Style mantra for Onam

In vogue Kerala saris are still popular wear during Onam; (bottom right) Kathakali figure on Kerala sari

In vogue Kerala saris are still popular wear during Onam; (bottom right) Kathakali figure on Kerala sari  

Fashion Take a sneak peek at what's new in Kerala saris

O nam is around the corner and with it comes the rush to shop for Onam wear, especially the ever classic and elegant saris. And although various boutiques in the city have stocked their stores with the latest in designer saris to cater to those who want that “something special” for Onam, there are those, who still prefer donning the traditional saris in cream and gold.

However, to ensure those who don these saris do not look “so last season,” predictable or carbon images of each other, designers have ensured that the saris come with a twist.

Take, for instance, the saris at Czarina. The boutique has introduced a line of appliqué- worked Kerala saris with an option of silver zari woven into it. There are also Kerala saris with block printed geometrical designs and saris with badla work (silver dots) on it. Another highlight of Czarina's Kerala sari collection will be the saris that have double-coloured or tri-coloured pallus that are then block printed. The prices of saris start from Rs. 1,200.

Ethnic Weaves too has block printed Kerala saris with tri-coloured pallus (mostly pastel shades). Saris with ‘partly' pallus, in which the saris will have a particular design on the pleats and on the pallus are in vogue as are saris with Ganga-Jamuna borders (double-coloured towards the end of the pallu). Kerala saris with a mix of silver and gold zari work are available too. And the saris come with contrast blouses. The prices for the saris start at Rs. 800.

Heavy kasavu

While, Hantex and Somasundaram have Kerala saris with heavy gold work, Somasundram has Kerala saris with motifs like peacocks and flowers, for instance, on the kasavu or on the coloured borders. Peacock blue, peach and brick red are some of the colours for saris with coloured borders.

Hanveev has an enticing line-up of Kerala saris this Onam. There are saris with jacquard designs (complicated floral designs and traditional motifs), saris with checkered designs and saris with coloured borders that have motifs in zari woven into them.

Embroidered Kerala saris (motifs of nature) are available as are saris with abstract paintings on them. The prices of saris available at Hanveev start from Rs. 400.

There are those who enjoy shopping amidst a fair like atmosphere. If you are one of them, then head for the Khadi Onam fairs on at VJT Hall and Ghandhi Bhavan where they have dedicated counters for saris in cream and gold.

However, if you are one of those who prefer shopping from the comforts of home, you can log on to Facebook and search for the page Mural Aura. Run by Malathi Lakshman, a Chennai-based designer, Mural Aura has mural paintings on Kerala saris.

You can pick from a host of images right from scenes from the Indian epics to Red Indians replete with feathers on their hat et al to temple designs and mermaids and choose from subtle tones to bright hues. The borders of the saris are matched with the colours used on the murals. Malathi also does pacha veshams from Kathakali onto Kerala saris. The prices of the saris start from Rs. 3,000. You can order the saris online and will receive the saris via courier.

And as for those who want a change from the usual cream tint to their Kerala saris, head for Karalkada. The store has introduced a new collection this Onam. Karalkada has saris that have a greyish or maroonish tinge in the body and silver zari worked into it. While the prices for these saris start from Rs. 2,100, set mundus start from Rs. 3,200. Saris with silver brocade work and with a golden tinge are popular too.

You can also have your saris custom made with thick kasavu and with motifs like parrots, mango, peacock, veena and even valkannadi. Valkannadi and veena are apparently the latest and popular motif this year.

So, what's your style mantra this Onam?

Liza George

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