Only a week left for the ultimate fashion celebration of Bengal — Durga pujo. Right from the childhood days, there has always been an excitement and enjoyment for prepping up one’s wardrobe for these five days of pujo, and not just the clothes but the accessories too. Though my childhood was a simple one growing up in south Calcutta in a middle-class family, I have always enjoyed thoroughly the para addas, pandal hopping and the sumptuous meals, and the entire year used to revolve around waiting for the days of pujo celebration.
But now it has turned into the biggest fashion season in Bengal. And not the just the retailers, but designers also make an effort to specially design a collection around the festival. From the traditional dhakai jamdani for the elders, to the backless string cholis for the young girls and the dhoti kurta for the boys — these are all the perfect attire for pujo anjali.
That’s not all, the pandal hopping has taking its own turn with a bit more comfortable silhouettes like Nehru jackets teamed with dhoti pants, anakarli kurta and jackets and the pre-stitched or concept sarees. Newer trends include night parties and club hopping, where you want to look as glamorous as possible in your draped dress or a thigh-high slit dress.
Men are also not deprived. Slim-fit summer jackets or zippered jackets teamed with printed or textured pants make for a perfect party look. This is the only time of the year when people of all ages flaunt the best traditional attire like dhakai jamdanis, tussars and the ghichas. And not just sarees, but also kurtas made out of these handlooms of Bengal. Interesting motifs and variations give a contemporary yet traditional look.
So the must haves this festive season straight from the runways are: The wide-legged palazzo has made a huge comeback and can be teamed with your short kurtas or boleros to give an interesting look. The long jackets or bandhgala play an important role too, and can be teamed with your circular skirts or your pencil pants. The jacket blouse works very well with a traditional Indian saree.
The cape is another silhouette which you can team up with anything —palazzos, skirts or your floor-length kurta. And most importantly, the various new innovations of the saree — the jersey saree, saree gown, dhoti saree and the 50 different ways of wearing your usual traditional sarees. The list is never ending but you can always be a little creative and create your own look.
Men are also sporting a whole lot of bandhgalas and Nehru jackets in different textures and are not ready to shy away from experimenting with colours like pinks and moss greens. Zohaib pants and low-crotched dhoti pants are a new rage too.
Here’s my take on the ideal look for the five days of pujo:
SHASTI: Nude make-up. Your wide-legged printed trousers teamed with a crop top and contact sling with block heels or flats, since it’s the best day for pandal hopping.
SAPTAMI: Anarkali kurta or jacket paired with pencil pants or leggings with a clutch or a potli, for enjoying a meal out with your family or friends.
ASTAMI: The saree day. Your concept saree will be the ideal choice. Dhoti saree teamed with a shrug or a bolero with some statement earpiece and a nice hairdo will make your day.
NABAMI: Draped dress with or a saree gown will be ideal for a get together with friends.
DASHAMI: The ethnic day. Nothing can beat the laal par saree and the sindoor khela. And you are too sad to dress up also since the holidays are ending.
BTW, you can get the best crash course in fashion trends while sitting at the pujo pandal, watching people in their either mesmerising or outrageous clothes. Either way you are educated for the better. Though I hope to enjoy my holidays by taking a break from clothes (I meant from making one), hope you have a fabulous and fashionable pujo.