Story Title: Traditional Puneri Dress

Akshay Sharma
Word Count: 498

Paithani Saree

The traditional dress of Pune reflects its status as the cultural capital of Maharashtra. While these traditional attires may not be easily visible these days, they are still relevant in traditional functions and occasions. They are part of the cultural heritage of Pune and the whole of Maharashtra.

The traditional dress of Pune is not very different from the traditional dress of Maharashtra. The traditional dress of women in Pune is the Maharashtrian style of saree. The way saree is worn in Maharashtra is different from other parts of India. The nature of saree is also different from other parts of India.

The most popular traditional saree of Maharashtra and also of Pune is the Paithani Saree. This saree is made from pure silk and golden thread (zari). It can take as long as a year to make this type of Saree. It is worn on very special occasions like weddings or other important events. This saree usually comes in bright colours. This type of Saree is usually hand woven and hence quite expensive but because of being hand woven it is also very special.

Another traditional form of Saree is the Lugade, which is a nine yard long saree also known as the Nauvaree saree. The nauvaree is usually between forty two and forty five inches in width. The two lengthwise borders are called kinar or kanth whereas the breadthwise borders are called padar. One of the two padars is more decorated than the other one. The traditional way of draping the saree is called kasta. In this style the center of the saree is tucked at the back and the ends of the saree are tied securely in the front.

For the men, the traditional wear usually includes dhoti and a special turban called the Pheta. The pheta is often worn these days for special occasions and is sometimes offered as a welcome gift to guests. The pheta is created by taking a cloth that is between three and a half to six metres long and one meter wide and tying the pheta. The colour of the pheta is often decided by the occasion for which it is being worn.

Puneri Pagadi

The colours are usually saffron, white and red. There are two major types of pheta, one is the Kolhapuri pheta which comes in many colours and has a bandhani effect on it whereas the other type of Pheta is the Puneri Pheta which comes in chequered patterns and along with that also has a golden border.

In Pune the Puneri Pagadi is also very popular, as this was the pagadi worn by many famous leaders like Justice Ranade, Bal Gangadhar Tilak etc. These days the puneri pagadi has become restricted to special events and occasions. Recently, the puneri pagadi became a cultural symbol of Pune.

These traditional dresses have gone out of fashion and are hardly worn by young people. But their presence in traditional functions have ensured that their knowledge remains with the general public.


Story Title: Pune's Fashion Market

Word Count: 501

Pune’s Fashion market

It is often heard that Pune is a 'hot and happening city'. This is emphasised by the many fashion designers who have their studios here. Fashion Designers in Pune include clothes designers, accessories designers, stylists (people who decide how things and other people should look), and window dressers (people who decorate store windows), and even 'fine couture' shoes by Nidhi Bhandari (one of the latest enterprises born in Pune).

Nivedita Saboo is one of Pune's more famous designers. She launched her own fashion label (fashion brand) when she was merely 22 years old. She and her husband Badal are the organisers behind the Pune Fashion Week which is an annual event in Pune; and brings famous designers and clothes from all over India to Pune.

Nafisa Poonawalla Hashim builds on her strength to present Western wear. She likes making gowns and actually dressed three separate May Queens (winners of May Queen beauty pageants)

Karishma Shahani: This eco-friendly designer who is a graduate of the London College of Fashion collaborates with NGOs to source much of the recycled material she uses in her designs. She uses recycled plastics, packaging material, reclaimed metal trunks, rice sacks and old silk saris. Shahani's works are also displayed at Bombay Electric in Mumbai.

Indira Broker is one of the more senior designers. She has dressed Julia Roberts, (the famous actress) and has been invited to show her special designs in the India section at Bloomingdale's (a chain store) in New York. Her brand of fashion has been around for over three decades and is still going strong with her studio in Aundh.

Vidya Talwar is armed with a qualification from Career Forum, Pune, and this stylist-designer is much in demand also for print advertisements, hoardings, photo-shoots and events. Her designs on clothes can be both elaborate and minimalistic. Mubaraka Kuvawala has a popular label 'Ostaan by Mubaraka' which centres on western clothes with Indian flourishes (touches ).

One of the older boutiques/ fashion outlets in Pune that stress on men's wear is More Mischief by Deepak Shah. Other men's wear fashion is available at outlets like Men's Avenue, Mewar and C'Lai and Korra, a new store located near Inox on Bund Garden road.

Fashion outlets in Pune include Mayra, a fashion store at Shivajinagar, Rudraksh located in Aundh and Babe on M.G. Road. Kala Niketan on J.M. Road is famous for its sarees.

Pune also has a number of fashion training institutes that produce large numbers of trained fashion designers every year. Located in Koregaon Park, FAD is one such institute which conducts foundation courses as well as degree programs. Another college offering quality fashion design courses is the MIT Institute of Design, which is located at Loni on the Solapur Road.

Fashion takes a new meaning in Pune with the setting up of FTV (Fashion Television) homes, a whole housing society inspired by fashion, located in Balewadi.

Well, as the saying goes, being fashionable is being cool; being old fashioned is being a fool!