The Anarkali is a beautiful ethnic dress that symbolizes a rich and ancient history. It is named after the famed dancer at Emperor's Akbar's court. Anarkali literally means ‘blossoming pomegranate’.
Anarkali, a dancer in Emperor Akbar’s court wore form flattering kurtas. This was a tight fitting bodice till the waist and flared voluminously till below the knee. It was worn with churidar style pants and the stole or dupatta with it was of a sheer material.
The Anarkali as it came to be known, had full or half sleeves, various length and modest necklines at that time. The materials used were silks, cotton muslins, brocades, velvets and organzas. The use of floral motifs, block printing, and kalamkari (patterns created using a pen), gold thread work around precious or semi-precious stones were made popular by the Mughal culture.
The dance performed in the emperor’s court in the Mughal period was known as a mujra and these dancers wore the style of churidar and fitted, flowing kurtas which became popular as the Anarkali or the Anarkali salwar suit.
The Hindi film industry too played a role in making this attire fashionable. The epic film Mughal-e-Azam was released in 1960 and featured the lead actress Madhubala dressed in and as Anarkali. Later on in the 1970’s and late 80’s, it continued to set a trend and never went away.
The Anarkali worn today has undergone many changes keeping in mind the current fashion trends. More synthetic fabrics are mixed and matched along with a mind blowing number of patterns, embroideries, designs and embellishments.
If you are to pick an traditional outfit always go for Anarkali.
With fashion changing day by day Anarkali has taken various forms.
1) Full Length Anarkali
2) Knee Length Anarkali
3) Straight Panel Anarkali
4) Anarkali Gown
5) Jacket Anarkali
6) Cape Anarkali
7) Indo Western Anarkali
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