Anarkali and Patiala shalwars in for Eid season

By Megara Tegal and Adilah Ismail, Pix by Athula Devapriya

Signalling the end of Ramazan, Colombo is a bustle as the frantic last minute festival shopping kicks in. If you’re one of those unfortunate shoppers who is lost as to what’s in this year and where you can pick it up, you may find this read of interest.

Braving the scorching weather, we scouted Colombo for the latest fashion in Shalwars and the best places to find them. First off we checked out Fabric Gallery in Kollupitiya. While the store is small in size, the price tags attached to the shalwar material sold aren’t as small.

Shalwar material at Fashion Gallery ranges from Rs 8,000 to Rs 40,000, however, considering the material is brought down from India and Pakistan, is of top quality and only a few yards is available, you can be sure the chances of you bumping into someone dressed in the same material are very unlikely.

According to Fabric Gallery, crepe silks are all the rage this year and were brought down recently specifically for the Eid shoppers. Available at the store, is printed and heavily worked crepe silk. Besides shalwar material, the store also sells vibrant printed evening sarees that cost 10,000 upwards, but that’s no surprise when considering the store also sells brands such as Satya Paul sarees.

Take a stroll down Main Street in Pettah, and you’ll be spoiled for choice. With traders raucously advertising their wares and salesmen pulling one beautiful saree after another, it is only natural to feel a little bewildered.

Walk along to Ramona’s, located at no. 223, and you’ll be treated to the latest shalwars in style. The manager of Ramona’s explained that the Anarkali and the Patiala shalwars were very much in vogue at the moment.
The Anarkali shalwar The Patiala shalwar.

The Anarkali shalwar, while not as wide as the traditional shalwar, consists of a slim fitting top with a hint of a flare at the end, giving the impression of a dress. The tops are embellished with beads, embroidery and sequins and come with varied necklines and colours.

Teamed with churidar trousers, which are actually pants which fit tight below the knee, an Anarkali shalwar is the impeccable choice for the fashion savvy. Probably one of the most unique features about the churidar trouser is that they are much longer than your legs and bunch up at the ankles, resembling bangles or ‘churis’ - hence the name ‘churidar’.

Relatively less known, the Patiala shalwar on the other hand, have long billowing trousers which allow more freedom of movement. Reminiscent of the trousers that Aladdin dons in the well loved Disney film, these trousers consist of a number of pleats. The top, or rather, the kameez, varies according to your choice. With a selection of short and long tops, the kameezes come in printed and embroidered designs with attractive dupattas.

It is said that the shalwar derived its name from a maharajah in Punjab, who was noted for wearing something similar in shape. With more leg room and its simple, yet elegant design, the beauty of the Patiala shalwar lies in the comfort of the wearer.

One of the items which caught our eye at Ramonas, was a shalwar kameez which our salesman termed the ‘Sania Mirza shalwar’. Named after the Indian tennis sensation, the kameez is designed in the shape of a tennis outfit and is worn with a churidar. The prices at Ramonas range from Rs. 1,000 and above.

Aszai Fashions, at 104, Havelock Road, is a haven for those who prefer to have their shalwar kameez’ customized according to their individual requirements. With ample parking facilities and a well lit showroom, you can browse through the spectrum of colours and textures to your heart’s desire.

Furthermore, 24-hour tailoring facilities are also provided for those who wish to get their shalwars stitched with minimum hassle.

The director of Aszai Fashions explained that fabrics such as chanderi fabric have been especially brought down for the Eid season. The fabrics available at the store are of high quality, range from casual to party wear and are available in striking prints as well as embroidered designs. Aszai Fashions has an extensive selection — cotton shalwar fabrics range from Rs. 600 upwards.

Their collection of colourful kurthas and chiffon and crepe sarees for all occasions is also worth looking at. Kurthas are priced at Rs. 750 while sarees range from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 5,000.

And there you have it! Narrowing down your choices, here’s hoping shopping this year around will be less hectic. Eid Mubarak!

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