Vintage Indian Clothing

A brief and non-linear pictorial history of Indian fashion. And the women who are much more than their (often) fabulous clothes.

My "avatar" is usually a photograph of the actress Kanan Devi.

These are examples of the nine-yard sari as worn in Maharashtra.  The lower half is like the dhoti i.e. the cloth is taken between the legs and tucked into the back and the upper half is left loose unlike in the south. It seems to have been worn by almost all sections of society and everything suggests it was a more practical garment than the modern sari given Maratha and Deccan queens hunted and fought in the garment

On the other hand once the tucks and drapes are in place it is also a garment that looks elegant and beautiful - a fact much exploited in the paintings of the Ravi Varma school

In its truncated form, it is also a “sexy” sari and it appears in simple early 20th century illustrations as well as in Hindi cinema

A modern photograph that clearly shows how the sari is tucked in at the back.

Pic 1 is from Deccan Nursery Tales; Pics 2 is from a personal collection; Pic 3 from here

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