Today I am going to present you my Dandiya outfit. India celebrated the festival of Navratri with prayers and fasts at the end of October. But for me the best part of the festival is the nine continuous nights of Garba dance. People dress up in Gujarati style (where the festival originated) and dance all night.
I have already experienced Dandiya since I arrived in India and it has never been disappointing. Although this year, I was invited to a few around the city, I preferred to attend the one at my kids school for it is safe and with people I know. The previous years, I dressed up a bit (read here) choosing comfort over fabulosity. But this time I wanted to go all the way. I thought about purchasing a complete Garba outfit with Embroidery mirror work and all that jazz at the market. However as gorgeous as those outfits can be, I could not see myself wearing them somewhere other than Dandiya nights. And how many more of those events will be coming my way, God only knows. Therefore I opted to get nice Indian ethnic wear that could be mixed with western wear in the future. Moreover I picked things that were already on my list that I could easily style separately.
I got a skirt with golden embroidery at the hem that I have been ogling for a while (actually I already had a gorgeous one in white but since I was not so keen about the color, my brother convinced me to sell it for our business). I also purchased a white Kurta with Chikan work (I also had one of those but my Mom liked it so much I gave it to her). To jazz up the look, I added an embroidered jacket and a Dupatta (oversized scarf) because you cannot dance Garba without a Dupatta. It would not feel right. To complete the look I went all out with silver Indian jewelry: a choker, bangles, ring and earrings. It may be a tad too much for people who are not used to the Indian way. But I promise you that even with all that, I was under dressed at the party.
Scarf - Blouse fabric from Saree bought in Jaipur
Chickan kurta and Embroidered skirt - Clover center
Embroidered jacket - Dmart
Tie dye dupatta and Maang Tikka (that thing on my forehead) - Chandan Nagar market
Clutch bag - Utsav fair
Glitter wedges - Saturday market, Dakar
Choker and ring - Mariplex flea market
Earrings and bracelet - M.G. road
I originally planned to wear a Senegalese dress I had made with Indian fabric but upon trying both outfits and taking pictures I realized that I looked leaner with the skirt than the dress. So I went for it.
The Senegalese dress on the right
The Dandiya was great. At my kids school it is more a charity event with proceeds going to local organizations. This year there was a fashion show with school kids in which I volunteered to be a judge. I was treated like a royalty by being given food and other treats and being seated at the principal office with other judges before the event.
The judging was a difficult because we had to see almost 150 kids all decked in Indian wear. It was hard to choose since every other outfit was so gorgeous. I wished I had time to take more pictures because the kids really went all out. All through the show I kept wandering where they bought all these outfits. I was also itching to take pictures but had literally no time. Thankfully me and my fellow judges did not have to deliberate at the end. We just had to rate the outfits and the math was left for someone else. After the show we were also treated to some dances by the teachers. It was fantastic and all colorful. I kept saying there were no sequins left in Gujarat for some outfits had embellishment on every inch.
Take a peek of the teacher's dance
Finally the dancing started and I joined my belly dance crew (that I invited) on the dance floor. We got crazy and it was super fun. After 15 minutes I was sweating like a pig and went out for air. Then, I treated the kids to games and food. We went home at around 9:30 pm.
My accessories for the night
With my Korean friend
I have to say that Dandiya is by far my favorite Indian festival and now you know why.