The Decadent Drape: Tracing Bollywood’s Homage To The Nauvari Saree

Nauvari Saree

The saree is more than a vibrant textile that intertwines tales of custom and style; it has added deeply to the country’s rich cultural legacy. A sign of cultural identity, a representation of femininity, and a canvas for artistic expression, the saree has now far surpassed its utilitarian identity and has emerged as a symbol of so much more. It embodies grace and eternal appeal. There are a variety of sarees and drapes found in India and one of them is a nauvari saree. Mostly worn in the Maharashtrian region, a nauvari saree is one of the oldest Indian draping styles.

It is worn in the same manner as the traditional Maharashtrian dhoti. The nauvari saree has a nine-yard piece of cotton or silk, which gives it the name nauvari saree, which translates to nine yards. Another name for these sarees is the Kashta saree or Namda vastra, loosely translating to a garment that doesn’t require any additional clothing (petticoat). Despite its popularity, there is not much known about nauvari sarees; for example, there are plenty of types of these sarees including Apsara, Devsena, Devyani, Kolhapuri, Kadambari etc.

Deepika Padukone-(large-animated-gif!!!) | Bollywood dance, Indian dance, Deepika padukone

These are sarees worn for religious and cultural ceremonies, but what is perhaps lesser know is that women have worn them to wars in the past. While the nauvari might be limited to a particular region in the country, it’s appearance in various movies worn by leading Bollywood ladies have propagated its appeal. It features in the iconic Pinga song from Bajirao Mastani and sits beautifully on Vidya Balan in her lavani number in Ferrari Ki Sawari.

So, on the occasion of Maharashtrian New Year traditionally known as Gudi Padwa, we are looking back at some of the most iconic nauvari saree looks seen on silver screen:

Kajol in Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior

Kajol adopted a period nauvari saree look to portray the wife of the leading character in Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, which was set in 17th-century India. The costume was designed by seasoned designer Nachiket Barve, who did intense research to get the drape correct.

Kriti Sanon in Panipat

Kriti looked every bit the part in her stunning resplendent nauvari saree for Ashutosh Gowariker’s Panipat. She mentions in her Instagram post that she even did sword fighting in this saree.

Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone in Bajirao Mastani

While Priyanka Chopra Jonas dons her fair share of nauvaris throughout this Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie, this breathtaking look from the dance-off song, Pinga with Deepika Padukone takes the cake.

Priyanka Chopra in Kaminey

In a traditional green nauvari, PeeCee looked every inch of the feisty Maharashtrian bride in Kaminey.

Rani Mukerji in Aiyyaa

Regardless of your thoughts on the eccentric movie, Rani’s quirky yet gorgeous look from the movie’s song Sawa Dollar can’t be taken lightly.

Vidya Balan in Ferrari Ki Sawaari

Painting the town red, Vidya Balan performed lavani in a stunning red saree in the song Mala Jau De from Ferrari Ki Sawaari.

Madhuri Dixit in Sailaab 

One of the most iconic ensembles in Madhuri’s career, this koli-style nauvari saree look was one for books. Especially with her dance in the song Humko Aajkal Hai.

Madhuri Dixit in Gaja Gamini

Another gorgeous look in her filmography, Madhuri stole hearts with this look in Gaja Gamini which was directed by the legendary artist M F Husain, co-starring Shah Rukh Khan.

Smita Patil in Bhumika

Based on Hansa Wadkar’s biography, Smita Patil played an actress who starts her shot with lavani performance in Shyam Benegal’s critically praised Bhumika

Also, read: ELLECyclopedia: Sabyasachi’s Royal Bengal Tiger Is More Than Just A Recognisable Heritage Motif

- Digital Writer


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