This Festive Season – Go Anti Bling

Handwoven Khadi Silk


As cliched as this may sound, but it is “that time of the year again.” The week long festivities have begun. It all leads towards the most bright and beautiful festival of India – Diwali. Have you ever wondered how generous we are during this festival? Gifts, bonuses, food, shopping. You name it and we do it. No matter who you are, what your religion is, everyone comes together to celebrate Diwali in India.It is beautiful to see all things traditional, festive and trendy everywhere. Not just houses, but streets are decorated with bright lights. It automatically cheers me up, even after a tiring day at work.

Diwali brings back such fond memories of my childhood. We Bengali’s celebrate Kali Pujo.  It is worshiping the deity, Kali Ma. My grandmother was a huge believer in Ma Kali. She used to wake up everyday at 4 am to visit the Kali Badi (Kali temple) near our house. She would wash the mandir and offer prayers. A day before Kali Pujo, we used to light fourteen diyas. I still do. I have always been fascinated by diyas. They just change the look and feel of the moment. Kali Pujo is just memories for me now. Since my grandmother passed away, except for religiously lighting the diyas, there is nothing else that I could manage to do. Cities changed, so did the traditions. Soon, Diwali took over the spirit of Kali Pujo. This festival is beautiful in every way.

Apart from food and decorating the house, the most important and exciting aspect of any festival is – fashion. This becomes a notch higher when it come to the mother of all – Diwali. Designer wear, classic silk, fusion wear, every experiment happens during Diwali. It is good to dress-up, but don’t forget to stay traditional. I am a strong believer of personal style. Do not wear it because it is in fashion. Wear it because it suits your body and makes you comfortable. Festivals are fun but tiring as well. You do not want to retire early because that dress made you uncomfortable.


This festive season, I have chosen Anti Bling. I know it is all about shining and standing out. But there is nothing like wearing a classic without any bling and yet making heads turn. Since Diwali is the signature festival of India, I chose Khadi silk for the occasion. Khadi has always been known as the signature fabric of India. What better way to bring it to life, other than showing it off on a grand Indian festival?

I searched through my cupboard and took out my classic jewel toned Khadi silk saree.  Hand-spun, handwoven, pure, light and comfortable. This is all that i need for an evening party which will never end early. The beauty of this fabric lies in its texture. It keeps you cool during summers and warm during winters. Isn’t that magical now? We all know that Mahatma Gandhi revived Khadi as a fabric during the Swadeshi Movement. It was in attempt to boycott foreign goods. We can still do that today. Once we accept Khadi, we can create wonders with it. It has the perfect balance of tradition and modernity. Wear a saree, make a dress, put on those trousers – Khadi never goes out of style.


Since I am going anti bling, I chose to keep the look very simple. The saree is paired with a tube that I bought during one of my street shopping spree in Bandra, Mumbai. What broke the rule, is the jute waistcoat. I loved experimenting with this style. It adds so much of edge and glamour to the overall look. Saree and blouse is what almost everyone is going to wear at the party. But one can choose to be edgy, yet traditional.

Balance is the key word, when you are experimenting with a look. Keep all the shades neutral. Minimal make up is the key. The only hint of colour should be a bright lipstick. I have used red on my lips, for a colour pop effect. An interesting piece of jewelry, a choker in this case, just holds the overall look together.


You can make easy alterations to this look. Glam it up for the night by adding a metallic or floral waistcoat instead of jute. The hair can be done in an up-do with some accessories to add flavour. Try and create disruptions in your look but keep your outfit practical and comfortable. Always remember, you do not need too many things on you to look good or stand out. Working out the right ones with correct styling  is the key to effective fashion. Keep your individuality and personality up-float. It will make you smile throughout.

On that note, Happy Diwali folks. Have a fashionable festive season. Please avoid noisy crackers. It is not cool to harass the environment 🙂



Wardrobe – My own

Photographs by – Anshul Mehta


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