The Sharara Soiree

by Muzaffar Ali

A delightful addition to bridal sartorial spread is the Sharara – an ethnic silhouette with an appeal and elegance that’s uniquely Awadhi. The romance of the Mughal era can best be expressed by shunning the traditional lehenga and opting instead for the sharara. Of Persian origin, the sharara entered the old Awadhi-Muslim tradition as everyday attire in Mughal times, later transcending into something that was worn on traditional occasions.

Shararas are wide-legged pants fitted till the mid-thigh, ruched, and then flaring into a voluminous skirt. Topped with a long kurta, the sharara was originally adorned with traditional chikankari and delicately alternated with gold zardozi mesh. The kurtis are usually kept simple with heavy embroideries at the ruched panels, and paired with a heavy dupatta.

Contemporary strokes can be added to the attire by lowering the backs of the kurtis and innovative constructions to give a glimpse into the Awadhi Nazakat of the era gone by. Try the antique gota trims at the hemlines to add a touch of rich textural detail. It is a perfect bridal attire to hark back to the nostalgic impressions of the old world grandeur that existed during the Mughal rule.

Fashion designer, film-maker, poet, artist, revivalist, and social-worker – the epithets for the multi-talented Muzaffar Ali are unending. Ali’s designs incorporate his love for Indian culture and history.

Muzaffar can further be reached at
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