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A mix of old and new: the saree edition

A Telegraph lookbook of the classic benarasi with contemporary interpretations
Pinki Sinha.

Priyanka Roy (t2 Intern)   |     |   Published 07.01.21, 09:02 PM

Pinki Sinha’s new winter-festive Benarasi collection is a burst of bright colours, rooted in tradition with a hint of contemporary style sensibilities and experimentation. “The winter-festive collection is centred on a play of colours — colours of happiness and optimism, of enlightenment and exuberance. From luminous yellow, vermilion red, amethyst purple to feminine pink, it exudes luxury and grandeur entwined with beautiful gold, silver zari and presented in multiple forms of wearable art. The collection has bejewelled sari with a play of layering, brocade skirt sets to flowy Anarkalis. Through alluring and chromatic patterns, the collection reflects vibrancy and versatility. Intricate and exquisite weaving technique of meenakari and kadhwa has been incorporated in the collection,” said Pinki. She put actress Sanjana Banerjee into five looks fashioned from the weave, which has become an emotion for us. 

Pinki’s top tips on styling your Benarasi...

  • Benarasi is a truly versatile statement to adorn. It has sheen to itself and due to its vibrant colours along with elaborate yet intricate patterns, it can be styled to appear more festive and traditional.
  • There is something regal about a Benarasi sari and one can wear it in a classic way or go experimental with drapes and layering.
  • Add a handwoven Benarasi dupatta to any solid kurta to give it that occasional turnaround.
  • An interesting brocade blouse, brocade jacket or trench coat can add a festive look to a subtle cotton or Chanderi sari and at the same time the jacket or trench coat can multitask with a pair of pants for that western look.  
  • Need a fusion look? Wear a Benarasi skirt complemented with folded-up satin shirt/solid top or pair up an off-shoulder blouse to steal those glances.
  • Accessorising Benarasi ensembles is fun. The ensembles blend with vintage, polki and jadau jewellery. A layered necklace look will give a royal statement while an oversized nath will help you rock the look. 

This lightweight mustard yellow Benarasi silk woven in the kadhwa technique has golden-and-orange detailing along the border and elaborate meenakari floral designs all over the body. The purple Benarasi jacket designed with red, blue and gold meenakari floral motifs, complements the richness of the sari. The hair is loosely tied into a plait and accessories are kept minimal. “The jacket blends in a touch of contemporary with the traditional Benarasi look. It has a smart appearance and gives a Victorian look to the ensemble. The weaving technique is of the finest quality and the mild meenakari doesn’t dominate yet adds a touch of colour to the outfit,” said Pinki.

This beautiful pink Benarasi lehnga has golden zari rosebud booti work all over and is paired with pink Benarasi dupatta with zari and colourful meenakari work on it. Accessorised with a maangtika and a finger ring, pop lips, smokey eyes and high ponytail complete the look. “I have been very lucky that despite my collection being Benarasi and traditional, it has always been loved by very young girls. So this look is for all young girls who love skirts and do not prefer very heavy lehnga. One can enjoy to the fullest in such a look, which is not very heavy yet luxurious to look at,” said Pinki.

Styled on the concept of a lehnga sari, it has zari detailing in dual colours of gold and silver with a tinge of bright pink along the border. The sari is paired with a heavy dupatta with zari detailing to complement the purple-with-purple look. The multicoloured blouse inspired by patola weave is a nice contrast. The look is accessorised with a heavy neckpiece and hand ornaments and the hair is pulled back into a messy bun. “Purple is my favourite colour since it was announced the Pantone Color, and, I have been crushing on it big time,” said Pinki.

This red Benarasi sari is a brocade variation in pure silk woven with shikargah technique and has intricate golden zari work all over. The red-and-gold combination is gorgeous. The look is kept subtle with a tinge of colour on the lips. The sari is paired with a gold blouse, a green-and-white neckpiece and finger ring, a touch of alta on the feet and the hair worn open in natural waves. “This is a statement piece apt for all the heavy-wear functions. It has a touch of luxury in it and one can make a classic statement in it without adding any extra effort because the design is rich and the colour is very attractive. Red anytime in this winter wedding or festive season is going to be sought after and can make anyone look great. Its weaving technique is regal and a form of expression of the craft of Benaras,” said Pinki.

This vibrant Anarkali set brings together bandhni and Benarasi. The radiant blue Anarkali is paired with a pretty pink-and-gold Benarasi-bandhni dupatta with colourful red, green and orange meenakari work on it. Accessorised simply, the styling, hair and make-up are effortless. “With this outfit we have created a special fusion textile by bringing in two crafts together. This can be worn for lighter wedding parties or festive occasions,” said Pinki.

Pictures: Pabitra Das
Styling: Sumit Sinha
Make-up: Rebecca Rajpal
Hair: Mousami Chhetri
Jewellery: Vasundhara Fine Jewellery
Location courtesy: ITC Royal Bengal

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