Penchant for Patialas
These airy pyjamas have been a hot favourite , writes LATIKA R. CHUGANEY
PLEATED DELIGHT Rani Mukherjee sports the style in Laaga Chunari Mein Daag
For all who can drag their eyes from the breath-taking frames of Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, there is Rani Mukherjee sporting Patiala salwars which are set to become the flavour of the season. “Due to its popularity , this ensem
ble will always be in vogue irrespective of season and occasion,” says Suraj Chawla, Bangalore-based fashion designer. Other than the nine-yard sari, the only other luxurious ensemble that unites people all over India is the Patiala salwar kameez.
“Generally the Patiala salwar refers to loose baggy, pleated pyjamas.The pleats are gathered and stitched up at the waist. They are held up by a string or elastic, and the bottom is really loose and hanging to give the fall. The pleats run vertically from the top to below and are sewn into the hem at the ankle. The more the pleats on the salwar, the more stylish it looks,” describes Chawla, the fashion guru. This style is most famous among the Punjabis and is a very attractive version of the regular salwar-kurta. This salwar style goes very well with a knee-length kurta/kameez, which is printed in the same fabric or can be worn with a contrast.This traditional ensemble has an interesting history. It is said to have originated from the Patiala royalty belonging to the state of Punjab. The royalty had two special commissioned tailors-Sardar Santok Singh and Pritam Singh- who had originally designed the Patiala salwars borrowing the pleats pattern and belt from the English skirts. Since then this pyjama went by the name of its state of origin and was a favourite with the Maharajas and Maharanis. The
In the modern times, this traditional dress has given fashion designers a lot of scope for innovation. Keeping different body types in mind, designers like Sooraj Chawla advise women who are too tall and thin to dress in a regular Patiala salwar as it adds volume to the hips, making the person look shapely and shorter.
0Similarly, the dress can be modified for short women too with less number of pleats though.
This style will require three metres of fabric for a medium height person. There is also the dhoti Patiala salwar, which will require four metres of fabric. The dhoti style is very similar to a Patiala salwar, except that it has more number of pleats. It should look and fall like the typical Indian dhoti. The bottom for this is comparatively narrower than that of other salwars. The preferred fabrics for this fashion are printed crepes or mul. The semi-Patiala salwar, or a basic Patiala salwar which has consists of less pleats on the salwar are more suited to rounded figures or short persons. A semi-Patiala can be made in 2.5 metres. Another option for shorter people is the is the Pakistani salwar, which has a lot of variation. One of the styles features a narrow salwar with minimal pleats looking very close to straight trousers. This
salwar is designed in a very narrow version of a Patiala. As there are hardly any pleats on the top and the bottom of the salwar, the whole salwar is slightly narrower and has a trouser look about it.
Those with a taste for drama can go in for the balloon salwar, which is also called Arabian or harem pants. Here the pleats are gathered at the waist in similar fashion like Patiala proper but at the ankles they are gathered up to give a balloon-lik e look (like the choodis of churidar).The balloon salwar is really popular among teenagers as these can be teamed with a knee-length kameez, a mid -length tunic, a kurti or top. They are also made of different fabrics including knits in various printsthat can be teamed with short and stylish tops and tunics to give it a more western look.
Earlier Patiala salwars were mainly in flowing, paisley prints. Nowadays, however, people experiment with fabric — from plain fabrics, to block printed designs, geometric prints in vibrant colours — all are a great hit this season.
“A few styles must be kept in mind while dressing traditionally. A complete no-no with a Patiala are kurtas with an empire cut, strappy kurtas or kurtas that give an off shoulder look. These stylesgo best with harem salwars.If you want to add colour and glamour to the fabric, patch work with lace, silk ponchos with embroidery; crochet borders and patches on the salwar, etc to name a few can create a new dimension, in this couture,” recommends Chawla.
A Patiala suit looks complete with a dupatta, a stole or a scarf. One should avoid wearing flat chappals or jootis as it cuts off the height. Traditional Indian jewellery suits this ensemble the best.
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