Wear it now: Dhoti pants
Tarun Tahiliani continues to evolve the classic Indian dhoti for modern comfort
The sari, the lungi, the dhoti — we’ve always loved our drapes. And now, Tarun Tahiliani’s work with the dhoti has led him to further enhance the relevance of this Indian staple. Easier to wear than a sari and universally flattering, the modern dhoti is giving the timeless style some much-needed edge.
LIKE A SAINT
The traditional dhoti has always been a pet project for Tahiliani. Drawing heavy inspiration from the effortlessness of the drapes worn by sadhus and fakirs, his collections have often featured a version of the trouser-like garment. His Spring/Summer 2011 collection saw a languid line-up of ivory drop-crotch dhotis; for Spring/Summer 2014, he meshed the dhoti and sari into a monochrome onesie; and Fall/Winter 2014-15 featured voluminous, jewel-toned versions, sculpted to perfection.
TOUCH OF WEST
“We cater to the modern Indian woman who is aware of traditions, yet very strong in her individual style statement — who, because she now wears some western clothing, has a very strong idea of fit and finish, but wants to be Indian in a contemporary way,” says Tahiliani. “So the dhoti drape has also evolved over the years and been transformed into pants and saris with structure and form. Combined with zips and buttons, it allows you to follow tradition while being relevant to the modern demands of structured style and comfort.”
Replace your heirloom sari with a dhoti this festive season. Pick one in a luxe fabric like a rich, heavy duchesse satin to keep it evening-appropriate. Add multi-cultural inspiration to the Indian staple — an Oriental influence with flatforms and a kimono cape. Play with colour, but instead of brights, try a deep colour palette.
Silk shirt, Rs 6,400, woollen cape, Rs 14,000; both Akaaro by Gaurav Jai Gupta. Silk dhoti pants, price on request, Tarun Tahiliani. Leather and wood flatforms, price on request, Payal Pratap. Metal and enamel bangle, Rs 8,500, Outhouse
Photograph: Hormis Antony Tharakan; Styling: Arushi Parakh; Make–up and Hair: Sonam Kapoor; Model: Preeti Dhata