Girls born prior to the 90s would surely recognise the humble Pavadai-Dhavani. This outfit, also popularly known as half-saree was the default outfit young girls wore to school and even college. The outfit consists of three pieces – the blouse which is similar to the one worn with sarees, the skirt or pavadai tied around the waist and finally the dhavani worn tucked one end at the skirt and draped on the right shoulder. It’s close cousins from other parts of India include ghagra, lehengas and even chaniya choli. The only difference between these styles lie in the way the dupatta is draped as well as the base material. While the skirts down South were popularly made from silks and cottons with woven motifs, the counterparts from the North were replete with embroidery, block-prints and applique work. These outfits were worn by women till marriage. Prized for their convenience and variety, young women would experiment with various styles of skirts and blouses and sometimes even the dhavani. For instance, when chintz first hit the market, chintz blouses and skirts weren’t uncommon. Young girls would patiently sew borders on to the dhavani or embroider over them. In the last few decades, these outfits have gone out of Vogue.
At Aavaranaa, its our constant endeavour to embrace new styles as much as we love our traditional roots. And we strive to bridge the gap between the old and new worlds. This outfit is our little ode to simpler times. The skirt is crafted from a stunning hand-painted kalamkari fabric. The floral creepers run all over the skirt in pretty earthy colors that are so typical to traditional kalahasti style kalamkari. To compliment the earthy hand-painted kalamkari colors of the skirt, we chose the muted brocade benarasi blouse. The muted gold in this fabric exudes a rich charm while still being subtle. A pure chiffon dupatta with brocade highlights finishes off this look perfectly. However, if you are a silk lover, this could be substituted with a kanchipuram silk dupatta as well.