‘Anarkali‘ suit gets its name from its shape. ‘Anar‘ means pomegranate in Persian, and ‘kali‘, means flower. Upper portion of this top is tight fitting until the bust from where frills start to form, and fully blossom at the bottom much like a pomegranate flower. I have drawn inspiration from traditional Anarkali suit, and slightly modified the design, but kept majority of the features intact. ‘Churidar‘, the pant, is close fitting and sits in the ankle with ‘churi‘ or bangle shapes. Traditional Anarkali Churidar is often worn by north Indian classical dancers. The frills fully open into nice circular pattern when the dancers turn rapidly.
This Anarkali Churidar is a blend of a number of different types of fabrics, colors, and styles. When I started thinking about making an Anarkali for myself many ideas and colors clouded my mind. I could not have put all those ideas in one Anarkali, because that would have looked like a rainbow instead. I had to choose colors that would suit with each other well. I decided to design the top with a combination of two types of fabrics from my collection. In the body of the Anarkali I have used ‘Gurjari‘ print cream colored fabric. I love Gurjari prints, especially on cotton fabric. Gurjari is a type of Indian art due to Gurjars, who lived in parts of western India not too long ago. This part of the piece took significant amount of time as I had to create the creases in a way that it fits nicely at the top and the frills open fully at the bottom. Along with the cream-colored cotton fabric I used a contrasting solid maroon raw silk in the bust, shoulders, and arms. I very much like the texture of the maroon raw silk and its color matched with the color of the Gurjari design.
I decorated the arms with flowers using golden yellow fabric paint. After that it was time to do the needlework on the arms around the hand-painted flowers with green and navy blue threads.
It is very important for Anarkali suits to form nice and round frills. Doing this sometimes require putting strong borders that can hold the frills. In this case the ‘Kalka Parh’ naturally did just that. Kalka Parh in the border added a new dimension to the Anarkali suit. Kalka Parh is most commonly seen in sarees from Bengal, such as ‘Tant’ and ‘Tangail’ sarees. Finally, I highlighted the Kalka Parh with green and blue raw silk borders. I completed the piece with a Churidar made of green raw silk.