Ever since Alia Bhatt graced the awards ceremony in Dubai in a stunning Ajrakh-printed saree, the buzz around this traditional Indian print has skyrocketed. In the ever-evolving world of fashion, traditional Indian fabrics such as Chanderi, Banarasi silk and Kalamkari, along with intricate embroideries such as Phulkari, Zardosi, mirror work and Kantha, have recently seen a renaissance with celebrities adding their contemporary flair. When it comes to Ajrakh, is a traditional art form that involves printing natural motifs using wooden blocks, vegetable and mineral dyes, and is a testament to India’s rich textile heritage and its enduring appeal in the world of fashion.
Ajrakh printing is a meticulous and time-consuming process, traditionally practised by the skilled artisans of the Khatri community in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Renowned for its unmatched grace and stunning drape, adorning Ajrakh can instantly transform you into an elegant princess. However, if you’re not sure how to wear this exquisite print, don’t worry, we’ve got your back. HT Digital reached out to fashion industry experts to provide valuable insights into mastering the art of styling Ajrakh prints. Get ready to unleash your inner fashionista with the charm of heritage and tradition. (Also read: Alia Bhatt’s stunning red carpet look in ajrakh printed saree with a modern drape, redefines glamour at award ceremony )
Tips to Style Ajrakh Print
“When wearing Ajrakh print, consider the occasion. Opt for casual, everyday pieces for a laid-back look, or choose more structured and tailored items for a polished and formal appearance. Stick to one statement piece with Ajrakh print, whether it’s a top, bottom, or accessory, and keep the rest of your outfit simple to let the print shine.” days Reynu Tandon, Couturier. She further shared a few stylish ways to wear Ajrakh print.
Layer strategically: Use layering to your advantage. Consider adding a solid-coloured jacket, cardigan, or shawl to enhance the Ajrakh print. This not only provides warmth but also adds a dynamic dimension to your outfit.
Contrast with neutrals: For a modern and chic look, contrast Ajrakh print with neutral tones like white, beige, or grey. This allows the vibrant patterns to pop while maintaining a contemporary aesthetic.
Footwear choice: Choose footwear that complements the overall vibe. Neutral shoes or those in colours present in the Ajrakh print can tie the look together seamlessly.
Play with scale: If your outfit features different scales of Ajrakh print, ensure there’s a balance. For instance, pair a larger print on one garment with a smaller print on another to avoid visual overload.
Casual to formal transition: Ajrakh print can be adapted for various occasions. Transition from casual to formal by choosing tailored pieces for a polished appearance or relaxed fits for a laid-back vibe.
“When styling Ajrakh print, consider pairing it with solid colours to highlight the intricate patterns. Opt for simple accessories to avoid overwhelming the look, and let the unique design of Ajrakh stand out. Additionally, you can mix and match with complementary colours or go for a monochromatic ensemble for a sophisticated appearance.” says Sahil Kochhar, Creative Director and Founder. Here are a few tips suggested by Sahil to style this stunning traditional print.
Balance with solid colours: Offset the bold patterns of Ajrakh print with solid colours. This ensures the print remains the focal point of your outfit without overwhelming the visual appeal.
Mix textures: Integrate different textures into your ensemble to add depth and interest. For example, pair an Ajrakh-printed top with textured bottoms or vice versa.
Accessorize mindfully: Opt for subtle accessories to avoid competing with the intricate patterns of Ajrakh. Simple, classic pieces like metallic jewellery or a solid-colour scarf can complement the print beautifully.
Monochromatic styling: Create a sophisticated look by sticking to a single colour family. This approach allows the unique details of Ajrakh to shine while maintaining a cohesive and elegant appearance.
Versatile silhouettes: Experiment with various clothing styles that showcase Ajrakh print. Whether it’s a flowy dress, tailored trousers, or a chic scarf, choosing versatile silhouettes ensures you can incorporate Ajrakh into different occasions and settings.
Bringing her expertise to the same Shivani Agarwal, fashion expert and founder of ANI clothing shared, “Embracing Ajrakh print in both traditional and modern contexts allows for versatile and stylish looks. For a traditional approach, opt for a flowing Ajrakh print saree or salwar suit. Choose rich, earthy tones and pair them with traditional silver jewellery, such as jhumkas or bangles. This classic ensemble celebrates the heritage of Ajrakh while maintaining cultural authenticity. On the modern front, incorporate Ajrakh in contemporary silhouettes. A tailored Ajrakh print blazer over a solid-coloured dress or trousers can make a bold statement.”
“Experiment with a fusion look by combining an Ajrakh crop top with wide-legged pants or a midi skirt. To avoid overwhelming the outfit, keep accessories minimal and stick to neutral footwear. In both styles, consider the occasion and setting. Traditional settings may call for more ornate jewellery, while modern environments allow for sleeker, understated accessories. Balancing the intricate patterns of Ajrakh with modern cuts and accessories creates a harmonious blend of tradition and contemporary fashion,” says Shivani.