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Mekhela Chador

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Information about Mekhela Chador

Mekhela Chador (also spelled as Mekhela Chaddar, Mekhla Chadar, Mekhlo Chador), is type of Saree comprising two pieces of cloth, draped on the top and bottom, which is the traditional attire worn by the women of Assam. The bottom half of this unique dress is called the ‘mekhela’ which is cylindrical in shape and is worn waist downwards over a petticoat.

The mekhela is folded into pleats to the right around the waist and is tucked in. The chador, on the other hand, is tucked into the mekhela’s upper portion at one end and the other end is draped around the upper portion of the body, like a palla. These days a fitted blouse is worn, unlike earlier times when another piece of cloth known as the riha used to be worn.

 

History and Origin

Although the exact details of when the Mekhela Chador originated are not available, yet it has been the traditional dress of the Assamese women since times immemorial. And unlike the Pavadai Dhavani or the Ghagra, Mekhela Chador is being worn by women of all ages.

 

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Sources of Inspiration

Mekhela Chador is being inspired by both daily lifestyles as well as special occasions. You can wear a Mekhela Chador at home while doing various household chores or you may choose to wear its more recent and fancied versions to a wedding and any other special function.

 

Global Appeal

The Mekhela Chadors made of Muga or Pat Silk are usually the more fancied ones and can be worn almost throughout the year at special occasions. The ones made of Eri Silk are soft and warm in nature and hence are better suited for colder climatic conditions whereas the Cotton ones are best suited for daily usage at home.

 

Accessorizing

The Mekhela Chador can easily be accessorized with necklaces consisting of big, colorful pearls, earrings of medium size and large silver bangles which not only enhances the beauty of the wearer but also adds grace to their personality.

 

Innovations

The Mekhela Chadors are usually two piece attires consisting of the mekhela and the chador made from Muga Silk, Pat Silk or Eri Silk. However, the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Summer Resort 2013 saw Fashion Designer Vaishali Shadangule re-invent this traditional Assamese attire and give it a more contemporary look and feel in the form of evening dresses, kurtas, and pants.

 

Chronicles of the Future Foretold

With experimental Fashion Designers like Vaishali Shadangule bringing out the Mekhela Chadors out of the North-East and bringing it to the fashion capital of Mumbai, giving it a contemporary look and feel, the future indeed seems quite bright for this traditional attire from the Indian state of Assam.

 

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