Thursday, October 8, 2020

Ghagra Choli

Gagra choli or ghagra choli, which is also known as lehenga choli and locally as chaniya choli, is the traditional clothing of women from India, notable in Indian states of Rajasthan,Gujarat,Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir. In Punjab it was traditionally worn with the kurti and salwar. It is a combination of the ghagra or lehenga (long skirt) and the choli (blouse), however in contemporary and modern usage lehenga choli is the more popular and widely accepted term by fashion designers, trend setters, and boutiques in South Asia, since ghagra is synonymous with the half-slip worn as an undergarment below the sari.

The ghagra Choli, also known as Lehnga, is a three-piece attire comprising the lehenga, a long Indian skirt worn by Indian women across India. Secured at the waist with the mid-riff left bare, lehenga is usually worn on ceremonial occasions, festivals and weddings. It is generally embroidered, printed or embellished and is worn with a fitting blouse called ‘choli’. Additionally, the lehenga-choli is paired with a ‘dupatta’ which acts as a sari pallu and covers the mid-riff and head, depending on how one wishes to drape it, going by the occasion.

Lehenga Choli became popular as an attire amongst women mainly in North India, during the 10th century. The lehenga evolved through fine craftsmanship with the arrival of Mughals in India and their subsequent rule from the 12th to the 18th century. The original, ancient form of lehenga was mainly stitched from cotton, after which royal fabrics and embroideries like silk & brocade were used, making lehenga further evolve into royal attire.

The intricate stitching of a lehenga choli dupatta set or a ghagra choli takes about a minimum of twenty days depending on factors like the fabric, embellishments. Hand-stitched, hand-woven Lehengas end up taking longer owing to the detailing that goes into it. Often, communities exclusively into designing lehengas have clear tasks allotted to them, which forms part of the whole making process.

Lehenga Choli continues to undergo transitions with time, with cultural influences molding its silhouette or style in the multiple versions of the lehenga choli known to us today. Talking of traditional styles, there are a lot of variations to the lehenga – the Sharara, Gharara and Lacha. The Sharara, Lacha and Gharara are lower attires, emerging from the 18th and 19th century and resemble flared pants. The common trait in all the three outfits is that they are three piece outfits comprising a blouse, long skirt, and a dupatta and are most popular as wedding outfits. The Sharara has a joint below or at the knee level, while the skirt below spreads out. The Sharara is worn with a Kurti and one or more dupattas. When two dupattas are worn, one is usually used as a veil and the other is draped on the shoulders. It is generally worn on weddings.

Ghagras are another form of conventional skirt, but the difference lies in the gathers or pleats that the ghagra has around the waist and the lehenga is more form fitting and is cut in an ‘A’ line. Ghagra cholis come in many avatars; cotton chaniya cholis which are worn by women from Rajasthan and Gujarat, party wear ghagra cholis usually stitched in georgette, crepe, or silk. Wedding ghagra cholis are detailed with a lot of heavy embellishments like bead, Swarovski crystals, rhinestones, kundan, sequins and lot more in vibrant colors and patterns. Tie and dye ghagra cholis, bead & mirror work lehenga choli are also popular.

The Gharara is only a Sharara divided into two and has a concentration of work at the knee also known as the goat. Lacha comprises a long blouse which almost comes to the length of knees. The skirt design may be same as the lehenga or ghagra. This is the type of ghagra with slight variation in the blouse. There are plenty of variations to the traditional lehenga – Lancha and Sharara.

Lehengas are mainly worn to very special events such as weddings, parties and festivities. However, depending on the amount of detailing on the lehenga, one can team it with ethnic jewelry, like kundan, polka, meenakari, etc.For climatic suitability, Lehengas can be worn all year long, thanks to the options available in fabric. The lehengas in fabrics like brocade, velvet, satin and silk are best suited for winters. Lighter fabrics like silk, georgette and crepe can be worn in the summers.

Lehengas and ghagra cholis need to be dry cleaned due to the multiple colors, fabrics used and the embellishments on them. These outfits should be stored in a dry place wrapped in plastic or a clean white cloth to prevent the metal decorations from tarnish. Dry-cleaning these outfits is the ideal way of maintaining them.

8 Different Types of Ghagra  Style

#1. A-line Ghagra

The stunning and stylish A-line ghagra is absolutely perfect for the ethnic yet modish look. The hemline of the ghagra makes it more glamorous and creates a flare look. While pairing this stunning ghagra, you can wear it with statement blouse in voguish design. Go for the elegant pink and peach colour combination in this ghagra style!

#2. Sharara Cut Ghagra

The trendy sharara ghagra is high in demand in the Indian fashion industry at present. From simple to a designer, there are a huge variety of styles and designs in sharara cut ghagra which has an elegant palazzo with a loose hem. You can wear the sharara cut ghagra on festivals and occasions with statement jewellery.

#3. Straight Cut Ghagra

In straight cut ghagra, the skirt is long and straight in style, which doesn’t have any sort of flare. One of the most preferred choices for ghagra is straight cut because of its versatility on every body type. With straight cut ghagra you can choose to wear a crop top style designer blouse.

#4. Jacket Style Ghagra

Of course, there’s nothing different in this type of ghagra except the jacket, which add an oomph factor to your entire couture and personality. In jacket style ghagra, there’s a long loose style jacket, which has an intricate embroidery work with fine detailing. To look different and sassy, pick up this style of ghagra and leave a long-lasting impression on others.

#5. Saree Style Ghagra

In this style of ghagra there’s an illusion of a saree look, but it’s actually a ghagra. The illusion of saree comes with the draping of the dupatta, which we usually do in saree. However, this is far better than saree as you can wear this style of ghagra comfortably without any hassle. Moreover, the flare of this stylish ghagra  is definitely icing on the cake.

#6. Panelled Ghagra

At the end of the flare in this ghagra, there are some classy panels attached with it. The panels are used at the end of the hemline to increase the volume of the flare as well as to add a contrasting design for a glamorous look. You can easily wear it on special functions or at special occasions.

#7. Fishtail Ghagra

Assuredly, you must be aware of the mermaid or fishtail style ghagra. The elegant and classy flare of the mermaid ghagra is absolutely irresistible. Furthermore, fishtail lehenga is perfect for those girls or ladies who are looking for the attire to accentuate their curves. To pair the blouse or choli, there’s a simple suggestion to go with the short-halter neck style blouse and even if you don’t wear the accessory, your will look appealing.

#8. Broad Flared Ghagra

One of the most ordinary and conventional style of ghagra is broad flared ghagra. However, the broad flare and distinguishing look of this stylish yet ethnic ghagra can’t be ignored, especially if it is available in remarkable design and hues. The combination of off white and multiple colours in it is quite trendy and popular nowadays. Hence, you can pick and choose this stunning piece of outfit to make a fashion statement and finish off the look in statement jewellery.

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