As I’ve always maintained that faith to each but festival to all. The autumn nip in the air around this time of the year paves way for the arrival of the Goddess Durga while scores of her admirers around the world start preparations to indulge into a celebration of rituals, festivities and feasting. Durga Puja is the annual Hindu festival in the Indian subcontinent that reveres the goddess Durga and is especially popular among the Bengali communities around the world. The festival marks the battle of goddess Durga with the shape-shifting, deceptive and powerful buffalo demon Mahishasura, and the emergence of Durga as victorious in the end.
This 3-part vogue series dedicated to the Durga Puja Lookbook will tell you in great details which avatar you should put on yourself while immersing yourself in the merry making all around. Especially as a run up to the Bijaya Dashami or ‘Bisharjan’ when the Goddess idol is immersed into water, these three looks that I have conceptualised, styled and donned will inspire you how to style yourself starting from Shaptami, then Ashtami and finally on the Navami. So make sure you are subscribing to this blog so as not to miss the Durga Puja Lookbook blogposts which will be published in sequence, one after another all throughout this week.
Pandal hopping, that is visiting ‘pandals’ (elaborate stage and temple decorations) one after another is part and parcel of the proper festivities during the Durga Puja. While Shashthi launches with the warming up of the 4-5 days of fanfare, it is indeed Shaptami which starts to draw friends and families towards the numerous Puja Pandals.
This very first post on Shaptami styling in the Durga Puja Lookbook series sees me donning a self-designed, yellow chiffon saree enjoying the serenade in the lovely Lisbon – the capital of Portugal. Reminiscent to many Yash Chopra directed Bollywood films shot in gorgeous European locations, this look in the yellow saree in Lisbon sets the tones for a flamboyant, youthful and flirty start to the Durga Puja festivities and especially on Shaptami. Shot against the perfect backdrop of the iconic yellow trams of Lisbon and against Portugal’s azulejos tiled walls in Barrio Alto area, this Shaptami look begs to get blended in to the elements around. What other occasion but on Shaptami when the dreamy start to the festivities commence, just like a surreal song sequence in many of the romantic Bollywood films.
Far from being mellow, the yellow actually will brighten you up to keep radiating the aura of style and substance while you strut around the Shaptami pandals around your town.
Still shy of calling myself a full-fledged designer as I am yet to start creating and selling my designs en masse, but worth sharing that the design inspiration of this yellow chiffon saree undoubtedly came from the Yash Raj Films heroines seen in dreamy song sequences in exotic mountainous locations in Europe. I went match-oh-much with the iconic yellow trams of Lisbon. To pair with this plain chiffon saree, I designed a heavily-Gujarati styled-embroidered blouse and to add tempo to the oomph factor, I added sheer net on the back and ornamented with Latkans aka danglers.
And jewelry from Amrapali (except the thread bangles) and an antique gold beaded vintage bag were my accessories of choice. Wearing my hair open in loose spirals, I went all out there with bold burgundy red lips and elongated eyes smoked-out, copper gold & black eyeshadow combination is the perfect match for this look.
So this is how the style story starts for you this Shaptami on this Durga Puja. Bright, vivid and vibrant – draped around the yellow chiffon saree to follow the right chords of style. Stay tuned for the next post on the astonishing Ashtami look and until then, leave a comment or two below on how you plan to style yourself this Shaptami.
Happy Durga Puja!
Note: Like this look? Want to see yourself in this saree? Contact me to shop at email@example.com
What Was I Wearing?
Saree & Blouse designed by yours truly
TribebyAmrapali Gold Bangles
Threaded Bangles from Dilli Haat, India
Bag from a Vintage store in Lake District, England (Don’t remember the name)
Photography: Rita Santana Photography
Hair & Makeup: Catarina Santiago
Concept, design and styling by yours truly
And don’t forget to watch our vlog below of what went behind the scenes while bringing to you the style stories for this Durga Puja Shaptami look in lovely Lisbon, Portugal.