My parents got married in 1971. The 1971 India-Pakistan war officially started a few days before their wedding but the cards had already been distributed and the caterers instructed. The baraat band played “Dum Maro Dum” from the hit movie ‘Hare Rame Hare Krishna’ which was the rage at the time – an odd choice for a wedding song if the lyrics are considered but Bollywood always reigns supreme.
My parents had an arranged marriage in Punjab and my mother received various clothes from both sides as is customary. Her wedding wardrobe contained various sarees and her mother-in-law (my dadi) who was a clothes enthusiast herself gave her a beautiful selection of sarees which included a few vintage sarees that belonged to her mother-in-law as a token of family history. The bride, my mother, who happened to be a naturally organized lady, took great care in storing her wedding clothes in a meticulous fashion. Very recently my friend forwarded me an article from Vogue India that started with the tag line “The secret to a sustainable wardrobe? Knowing how to store your clothes.” I read this and instantly thought of my mom. My mother has always been someone who cares for her purchases regardless of whether they are old or new, cheap or expensive. Growing up, I remember her storing her out of season sarees carefully in a few trunks lined with paper. She made concentrated efforts to separate her outfits with white paper and keep them out of direct light and humidity. A few years ago, she asked which of her wedding outfits I would like to have and then separated them equally between my sister-in-law and me.
A few weeks ago, I surprised my parents by visiting them unannounced in the US and on my way home, decided to bring my share of her wedding wardrobe with me. It goes without saying that Indian fabrics are stunning and their weaves, colours and styles are a sight to behold. My mother’s wedding trousseau is now almost 50 years old and I find the sarees and other Indian outfits from that era fascinating. So much of her wardrobe is still so current and the styles have truly stood the test of time.
Revisit, reimagine and reuse – I have often promoted this line on this blog and I wholeheartedly enjoy reconfiguring clothes that already reside in our wardrobes. In this series of blogs, I want to lookbook my mothers’ wedding outfits to showcase the fashions in 1971 and highlight the timeless beauty of Indian wear. All credit goes to my mother for preserving her outfits so well (the shine of this sari has to be seen to be believed) and I look forward to sharing them with you.
In this lookbook, I am wearing her ‘doli’ saree. This means that this is the saree she wore after the Sikh wedding was over and when she was leaving her home for my father’s house as his bride. My mother mentioned that in those days in Punjab, most women had a doli suit but my Dadi being a saree fan chose this banarsi organza saree with an all over motif as her ‘doli’ outfit of choice. The bride wore this saree with a matching orange blouse at the time (with similar sleeves as the purple one) and matching orange sandals. Unfortunately, those two items have not survived the passage of time.
I wanted to say a big thank you to Aadheekta by Mudra for providing this beautiful traditional jewellery set and collaborating on this post. Please do check out her Instagram page – she has a beautiful selection of pieces that are well worth the visit. Please quote ISHA10 for a 10% discount.
I hope you enjoyed this vintage saree lookbook. As always, thank you for taking the time to visit Isha’s Verdict.
Clothes and Jewellery:
All Jewellery – Aadheekta by Mudra – Instagram @Adheektabym
Saree – bought in 1971 in Ludhiana Punjab, at Kiran Stores