This Poila Baisakh, travel through four decades of Bengali sari-themed fashion with Bibriti Chatterjee

This Poila Baisakh, travel through four decades of Bengali sari-themed fashion with Bibriti Chatterjee

When it comes to redefining indigenous fashion, Bengal has historically led the way and paved the path for new-age fashion. Traced back to the Indus Valley civilisation, saris still continue to rule any Bengali woman's ethnic wardrobe. Worn in several styles and pleats, it has survived centuries of fashion evolution and apart from being regular wear for many, this six yards of wonder also completes any festive look, be it pujas or weddings. This Poila Baisakh, we have tried to capture the sari looks that ruled the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s fashion in Bengal. Emerging actor Bibriti Chatterjee has done complete justice to the looks with her smouldering looks and expressive eyes. 

Here are the looks deconstructed by us, in case you want to try them out today:

 

bibriti
A hand-woven striped cotton sari with a contrasting embroidered blouse, both by Parama Ghosh and guinea necklace and studs and Golap bala by A Sirkar

The traditional 60s 

The sixties were all about Aat Poure saris in Bengal or saris worn with eight folds. "Bengali women are known for their impeccable style, particularly when it comes to wearing a sari. Rich Bengal weaves like tant, dhakai, jamdani, baluchari and garad looked graceful in ethnic Bengali drapes," tells couturier Sayantan Sarkar

"While at home, married women draped saris in “Aat Poure” style, the working women wore them “Nivi” drape. The workplace also saw a lot of printed silks - beautiful paisleys, fish, parrot, flower motifs. Women from upper-middle-class families were often spotted in sleeveless blouses. The pallu draped around the neck, the blouses with embroidery or lace details, use of brooches made them stand apart," tells designer Parama Ghosh, who is famed for recreating traditional eras through her bespoke blouses. 

bibriti
A hand-woven striped cotton sari with a contrasting embroidered blouse, both by Parama Ghosh and guinea necklace and studs and Golap bala by A Sirkar

Brinda Sirkar, who helms the design aesthetics of A Sirkar and Co. Jewellers, tells us that the 60s looks can be accessorised with art-deco earrings, metro haar, a lot of chooris (slim bangles) or Jorowa bala, Guinea necklace and pasha, Amrita Pak Bala, lots of Belowari Chooris (inspired by the Belgian chandeliers). "Keep the makeup simple or bold but don't forget to add a red vermillion bindi. Do a middle part in your hair and add a bit of volume before tying it up into a low bun," suggested makeup artist Abhijit Paul.

bibriti
A simple cotton floral sari and polka-dotted puff sleeve blouse by Parama Ghosh

The experimental 70s

The 70s were all about exploring and experimenting with looks and fusing ethnic styles with Western trends. "Over-the-top bouffant voluminous puffy hair, intricate French braids and teased beehives with soft curls decorating the temples and the winged eyeliners with bold pouts with a light blush were all in rage during the 70s," says Abhijit. "Vibrant polyester, glossy chiffon, georgettes, made their way alongside the simple printed cottons in a Bengali woman’s wardrobe. Shorter sleeves, sleeveless, halter necks, deeper neckline in blouses, glossy or transparent saris, casual draping, shorter pallus -- 70s was a decade of carefree confidence," feels Parama. 

bibriti
A simple cotton floral sari and polka-dotted puff sleeve blouse by Parama Ghosh