THE PARSI “GARA” INFLUENCE….

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The story of the Parsi “ Garas” and the trademark embroidery is a one as colorful as varied in its rich past. The beautiful nature of one of the most ornate forms of threadwork, detailing and decoration goes back to influences that has borrowed from China, Europe and India to create a form that has crossed multiple cultural boundaries. One of the foremost designers who has recreated the Gara heritage and reinvented with it in many ways is Ashdeen Lilaowala, someone I am proud to call a friend.

Interesting facts…..

“Legend has it that Parsis, fleeing Persia to avoid persecution at the hands of Muslim invaders, found refuge in Sanjan in India in the 8th or 10th Century. As they settled across Gujarat and western India, many Parsis ventured into sea trade with Chinese merchants. Business, largely in opium, meant Parsi men often travelled and stayed in China. When they returned home, they brought back six yards of fabric, embroidered on all four sides, as gifts for their women. But contrary to popular belief, the gara is not entirely a Chinese creation.

“Gara is the result of an inter-cultural amalgamation,” says Dr Shernaz Cama. The director of Unesco Parzor Foundation along with Delhi-based textile and fashion designer Ashdeen Lilaowala, has been researching the history and origins of the gara for the past 12 years. “The silk fabric was certainly from China as was the craftsmanship, but the embroidery and the motifs were heavily influenced by Iran’s Zorastrian and by India’s Hindu cultures. Eventually, it also made space for European influences.

Gara is a kind of embroidery, originally done on saris and primarily comprising the khakha stitch (also called the Forbidden knot), the French knot and long- and short-stitches. The work is extremely precise and fine with the stitches done very close to each other. Common gara motifs include birds (especially roosters, parrots and peacocks), flowers (peonies, roses, lilies), pagodas and dragons.

Source….http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/report-reviving-the-legacy-of-gara-exquisite-embroidery-of-parsis-2070881

The Design project here showcases garments that are all as varied in the generation of the Idea of each ensemble. The play of the motifs are from the essential “ florals “ and then also from the “ storks/ birds” that are seen often in the representation in this form of motif palette. Another reason for the project also was to showcase the application of this form of detailing seen mainly on women’s garments especially the saree actually in the context of Men. Nehru jackets, kurtas to a detailed sherwani only celebrate how universal this language of detail can be. Showcased across two different royal themed photoshoots I hope I have been able to do justice to what is a craft that is as timeless as historical.

In the Details

Look 1

 

Kurta & Dhoti: IncheeTape by Purvi&Sharad | Drape : Ashdeen | Kurta Embroidery: Ashdeen

Jeweled Mojris: Mayyur Girotra | Jewllery: Personal Collection

A chance accident led to creation of this outfit. Initially a pure black ensemble the Kurta and Dhoti was meant to be worn with shawls and sherwanis or jackets. A minor burn caused by a hot iron on the kurta led to a damage that needed to mended and put my mind into a fix. Rather than having it just repaired I too this opportunity to have these beautiful Parsi storks appliqued as a design onto the garment to create a statement piece which was guided by placements of the birds in flight. The floral shaded stole is combined with the look to create this overall monochromatic outfit which is one now one of my favourites.

Look 2

Kurta: Ekmatra | Trousers: Zara | Nehru Jacket: Fabindia | Embroidery: Ashdeen

Mojris: Vanson | Jewelry: Damini, Chennai

A Pure white ensemble is a look one cannot go wrong with. For those formal occasions in the spring this is a look that one can easily wear to any formal event. The point of attention is the wreath of floral gara embroidery on the back with florals and the bird which is picked in vivid pastel colors against the rich rust background. The echo of the birds is seen in the peacock earrings and temple styled jewelry which compliments the ensemble.

Overall Credits

Photography , Shashank SK Tyagi | Venue, The Perfect Location Faridabad | Styling/ Curation, Subhashish Mandal

Makeup by Akansha

Look 3

Sherwani: IncheeTape by Purvi and Sharad | Drape Pants: Tarun Tahliani |

Sherwani Embroidery: Ashdeen | Kurta: Fabindia

Shoes: Knight & Bond, London | Jewelry: Personal Collection

A Tribal Price look herein was celebrated in this rich ornamented outfit with the large scale floral embroidery patterns. Inspired by a contemporary European design, the look was applied onto this asymmetric placement on the jacket front, back and sleeves to create a dramatic yet controlled impact. Set off with the royal accessories, makeup and the turban the focus of the handiwork of the design remained in all the designs.

Overall Credits

Photography, Suraj Mohan Das, Lipy Yadav | Venue, Tijara Fort, Neemrana Properties | Styling/Curation, Subhashish Mandal | Makeup by Rolika Prakash |Model, Aliona Shavel & Subhashish Mandal

I hope that through this story I am able to showcase the accessibility of how this heritage design can be applied to Mens wardrobes and curated to create that very special look that is worth keeping and sharing.

35 Comments
  • Dev

    Reply

    This is amazing!

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    Reply

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    • admin

      thanks a lot..will have a look at your advice:)

  • Gurjeet Chhabra

    Reply

    You have given a great Idea, how to style my man in my brother wedding. You are looking so handsome man, I know its clothing but I believe its all about attitude to carry the attire

    • admin

      these are such kind words buddy , thanks so much. wish you bro the best

  • Samidha Mathur

    Reply

    Totally amazed with this Para ‘Gara’ look.. was completely unaware of the legendary facts and your Look 1 is awesome. Actually, blue is my favourite colour and I love its every shade and tones, so whoever wears blue, it catches my attention… Stork is looking absolutely perfect.

    I agree with Gurjeet’s comment that it is all about an attitude that carries an attire.

    • admin

      absolutely thank u so much 🙂

  • Surbhi prapanna

    Reply

    This was an interesting read. I had never heard about “gara” look and interesting facts behind it. I like all three looks but second one is looking most elegant. Great photography too.

    • admin

      credits to this team, it was one of my fav shoots from all time

  • Raksha

    Reply

    Wow I didnt even know Para ‘Gara’ look. That is absolutely gorgeous outfits that you guys are wearing. Love them so much. Its interesting to read about some of the facts and information too, so fascinating.

    • Hansa Kajaria

      Oh my god…. I am in love with all those outfits.never knew about this Para “Gara” look and while all the outfits were WoW… I loved the blue one- Look 1… what work and the Storke

      • admin

        yes absolutely the work is such a pleasure to see and enjoy

    • admin

      the crafts of our heritage are so amazing

  • Aishwarya Iyengar

    Reply

    Parsi gara embroidery has one of the finest embroideries that I have ever seen, I had once done an extensive project on this embroidery in college ! It give a very royal feel and very beautiful

    • admin

      really wow do share with me on the email, would love to read

  • Vashi

    Reply

    Im totally smitten by these handcrafted masterpieces that you have showcased in your Blog. Such an exquisite amalgamation of different heritage embroideries & motifs but the historical brief & the grandeur of Parsi Gara work is par excellence & you have created such an aura styling it. Parsi embroidery is personal favourite too.

    • admin

      vashi your words fill me with so much happiness truly

  • Tina Basu

    Reply

    wow I totally liked these regal looks. All the looks are so robust and solid. Love the first look specially.

    • admin

      thank u for liking these so much

  • Cindy Dsilva

    Reply

    This look is so grand. Do you live in a palace or near one? Love the photography too. It’s great to have make up artists and photographers as friends. And I love the personal jewellery collection.

    • admin

      haha i so wish that was true but no

  • Rahul Prabhakar

    Reply

    OMG … I loved the looks 1 and 3. You are totally rocking it my friend. The Look 1 in particular is to die for! And the blue Kurta and Dhoti is out of the world!

    • admin

      thanks for walking down this style path with me

  • Docdivatraveller

    Reply

    The background of Parsis was an interesting read. Excellent styling as always. Love the orange and the blue drape. And Tijara is one of my favorites.

    • admin

      such a brilliant location isnt it

  • Aritro Chattopadhyay

    Reply

    I do this thing most of the time. Wearing trousers with Kurta. I loved the Gara style. Very traditional yet modern at the same time.

    • admin

      yes buddy great mix and match

  • Amritha Srinath

    Reply

    Omg! You have slayed in all the outfits. The first outfit, comprising of various shades of blue with such beautiful artwork is something to look out for. I admire your writing, which gives us so much information complimented by these amazing pictures. Thank you so much for sharing all about Gara work.

    • admin

      so glad you enjoyed this 🙂

  • Nadia Kohli

    Reply

    first of all..what beautiful pictures. it is so delightful to see your pictures. and moreover i love the way you explain about things. i never lean about gara embroidery, glad to connect and learn.

    • admin

      please do get some garments from this genre, they are amazing

  • MeenalSonal Mathur

    Reply

    Thank you for introducing us to the ancient art work Gara. The clothing showcased in the post is very much appreciable.

    • admin

      i absolutely love the work

  • Annie Arora

    Reply

    Very unique and classy sense of style , I must say .
    Love all the looks

    • admin

      glad u enjoyed all this

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