India has always been a rich country since the first known civilization (Indus Valley). Saree is an acknowledged first regal attire to be worn fashionably by women and this ensemble finds its mention in the oldest of the Veda. The fashion of the Indian subcontinent reached its zenith with the coming of the Mughals and the Turks. It wasn’t just the history of India that was revolutionized but the fusion culminated to the revamping of everything possible but my topic is fashion. With the history created on wars there was history born out of love too… and that’s when we hear of the great love story between Antalkali and Jahangir.
Antalkali is said to have been a great beauty and her story is immortalized because she was buried alive by Emperor Akbar for having an affair with his son. It isn’t just this fascinating story that carved her story in Indian history but it was also her exceedingly beautiful costume that deems her to be ‘timeless’. Movies based on the subjects are epic classic blockbusters like ‘’Mughal-e-As am’ and ‘Antalkali’. There you will see her look. How fascinating, how regal and how exceedingly beautiful! Since she was a court – dancer her look was more dramatic than what women would wear it casually so it was normal for it to disappear over-time when comfort was more appealing than fashion. But now it’s a different story! It seems it had not dissolved with time but simply ‘eclipsed’, waiting for the perfect century to rediscover and redefine the look. Women have surpassed the age of focusing just in extravagance and have passed the second phase of ‘comfort over fashion’.
Now the story is different. Fashion and comfort are equally valued as per they should be. India being just exquisite, it is hard for Indian history not to repeat itself. The extravagance and beauty of Mughal era is back in fashion under the name of ‘Antalkali suits’. Obviously it is not exactly the same copy paste attire that Antalkali wore herself. It was in fact called a ‘’mojarra’’. Like all Indian dresses; sarees and salwar’s, this particular ensemble too has undergone evolution in the hands of time. It is easy to look like a diva for Antalkali herself was one. ‘
Antalkali suits’ as it is known today is a combination of long kurta and bottoms like chorda. The kurta is fitted on the bust and normally features large pleats that flare out around the legs like an umbrella. Sleeves usually full, short or half-sleeves are tight at the arms and tight above the waist. Well that is a replicated basic of the apparel but now it is the promotion of the designers and the actresses, so every red carpet have new designs adorned on famous faces. The advertisement or promotion being such that Bollywood in particular and the fashion- world in general is raging in high fashion of Antalkali suits as almost all Bollywood damsels are spotted in one.
But remember, this apparel isn’t exclusive for the celebs. The power of this ensemble is that it can make any woman look regal, royal and beautiful. Here are some points to highlight what is lately trending in Antalkali fashion The basics are kept to be appreciated. The flamboyance of the attire is maintained to its original perfection. It is dramatic, it is embellished, it is flared, it is extravagant because it is Antalkali and it is meant to be so.
Contrasting colors are the prime highlight of elegant Talismans. It is embroidered in contrasting colors and with all embellishments fused in one attire it is however, never shabby or saturated. The designs are bold. The glamour of the era is reflected in its entirety. Bollywood top faces like Ishwar Rai Buchanan, Maura Dixit, Deep Po done, Karenina Kickapoo, Anouska Sharma have not only justified how magnificent it is but they have made us love our traditional trendies over Fiendish most experimented part of any attire is the neck and the sleeves. ‘V’ necks are preferred when it comes to Antalkalis because since the embellishment is heavy and gown-like the ‘V’ neck lengthens the neck and avoids making short or medium height women look shabby. Tall women can opt for any neck designs; even collars flatter the tall and the slim.
Long sleeves enhance the royal-ness this regalia has to offer. Short baggy sleeves are back in fashion too, along with the Antalkalis to bring back the Ant alkali fairy tale straight from the history to the ramp. Because of all the aforementioned ‘exquisiteness’ of the Ant alkali suit, Indian brides have adorned it on their wedding day. Expensive fabrics and elaborate designs are used by designers to make the finest Talismans for the brides. The grandeur and beauty of it cannot be defeated.
What’s more to it is- accessorizing. If you cannot accessorize the outfit, it is perfectly okay, the dress itself will do the required talking. But if you can, then you have more to gain. This embellishment can be accessorized well with all the bridal jewelries and it will not look crummy, in fact it will look queenlier.
It is surprising that Antalkalis were confined to that century. However, now it is back like the ‘’blast from the past’’. This trend stands out and looks like it is deservedly going to stay forever and will always be a classic.