South Indian silks aren’t as regular on the red carpet as they were a decade ago. Designer gowns and cocktail dresses are what the current Bollywood crop is into.
However, a handful of celebrities from both generations still champion traditional Kanchipurams and Uppada silks. And since Vogue’s November issue focuses on Chennai, we’ve collected the best South Indian and South Indian-inspired silk saris worn by celebrities this year.
Rekha has been unwavering in her commitment to wearing rich, zari-embroidered silks for every public appearance. As is her contemporary Hema Malini. Sridevi is less regular, but her sartorial timeline does feature some memorable Kanchipuram saris.
Vidya Balan, Mini Mathur, Maria Goretti, Konkona Sen Sharma, Priyanka Chopra, Sameera Reddy and Kangana Ranaut give the traditional silks a contemporary twist.
Mathur’s feature quirky motifs like fishes woven into the wefts. Balan and Sharma wear their silks with modern, chunky jewellery. Reddy mixes it up, donning a mismatched ikat blouse with a pink and green Kanchipuram.
Chopra and Dia Mirza were spotted over the Diwali weekend in blue weaves featuring the popular South Indian temple borders.
South Indian sartorial inspiration isn’t limited to silk saris; Jacqueline Fernandez wore a Nikhil Thampi design that featured a kathakali dancer motif to the Nickelodeon awards this year too.