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Keep it classy with Kasavu

Onam fashion wasn’t a rage a couple of years ago. Though wearing Onakodi is an inevitable part of Onam, it was only restricted to buying a new dress as part of the celebrations. However, our affinity towards the Kasavu saree and Mundum Neriyathum for ladies and Kasavu mundu for gents always persuades us Malayalis to buy them, especially for festivals like Onam and Vishnu.

The fact of the matter is that Kasavu saree or Mundum Neriyathum were not attires that were related only to festivals. A two-piece handwoven garment with thin borders (kara), Mundum Neriyathum used to be a daily wear for Malayali women. To make the attire look a bit lavish, the karas were woven with silver or golden threads. Mundum Neriyathum with golden kara, during those times, were worn for wedding functions or other special occasions only.

As fashion changes, various trends have surfaced in the market. People have adopted what is suitable for them in terms of comfort. As a result, Kasavu sarees and mundu come out of the closets only during festivals like Onam and Vishu.

Even though people prefer wearing Kasavu clothing to showcase tradition, an element of freshness is demanded by the customers. Therefore, Kasavu fashion has evolved a lot in past few years.

Sajani Pallath, fashion designer and owner of Saveri Boutique, in a telephone interview gave a detailed explanation on how Kasavu fashion has evolved.

“The saying that simple and classy things never go out of fashion is apt for our Kasavu clothes. As a fashion designer, I always feel that a Kasavu saree or Mundum Neriyathum makes a Malayali woman look very beautiful and enhances her beauty to a next level. Gents too look very classy yet stylish when they wear mundu teamed with a shirt or Kurta. The major change that Kasavu fashion has undergone is in the width of the border. The thin border has evolved into borders of various widths.Those mixed with coloured borders are also liked by everyone. Teaming it up with a blouse that is of the same colour as the kara, accentuates the look of the entire attire. All kasavu clothes available in the market nowadays are also no longer handwoven. With this change, set mundu and sarees made in tissue fabric has become a rage. Since tissue as such has a golden touch to it, adding any fashion element to it, be a painting, embridery or handwork makes it look more beautiful and elegant.

“For last two years, teaming the set saree or set mundu with a brocade blouse was in fashion. But with different low-quality brocade materials coming up in the market, many have refrained from that trend this year. Attaching an extra broad border of materials like kalamkari and ikat against the golden border is trending this Onam season. The blouse too is made with the same material. While kalamkari was already in fashion, customers this season have approached us with a demand of making handmade kalamkari paintings on the borders,” says Sajini, adding that these are just the basic things that both college students as well as middle-aged women prefer.

According to her, college students are mostly inclined towards Kasavu skirt and blouse, lehengas and anarkalis, as wearing saree or set mundu can be a hindrance during celebrations. However, she adds that college-going girls who prefer the saree are equally high in number.

“Giving the blouse a trendy and rich look is what girls love. Different type of blouses in velvet, organza, chiffon, silk, etc. are in demand. Hand embroideries are also demanded by those who want to give their attire a unique look. Another section prefers hand paintings, which are also done on the saree or set mundu along with the blouse, so that they complement each other. Mural paintings are equally preferred by gents and ladies. These days, motifs are trending and both ladies as well as gents prefer elephant or mural motifs on the sarees and mundus that gives a festive feeling yet can also be worn for other occasions as well. Those who love lehengas and anarkalis have come up to me this season and have asked me to deliver something different. They have asked me to give it an element of Onam, which could be anything like an element of pookalam, pulikali, and even sadya,” adds Sajini, stressing on the fact that people, irrespective of their age, like to experiment with various trends.

The jewellery preferences as she puts it has also changed and people like to wear silver jewellery with Kasavu costumes. The silver and golden combination gives a very trendy-yet-traditional look.Read more at:evening gowns | bridesmaid dress

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