Short of blinding aesthetics and severing tastes, anything goes before the Goddess. Maa Durga isn’t discriminative of traditional over modern, nor is cut, style, prints and motifs her main concern. And women seem to love this fact!
Durga Puja attire has no rule when the aim is to look good and enjoy. The saree is traditionally most desired during the festivities, and for the Bengali woman, will never go out of style. The dhakai in varieties of tassar, muslin, and cotton are the age-old favorites. Tangails and Kotas are perfect for the Indian weather and Silk and Gadwals exudes style and grace.
Some of the latest trends that have been adopted by the Bengalis are Zardozi (heavy sequin and bead work) Chiffons, Woven Net, Phulkari (thread work traditional to Punjab), Hakoba, Appliqué work, Jute Silks, etc.
Young girls and women will also dress in clothes other than the saree. The salwar kameez, the traditional favorite of young women, have undergone a great many changes in the past decade. Bengalis have adopted styles like the Patiala, the Jaipuri ghagra and the Lucknowy Chosth. The fitting churidaars and kameez’s from the 60’s are back, including skirts which are here to stay for good. Tight-fit jeans and figure-hugging long tops are all the rage this season, including short dresses, although one is more likely to see the latter in private parties.
Fashion for children has evolved from the frocks to the backless cholis and ghagras, halter-neck tops and mini-skirts, and even body-fitting short dresses, and hot-pantsare in vogue.
If the women can do it, so can the men. The metro-sexual man is willing to experiment and adopt new styles. No longer are stripes and checks and shades of blue and white the only choices for men. Fashion houses have introduced the pinks, yellows, oranges and greens to men’s wardrobe. Flower-power is no longer the purview of women alone; men’s shirts and sherwanis have dominated floral motifs. Sherwanis are a notch extravagant in sequin work and zari embroideries.
The dhoti, the Indian national dress for men, has long gone out of style, although few Bengali men will still wear it on Durga Puja. But quite obviously, the sherwani is here to stay and rule!