A lehenga-style saree is a modern garment introduced in India that blends of the traditional saree and lehenga choli. A lehenga style saree is normally 4.5 metres (5 yards) to 5.5 metres (6 yards) long. To wear one, unlike a sari, one doesn't have to form pleats but may simply 'tuck and drape'.
Like that of a traditional saree, the lehenga style saree is worn over a petticoat (inskirt, pavadai in the south, and shaya in eastern India), along with a designer blouse called the choli, which is the upper garment. The style of choli mostly resembles that of the choli of a conventional lehenga or ghagra choli. Sometimes conventional blouses are also matched with lehenga style saree. The choli is mostly of a halter neck style, deep neck, or backless style. As with choli worn with the saree, these cholis are also embellished with kundan, beads, mirrors etc.
Lehenga style saree is a form of ready-made saree that arose from the need of an artistic yet easy to wear party attire. The easy-to-wear option of the garment tells the ladies just to slip into it and be ready in minutes. Stitched as a long flared skirt with a zip at the side, it is made to the measurements of the wearer. The ensemble needs to be slipped in, then the wearer can fasten the zipper and drape the pallu over the shoulders. This is an outfit for ladies who are not comfortable with usual draping and pleating that the regular saree demands. This style of saree’s pallu has the dramatic effect of the matching dupatta of the conventional Lehenga Choli.
Embroidery and embellishments
Various types of embroidery patterns are employed according to the lehenga style saree. Bagh, Chikan, Kashida, Kasuti, Kantha, Sozni, Shisha, Zardozi, etc. are some of the commonly practiced types of embroidery in the lehenga style saree.
Bagh is a special kind of embroidery done by women in Punjab to be worn during festivals and weddings. Bagh embroidery completely hides the base fabric and is a very heavy kind of embroidery. This embroidery on lehenga style saree is exquisite as often the cloth is barely visible and only the beautiful embroidery is easily seen. Kashida is a Kashmiri embroidery type. This is very colorful and depicts Kashmir in its patterns. The other famous embroidery on lehenga sarees is the Kantha work and Kasuti work of Bangalore.
Various rich and exquisite embellishments are used on lehenga style sarees patterns, which include silver embroidery, golden embroidery, metal beads, real pearls, wood beads, glass beads, mirror work, lace work, Kundan, sequins, glittering stones, zardozi, etc. Mostly rich fabrics like silk, georgette, brasso, brocade, chiffon, crepe, etc., are used in the making of a lehenga style saree.
In India, Sabyasachi Mukherjee is known for his lehenga style saree.
Indian Draping a lehenga style saree
Compared with traditional sarees, the method of draping a lehenga style is relatively simple and hassle-free. The plain end of the saree is tucked into the petticoat/inskirt and wrapped once completely around the waist, similar to wearing a regular saree. Whereas pleats would be formed in a traditional saree, at this point with the lehenga style one continues to tuck in the drape without making any pleats. (In a lehenga style saree, pleats are replaced with embellished gotas or panels at the front, which imparts a flared silhouette that is characteristic of a lehenga style saree.) Finally, the pallu is draped over the shoulder like a regular saree.
The only difference between a Lehenga style saree and a regular saree is that it doesn't require pleats to be formed at the front. A few lehenga style sarees come with side hooks too. The hook-it-and-fix technique fits the lehenga style saree snugly around the waist.
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Weddings in India vary regionally, the religion and per personal preferences of the bride and groom. They are festive occasions in India, and in most cases celebrated with extensive decorations, colors, music, dance, costumes and rituals that depend on the religion of the bride and the groom, as well as their preferences. India celebrates about 10 million weddings per year, of which about 80% are Hindu weddings.
While there are many festival-related rituals in Hindu weddings వివాహం(wedding) is the most extensive persogs (wednal ritual an adult Hindu undertakes in his or her life. Typical Hindu families spend significant effort and financial resources to prepare and celebrate weddings. The rituals and process of a Hindu wedding vary depending on region of India, local adaptations, resources of the family and preferences of the bride and the groom. Nevertheless, there are a few key rituals common in Hindu weddings – Kanyadaan, Panigrahana, and Saptapadi; these are respectively, gifting away of daughter by the father, voluntarily holding hand near the fire to signify impending union, and taking seven steps before fire with each step including a set of mutual vows. After the seventh step and vows of Saptapadi, the couple is legally husband and wife. Jain and Buddhist weddings in India, share many themes, but are centered around their respective religious ideas and texts.
Sikhs get married through a ceremony called Anand Karaj, a ritual started by the third leader of Sikhism, Guru Amar Das. The couple walk around the holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib four times. Indian Muslims celebrate a traditional Islamic wedding following customs similar to those practiced in the Middle East. The rituals include Nikah, payment of financial dower called Mahr by the groom to the bride, signing of marriage contract, and a reception. Indian Christian weddings follow customs similar to those practiced in the Christian countries in the West in states like Goa but have more Indian customs in other states.
In the past, the age of marriage was young. The average age of marriage for women in India has increased to 21 years, according to 2011 Census of India. In 2009, about 7% of women got married before the age of 18. Arranged marriages have long been the norm in Indian society. Even today, the majority of Indians have their marriages planned by their parents and other respected family-members. Recent studies suggest that Indian culture is trending away from traditional arranged marriages. Fewer marriages are purely arranged without consent and that the majority of surveyed Indian marriages are arranged with consent. The percentage of self-arranged marriages (called love marriages in India) have also increased, particularly in the urban parts of India.
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- ^Three Days of a Traditional Indian Muslim Wedding, zawaj.com
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- ^Women and men in India 2012 CSO/Census of India 2011, Government of India, pp xxi
- ^K. Sinha Nearly 50% fall in brides married below 18 The Times of India (February 10, 2012)
- ^Manjistha Banerji; Steven Martin; Sonalde Desai (2008). "Is Education Associated with a Transition towards Autonomy in Partner Choice? A Case Study of India"(PDF). University of Maryland & NCAER.
- ^David Pilling (June 6, 2014) Review – ‘India in Love’, by Ira Trivedi; ‘Leftover Women’, by Leta Hong The Financial Times