The echoes of Gold & Silver thread embroidery on fine fabric have been reverberating in India since Rig Vedic times between 1500 and 1200 BC. It was nurtured in places as far flung as Iran, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Turkey & Central Asia for thousands of years before it prospered during the 17th century in the reign of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. A loss of royal patronage and industrialization led to its decline before the craft began to experience a resurgence in popularity following India’s independence in 1947.
Awadh (the region of the modern state of Uttar Pradesh around Ayodhya, west of Varanasi) holds a special place in the history of India, largely due to its culture and costumes amongst other things. The era of Nawabs, who were predominant in Awadh during 1722 to 1856, particularly influenced the evolution of fashion. The aristocracy of Lucknow gained immense wealth with the feudal system and spent extravagantly on their dresses. This had an impact on the dresses of the courtiers and the Awadhi people in general. The emphasis was not only on costumes and textiles, but also on how they were worn.
If you are wondering what could be that one item in the wardrobe that would work for all body shapes, occasions and weather conditions – then look no further, and invest in a beautiful kaftan to sail through this season in style. A variant of the robe or tunic, kaftans are not just fancy beach cover-ups for your swimwear but also a symbol of royal style in many cultures. Usually weaved in wool, cashmere, silk, or cotton – kaftans can actually be worn by both genders as a loose-fitting garment or layered as a jacket over a delicate inner outfit.