This kurta, a characteristic Indian wear in fashion since earliest times, is now one of the most popular styles of Indian costumes used pan India as also in many countries with hot climatic conditions. It is also one of the emerging fashions of summer wears even in Europe. Some styles of kurtas are only female wears but many, as this one, are used commonly by men and women. This particular piece with its large size, length in particular, shall be a rare thing for any person – male or female, with a tall figure.
The piece has been designed with full sleeves with such length as to fold to suit one’s taste or current fashion-trends. Crafted out of pure cotton of the finest kind it has been designed with oval neck that a standing collar defines. With no thread – warp or woof, betraying a knot or thickness variations, and the number of per inch count being very high, though simply mercerized, it has fine silk-like lustre and grace. The neck and front have been beautified by artistically crafted Lucknavi chikan embroidery rendered in shining white thread that in contrast to lustrous black with rare colour-depth creates a magic able to mesmerize any eye. This kurta has the ability to transport the wearer into that era of Lucknavi culture that great sophistication, rare elegance and an insatiable thirst for beauty characterised.
The piece discovers its beauty and distinction in its stark simplicity. The white of the pajama and the thread used in embroidering the patterns around the neck and the front openings is not the designer’s creation but the magic that this white creates against the deep black of the rest is certainly the designer’s choice and vision. He has used for embroidery simple cross-stitches but used with such skill that whether the linear frame containing the vine or various design-patterns – floral creepers or the courses of leaves and tiny plants, every stitch leads the eye upwards in ascending order. The most routine thing, even the buttons have been so manipulated, from their selection to stitching, that they look like part of the embroidered patterns. Unless confident of the colour’s fastness the designer would not use white thread against black for embroidering his design.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient India. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.