Drape Yourself in Royal Style - The New Indian Express

Drape Yourself in Royal Style

Published: 05th March 2014 09:27 AM

Last Updated: 06th March 2014 09:39 AM

Tennis Player Sania Mirza in a Khada dupatta during her nuptials.
The Khada dupatta, a long forgotten attire of the Nizams, is inching its way back to the fashion manuals of the city. City-based designer Anjum tells us more.

Dupattas, have come a long way in the South Asian culture. From a traditional veil to a fashionable scarf, its journey has been very transformational. Part of many attires, the dupatta is used to accessorise the salwar kameez, Ghagra choli and lehenga among others. There is also a lesser prominent version of the dupatta, the Khada dupatta, that was actually fashionable in Hyderabad during the Nizam era. Borrowed from the Persian culture, the Khada dupatta has off-late once again become a trend among women, most recently sported by tennis player Sania Mirza during her wedding.

Tracing back its history to the Mughal era, it is believed that Princess Noorjehan invited Persian and Turkish designers to design a royal outfit for her. That was how the khada dupatta came to India and later became popular as the royal outfit of Mughal dynasty. The Asaf Jahi’s being the subedars under the Mughal regime, adopted the Khada dupatta, bringing the fashion to Hyderabad. From being a royal garment, the dupatta soon became a regular part of the wardrobe even for ordinary women, thus out of vogue until recent times.

The Khada Dupatta is an elaborate wedding ensemble with a kurta (Tunic), chooridaar (extra-long slim pants that gather at the ankles), and a six-yard dupatta (stole or veil) patterned with a heavy border. It was earlier woven in fabrics like cotton and mulmul with simple and straight borders for the commoners and in rich tissues of gold and silver for the royal women. The dupatta’s traditional design includes three layers of borders called the masala, almas and dori. The masala is a thin silver-coloured strip while the dori is a series of traingles cut-out from gold-coloured fabric. The Almas on the other hand is the are sequinned motifs used to decorate the border.

Mostly adorned by Muslim brides for their weddings, Anjum is a city designer who caters to these ladies. In the business for more than a decade, the designer has become an expert of sorts in the Khada dupatta.

Talking about the evolution of the fashion, she says, “These days cotton, mulmul are not at all used as they are not worn on a regular basis. Nowadays, the preference is for net fabric. Also, initially only colours like red, green and orange were used while making the dupatta. But with the new fashion trends have included a range of colours including black.”

Explaining the traditional design, Meraj says that the earlier designs were plain fabrics with a Chowhasia border. “There has been a of lot innovation in terms of design; now there are antique finished borders and motifs, patch work  and so on. The patterns range from heavy to not very glittery to suit the situation.”

Given that the years in between were dominated by fancy lehengas and ghagharas, the designer attributes the recent spike in interest in the Khada dupatta to Sania Mirza. The tennis star has worn a heavy red georgette Khada Dupatta for her nuptials.

“It was after Sania Mirza’s marriage that Khara Dupattas gained their prominence again in the fashion circles of Hyderabad. Not just Muslim brides but brides of other religions from other states are also sending in their orders to add a royal touch to their attire,” shares the 46-year-old.

The jewellery that suits this outfit is the traditional Hyderabadi jewellery like Tika, Jhoomar, Nath, Chintaakaka Jadaoo lachcha or Guluband and Kan phool.

The price of a Khada Dupatta outfit begins at Rs 8,000 and could go up to about Rs 1,00,000.

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