Known as the world’s longest dance festival, Navratri is a festival that everyone looks forward to, especially in Gujarat. While some fast during these nine days to worship goddess Amba to seek her divine blessings, most are excited about the garba and dandiya nights that follow the elaborate puja. Dance enthusiasts from across the globe fly back to their roots in Gujarat to be a part of this nine nights of revelry. Traditionally, Sharad Navratri or Mahanavrtri falls in the month of September-October. This festival is celebrated in different states in different forms; as an ode to goddess Durga in West Bengal and to Goddess Amba in Gujarat. If a city was ever known by its festivities, Kolkatta would be known for its Pujo celebrations and Pandal hopping whereas Ahmedabad would be known for its Raas-garba nights during the Navratri. The city is illuminated in fairy lights to mark the beginning of festivities. One can find garba venue every 500 metre in the city.
Navratri in Gujarat is no longer just a festival restricted to religious rites but has become synonymous with nine nights of raas garba, dressing up in the latest trends of ghaghra-choli and relishing the ubiquitous Khichu (a dish made up of rice flour,cumin, green chillies, oil and red pepper). One could safely say that this festival is an extravaganza for dancers, fashionistas and foodies alike.
Did you love Deepika Padukone’s kalidaar ghaghra in ‘’Ram Leela”? Did you like Aishwarya Rai’s look in ‘Dholi Taro Dhol’ or did you fancy Madhuri’s lehenga in ‘Ladke Ore ladke’from ‘Ye jawani Hai Deewani’? If you have been the one that loves watching these emerging fashion trends and is looking forward to experiment, if you are the one who has already Google searched ’10 best trends to follow in Navratri’, you absolutely need to read this as we are about to dispense some stellar fashion hacks for you to indulge in.
Before we begin with our fashion advice to make your ensemble trendy and stylish, we suggest doing a wardrobe cleaning of the existent collection.
- Do hold on to your solid coloured ghaghra and embroidered backless cholis. They are here to stay much like Audrey Hepburn’s classic white pearls.
- Keep your colourful dupatta intact. An ethnic dupatta can never go out of style.
- Take out the handloom skirts from your daily wardrobe and get ready for our fashion tips to mix and match
- Collected a couple of crop tops last season? Lets give them a fresh twist
Once you have taken a stock of what you already have, you can now make a list of things to buy for this Navratri. You could go for the classic looks which are tried and tested to play the classic dress up.
But if you want to perk up your existent collection, we have cherry picked a few other essentials to add some zing to this years outfits.
Historically, angarkha has been a garment that is worn by men in the Indian subcontinent. However, as fashion evolved, angarkha style has since then been used by many designers in women’s kurta and tops. One can say it is our desi version of androgynous fashion.
This Navratri you can opt for a silk based short angarkha top instead of a traditional backless choli. Team it up with mul dhoti bottom and get ready to rock this uber chic androgynous look with your individual style statement.
So what if you have to steal it from your dad’s wardrobe? Opt for silk or mul fabric dhoti that can be wrapped around in different styles. In case the whole exercise becomes too cumbersome, then search for the Dhoti-pants available in different fabrics in the market. Many designers like Anamika Khanna and Anju Modi have revolutionized the ethnic fashion by showcasing this androgynous essential as the ‘next must-have’ in your wardrobe.
You could opt for rich jewel tones like emerald, sapphire, amethyst, citrine, turquoise, ruby and cobalt. For those of you who feel like notching up the style quotient, you can search for plaids in silk fabric or gamcha in silk and get your bespoke designer dhoti made.
Team it with floral crop top if you have solid coloured bottom and solid coloured crop tops if you have plaid bottoms. A classic black angarkha teamed with mul dhoti could pass off as your new-age LBD.
- Long jacket
Long slit tunics hit the market last season and most of the fashionista’s did flaunt their long tunic tops with jeggings. In the wedding fashion, long jackets have ruled the trousseau since quite some time now. Its long length lends a regal touch to the outfit. How about trying these long jackets in Navratri?
You could opt for a long jacket in pastel coloured raw silk or Jaipuri cotton. For those who love some quirk and embellishments, go check out the markets for Kutchi embroidered long jackets.
Team it with a traditional ghaghra or pair it with raw silk pants to give a contemporary twist to the traditional navratri dressing. For those who want to keep it simple, try pairing it with your ajrakh or dabu print long skirts. The key to this quirky look is accessorizing it with boho chic accessories.
- Cold-shoulder Tops
Initially meant to raid the western wear, cold-shoulder trend has now entered the ethnic segment too. For those who believe in leading the fashion trends, you may raise your stylometer by opting for cold-shoulder tops.
The latest trend in Navratri, cold-shoulder tops can be customized in Tye and dye, Bandhani or leheriya fabrics to lend it a festive look. Glam up the style statement this season by pairing this trend with traditional ghaghra and contrasting dupatta. Want to go over the top? Try teaming the cold-shoulder top with embroidered jacket and long skirt. Let your creative imagination do a run and customize your cold-shoulder top in different handloom fabrics to give a classic look.
The elegance of any ensemble is dependent on the final styling. Needless to say that dupatta is that final element of style in navratri fashion. Hoard them, store them and re-use them. Citrus bright coloured dupatta, leheriya and bandhani are the quintessential favourites. Alternatively one may opt for dupatta with embroidery and gota-patti work.
The creative minds can go to city markets and buy their own laces to design and customize the ready-made dupatta. One could opt for rich textiles like phulkari as well to perk up the plain look. Try the colour theory of teaming colour block contrasts on few days and of monochromatic themes on other to keep your looks versatile every day.
Feminine floral trend is here to stay. Floral look transports one to a dreamy ethereal world of fashion. Moreover, floral trend is now not just restricted to summer fashion. Last season saw floral trend emerging as the winner in the Navratri fashion, and we bet it will stay this season too.
Be it in the form of crop top, cold shouldered blouse, ghaghra or dupatta, if you are the girl who loves floral motifs, go for it. Dig up last year’s shopping haul to check if you already have it. Then go right ahead and buy one floral element to revamp this year’s Navratri outfit.
Do you remember the shopping loots at Rani no Hajiro in Ahmedabad or Nava Bazaar in Baroda? Each city in Gujarat has their old city market stacked up with the quintessential oxidized jewellery around the festive times of Navratri. The trends keep changing cyclically but every girl who loves fashion will definitely stock these classic bohemian neckpieces, danglers, bangles and cuffs in oxidized metal. However, this year layer those pieces with contemporary baubles in gun metal or brass. Jewellery made in wood, beads, jute and paper quilling can also lend a unique style statement.
Do play around with accessories like Maangtika, kamarband, armlet, septum ring, ear cuffs, black choker, anklets, ankle cuffs, cocktail rings and silver hair pins to style the look. If you love fresh flowers, go for mogra or marigold flowers ‘veni’ to create a traditional look.
You can go for shopping once you have identified the looks that you want to try. Last but not the least, to make the Navratri festival hassle free; do not forget to buy safety pins and cycling shorts. You will need them the most.
You could be trendy and versatile or you could stick to the classic style. The choice is yours. Go glam, go stylish.
( This article was first published in The MUG magazine)