I came across Uma Damle’s interpretation of Hemen Majumdar paintings the other day. Her site also has her take on Raja Ravi Varma’s works.
That got me into doing a few posts of spot the artwork in today’s fashion and styles.
The girls, on these occasions, put on their best dress, generally a white “saree” with a broad red border. They tastefully arrange flowers in their hair and plumes of the long breast feathers of the paddy-bird. The Kols of Chotta Nagpur (1867).
For e.g. the classic white sari, red border which is worn even today. Though strongly associated with Bengal it is very much a recurring theme in the east of the country.
Her fair complexion burgeoned out of the bright green halo of her muslin dupatta (on Khurshid Jan, Umrao Jaan Ada).
Diaphanous dupattas may be on the wane (dupattas themselves being worn lesser and lesser) but they are around too. Albeit the pic I have shown is nearly two decades old:) In the pics, Portrait of an Indian Princess, Elizabeth Brunner and Aishwarya Rai in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.
रेशमी-नीली साडी मेँ मधु
कान के मोती, काकुलों में मधु
खिलती हुई मधु
सिन्दूरी बिन्दी मेँ खूब दमकती हुई मधु*
From the 1975 short story “Madad” by Ila Dalmiya.
Lastly, blue sari + red blouse is very common even now but I have gone with a 1950s version as well as a vintage sari since I felt they also went with the quote. The first pic is a Raja Ravi Varma painting, the second is Leela Chitnis in 1942 and the third pic is from a piece on women wearing their mother’s saris.
*loose translation below:
Saji-savnri Madhu (Bedecked Madhu)
Reshmi-neeli sadi mein Madhu (In a blue silk sari, Madhu)
Kaan ke moti, kaakulon mein Madhu (Pearls in her ears, with curls, Madhu)
Khilti hui Madhu (Blooming Madhu)
Sinduri bindi mein khub damakti hui Madhu (Shining brightly in a red bindi, Madhu)