Besides Kalyani, Kamboji, and canteen saapadu, it is the pattu(silk) saree that is the hallmark of Margazhi season in Chennai. From the musicians themselves to their fans, everyone indulges in a bit of saree shopping to look the season’s best; sometimes, giving way to unique ensembles and signature styles that blaze new trends.
From traditional silk sarees with time tested motifs of mangoes, chariots, and peacocks, threaded together in elaborate zari work, to comfortable Mangalagiri cottons bearing block prints, and patchwork, there is something for every saree lover. Some add a touch of contemporary aesthetic to their traditional sarees by pairing them with edgy blouses, and terracotta jewellery.
If you fancy yourself some Margazhi flavoured saree shopping in Chennai, here are the city’s shopping hotspots.
For the contemporary look
Palam Silks brings out a concert collection of bright coloured sarees with patterns of musical instruments, and paraphernalia. This year it has a unique silverline collection which takes silver zari by itself, for the first time, to pattu saree. From traditional Kanjivaram to fashionable silks, Palam Silks has a lot to offer for youngsters looking to make a fashion statement.
Aavaranaa, located in Abiramapuram, also comes with a special range of Margazhi sarees in retro styles. The boutique brand, specializes in Kanjivaram, Tussar, Benaras, and a host of other silks, with kalamkari and block-print designs.
Margazhi Designs, a 5 year old brand that is creating ripples internationally, produces traditional weaves with fresh patchwork, and a sprinkling of ikat and floral prints for variety. Cotton sarees ranging from Khadhi to Managalgiri are crowd favourites.
For the traditional attire
Kumaran, Nalli, and Sundari Silks are the city’s oldest and finest when it comes to traditional sarees. You can never go wrong when you shop your Kanjivaram silk from these iconic stores.
The ultra luxe in silk
Kanakavalli Kingsley boasts an exquisite range of handcrafted sarees that are one of a kind. Housed in a colonial style bungalow, it provides a rich shopping experience, while spelling heritage and class in every product. If you don’t mind shelling out big bucks for the best Kanjivaram, this is for you.
Amethyst Boutique houses chic, contemporary sarees by local and international designers, with a blouse studio where you can custom design your blouses. Although it is heavier on the purse, it is worth every rupee.
Sarangi in Mylapore also offers a curated collection of scintillating silks.
The South Indian saree is an intrinsic part of the Margazhi festival. Come December, it is the chosen garb of the city. Don your best when you head out for the kutcheris this season!