“Everything I know, see or hear, every part of my life is transformed into dresses. They are my daydreams, but they have passed from dreamland into the world of everyday items to wear.”
The Kandyan osaree is elegant, classy and authentic.
It is a big part of the tradition and the Kandyan osaree is still worn at functions like weddings and is still worn day to day in Kandy. It is worn with pride and poise.
The last few years we have seen variations of the osaree; the most common being the “made up” saree where the different parts of the saree “neriya” “pota” and the actual saree which wraps around you being made as separate pieces. Another way of changing up the osaree has been fewer pleats across the chest.
Of course, inevitably some people would say you should never mess with tradition. To an extent that is true.
Cultural appropriation in the form of fashion is something we always have to be wary of. It is important to be respectful of where a garment comes from. However, that does not mean we cannot try something different!
A new way of reinventing the Kandyan sari in a new style has been instead of wrapping an actual saree (which translates to unstitched cloth) around the waist, to pair a saree blouse with a form-fitting skirt.I personally opted for the panelled mermaid skirt after being inspired by Jaqueline Fernandez. Miss Jaqueline Fernandez former “Miss Sri Lanka” has donned this altered style of Kandyan saree to various events.
The great part of wearing this style of Kandyan saree is that it is much more practical and manageable to walk around in.
Furthermore, it looks similar to the Indian Lehenga but the trademark pieces which make up the osaree – the neriya and the pleated “pallu”/ “pota” are still present. This you can mix and match the panelled skirt with other outfits instead of only wearing it with the Kandyan saree blouse.
I love this twist to the Kandyan saree. Although this kind of style could never replace the traditional Kandyan saree , it is an elegant contemporary twist on the tradition which is slowly becoming trendy Sri Lanka.
I personally chose the material and the border for this royal blue saree and had it specifically tailored. If any of you are interested in finding a Kandyan saree in this type of style then you will have to get it tailor made as saree shops do not sell Kandyan sarees with panelled skirts.
But I think it is worth the extra effort. What do the rest of you think about it? I would love to hear your thoughts.