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Ganesha - the style icon

Ganesha is as much a fashion designer's delight as the artist or iconographer. Stylise your wardrobe with the image of Ganesha in various ways.


GLORIES OF Hinduism encompass a wide variety of divine manifestations that have been long worshipped through the corridors of time. The religious chores through the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent stand as a testimony to the fact that Lord Ganesha is the most beloved of all deities of the Hindu pantheon.

Every Purana tells a different story regarding the birth of Ganesha. In some, he is the maanasika putra (mind-born son) of Shiva. According to others, he is the creation of Parvati. In still others, he is the son of Shiva and Parvati. But, Ganesha, remover of all obstacles, has endeared himself to the masses and the elite.

Today, Ganesha is an iconologist's delight as much as a fashion designer's delight. A wealth of legends and parables, extent of his powers and his ever-increasing popularity has made Ganesha the latest style icon. This season indicates Ganesha as a reservoir of ideas reflected in apparel like never before.

Ganesha attains rich imagery as compared to the time when it was first fashioned and developed. The elephant head with short and pot-bellied structure attains different forms, postures, attributes and situations.

The technique of hand painting is on the rise. The image of Ganesha interspaced with scriptures from the Puranic lore is a high selling concept. This style idea on basic shirts or T-shirts is gaining momentum. The same story indicates abstract representations of Ganesha. Different components of Ganesha's body are being treated as repeat units to create interesting yardage concepts. Screen printed miniature paintings on fabric have taken a leap on the summer calendar. Equally interesting are bandhini and batik concepts. Also, Kalamkari folk paintings cover a wide range of Ganesha forms this season. Translate these ideas into a garment with over-all print concept or translate them into panels and appliqué pieces. For instance, customise a knee-length kurta with a batik patch ornamented with mirror work and running stitches.

Also, folk art figures of Ganesha could be embroidered for `that' global appeal. Colourful imagery in running stitch and satin stitch in resham threads gives you the look of the season. Many domestic makers and vendors have customised the image of Ganesha in the form of crystal iron-ons. Patch pockets on pants and bags, white metal jewellery, crystal body tattoos of Ganesha complete the look.

Some tableaux put up during the Ganapati festival in Maharashtra indicate Ganesha surrounded by astronauts from the moon. Lord Ganesha has been made part and parcel of contemporary events and situations.

This allows Ganesha to be a part of imagery that evokes humour through apparel.

Ganesha's podgy arms driving an auto rickshaw or Ganesha working out in a slimming gym - such style ideas have made Ganesha popular with the YUP (young urban people) crowd the world over.

From Puranic scriptures to stylised wedding invites, from the Ganapatya cult to modern day apparel, Ganesha as a form has travelled far, giving scope to creative minds. He is the beginning of all Beginnings. Begin stylising your wardrobe with loads of Ganapatya attitude. Begin the right way...ANUPREET BHALLA

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