He would choose saris from Benares and Indore – centres of fashion – and wear embroidered georgettes and silks from Bombay, fabrics and designs which became fashionable with middle class Maharashtrian women in the period between the two world wars. He began to wear exotic accessories such as embroidered jackets over the saree blouse, perhaps to cover his male contours which also became fashionable with women at the time…….when necessary, however, he played women shorn of all adornment.
Bal Gandharva is probably the best known of Indian actors who took on female roles in the early part of the 20th century and appears to have been highly successful as a female impersonator and as a fashion trendsetter. His personal life appears to have been fairly scandalous, particularly his association with the actress Gohar.
This picture appears to be an ad of some sort for a restorative drink. And I do believe this is one of few occasions I have seen a tasselled blouse. All in all its a tasteful picture of middle class elegance and manners.
I am curious about that jacket over the blouse but can’t lay my hands on a photograph.