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The Flared Flair of Designer Anarkalis
17 th Oct 2015

Anarkali suit sightings at Indian fashion shows or high profile events have become a regularity. This favoured evening wear of today’s modern woman has an interesting tale behind it.

The History

The origin of Anarkali style suit can be traced back to the Mughal era. Paintings depicting Empress Nur Jahan and Razia Sultan, show them in long flowing layered kurtas worn with churidars and stole. The ancient Mughal dancers also wore similar flared attires with churidar trousers.

Mughals in anarkali as depicted in paintings | The Flared Flair of Designer Anarkalis

This Mughal inspired dress gets its name from a dancer and courtesan named Anarkali, in the court of Emperor Akbar. Anarkali who was known for her radiant beauty went down in Indian history for her illicit affair with the Crown Prince, Salim (Jehangir). Salim expressed his desire to marry Anarkali, to Emperor Akbar and he was furious and ordered his men to bury Anarkali alive between the palace walls.

Madhubala as Anarkali in Mughal-e-Azam | The Flared Flair of Designer Anarkalis

Actress Madhubala portrayed the character of Anarkali in the 1960 Indian movie ‘Mughal-e-Azam’. The actress  wore the Mughal attire throughout the hugely popular movie, which helped to popularise the ‘Anarkali’ suit in India.

So in brief, Bollywood made Anarkali eternal through her namesake dress, which today’s Indian women adore.

The Anarkali suit comprises of a long flared kurta which generally has a fitted silhouette above the waist and it is usually paired with churidars and a stole. This dress was popularised by Bollywood as a dancer’s attire and was restricted to it till 2005. The designers of the new millennium saw the potential hidden in this attire descending from royalty. They revived the outfit and gave it acceptance as the modern day attire. Now there seems to be no looking back for this noble attire.

The revamped designer Anarkalis, have regained the long lost legacy of the attire and it has found its way into the trousseau of the modern day princess; the bride. Due to the glamorous look that this long voluminous dress offers, it has also become a favourite as evening wear. The Anarkali suit can also be worn as a trendy casual look too. Let’s explore the numerous possibilities that the versatile designer Anarkalis offer-

Bridal wear designer Anarkalis

The long, ground-grazing gown look offered by the Anarkalis, make them perfect bridal attires. The magnificence of an Anarkali enhanced with elaborate embellishments like zardosi, appliqué work, and gota work will make any bride wearing it, the visual focal of a wedding. The flare can be improvised with multiple layers of different fabrics and sheer net. Additions of contrasting jackets can also make the bridal look very appealing. The bridal Anarkalis generally use rich fabrics like silk, velvet and satin.  

Bridal Anarkalis Worn by Models | The Flared Flair of Designer Anarkalis

Bridal Anarkalis from our website

Bridal Anarkalis from Strand of Silk | The Flared Flair of Designer Anarkalis

Evening ready designer Anarkalis

The Bollywood actresses have taken Anarkalis to International red carpets like Cannes. These divas have been carrying themselves gracefully in this gorgeous attire for movie premieres, inaugurations, award functions and celebrity weddings. The following picture shows some of these stunning Indian celebs in Anarkalis.

Bollywood ladies in Anarkali

If you have an invite to an Indian celebration whether it’s an engagement ceremony, Indian wedding, baby shower, cocktail party or festival celebration, you cannot go wrong wearing an Anarkali. Anarkali can be relied upon as a versatile resort for Indian parties.

Evening ready Anarkalis from our website

Blue, Yellow and Pink Evening Anarkalis From Strand of Silk | The Flared Flair of Designer Anarkalis

Casual designer Anarkalis

The designer Anarkalis do not have to be restricted to glitzy events alone. They can also be a part of your casual outings like having a cup of coffee with friends or a book club meeting. Anarkalis  come in lighter fabrics like cotton and its blends can be used as attires for any informal day event.

The following designer Anarkalis by AM:PM and Ananda display style through simplicity. The rust coloured plain Anarkali can be used as formal workplace attire too.

PM and Ananda | The Flared Flair of Designer Anarkalis

Contemporary designer Anarkalis

The designers have contemporised the Indian Anarkali with very interesting silhouettes. The designer Anarkalis of today are also paired with pants, leggings, salwars and palazzos, against the traditional churidars.

Contemporary Anarkali | The Flared Flair of Designer Anarkalis

Contemporary Anarkalis from our website

Blue, White and Gold Contemporary Anarkalis From Strand of Silk | The Flared Flair of Designer Anarkalis

The trendy Anarkalis show interesting asymmetrical cuts. They can be shorter in the front and longer behind giving an interesting fall over the legs. The handkerchief cut at the bottom hem of the Anarkali top also looks very exquisite. The Anarkali can also have a loose relaxed look from top to bottom against the fitted top structure. Interesting jackets also give an attractive modern twist to the Anarkali. The ever transforming edgy Anarkalis have made this Mughal attire a global outfit.

Anarkalis with asymmetrical hemlines

Purple, Red & Blue Asymmetrical Hem Anarkali | The Flared Flair of Designer Anarkalis

Some other variations in the style of designer Anarkalis

Cropped Anarkali suits and tops

Against the long magnificence of Anarkali, a shorter top Anarkali suit gives this dress a chic understated look. The cropped Anarkali tops can be paired with pants or salwars for a more international look.

Cropped Anarkalis with Salwars | The Flared Flair of Designer Anarkalis

A shorter Anarkali suit is also a favourable choice for vertically challenged broad frames as it avoids the full blown Anarkali look that is more suitable for taller body types.

Angrakha Anarkalis

This style of Anarkali features a one side tied look. The Angrakha Anarkali resembles a traditional Indian jacket by the same name. The following are the stunning possibilities of designer Anarkalis using the unique one side knotted look inspired by the Angrakha.

Angrakha Anarkali | The Flared Flair of Designer Anarkalis

A-line  Anarkalis

This type of Anarkali has an A-line profile without any separation from top to bottom of the kurta. The fitted top of Anarkali cascades into a wider silhouette under the waist in one piece. These designer Anarkalis have an advantage of making silhouettes appear leaner and longer.

Joining at waist Anarkalis

These designer anarkalis show a clear merge of a fitting top with the flared bottom at the waist or under the bust. They are more suitable for taller silhouettes due to the horizontal divide.

Panelled Anarkalis

Just like a Lehenga, an Anarkali’s flare can vary from minimalistic to a huge flounce like a fairytale gown. Panels in different fabrics can also accentuate the look of designer Anarkalis while adding volume to it.

Black & White / Colourful Panelled Anarkalis | The Flared Flair of Designer Anarkalis

The designers have transformed the age old Anarkalis into interesting elements of style using blend of different modern fabrics. From lavish to ready to wear, the fall of an Anarkali is captivating. The designer Anarkalis, have been ruling the Indian fashion scene for around a decade now. This interesting attire, which marries the regal look of lehengas and the convenience of salwar kameez, is definitely here to stay.

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