lace sari. I can’t think of any designer in the Indian Sub-Continent who incorporates this elegantly timeless, but simple fabric. Pair it with a stylish embroidered or unembroidered blouse and you can be the highlight of any party. A place to get your hands on premium French lace is HERE.
Hope this post gives you some ideas.