South India's equivalent to the most popular Banarasi saree is the Kanjeevaram, essentially a silk saree borrowing its name from the town of its origin, Kanchipuram. This saree is preferred for festive occasions and celebrations, owing to the thick fabric and deep colours mixed with hints of gold on it. Like with most silk sarees, Kanjeevaram or Kanchipuram silk sarees can be depended on to be the perfect outfit choice when looking for a classy ethnic option.
Most clothing stores bring out new collections of Kanjeevarams during Diwali because women aggressively buy new sarees and not just for Diwali but for the whole year.
"As a brand we stick to very traditional glamour and play around only with colours. We are celebrating the colour red and everything that goes with it this year. We work with a very traditional industry, so we believe that innovation must stick within certain boundaries, otherwise it no longer has meaning because everything about the Kanjeevaram is about its providence." - says Ahalya of the popular brand Kanakavalli.
Most women prefer going to the stores, looking at the latest collections and buying a piece of every new design. The zaris are generally gold coloured. But many stores like Palam Silks have over the years introduced silver zaris and copper zaris in the market. This year they have launched coloured zaris. Here the Zaris are basically dyed with several colours. When you wear Kanjeevaram sarees and in case want to splash colours on it, then there is no other way than thread work. But that doesn’t give you the same satisfaction as the zaris because the shimmer is missing. But this new collection will give you that satisfaction.
Kanjeevarams are also preferred because many places sell the hand-made and not the powerloom made Kanjeevaram sarees. The handloom is preferred to the powerloom because it actually implies someone’s livelihood, skills, training and his entire life.
"Diwali for my family is about our rich culture and the theme of conquering darkness with light. All of us like wearing our traditional Tamil Nadu silks at home and I especially shop for Diwali directly from the silk weavers in Kanchipuram. The trend each year is in the richness of the fabric, the colour palette I choose is usually less prints but a nice spread of a unique colour. Diwali sarees that we gift too are very valuable as Pattu sarees are like an investment and people can keep them as heirloom pieces. This Diwali I have chosen to wear a traditional pattu saree with Banarasi design as these designs can be matched with our traditional gold jewellery and also goes well with diamonds," says Indira Rajendran, an educationist.
During Diwali a lot of bright colours are splashed all around, be it in the dresses or through the crackers. When the sarees are compared, one finds same prints mostly everywhere. To overcome this, Jeyasree Ravi from Palam Silks says - "In the normal Kanjeevaram sarees, the designs are generally repeated; but we have brought in a collection where there are only four designs on the saree that are completely different from each other. We have intentionally kept these on pastel colours; because as it is bootas are gonna be different from each other and it shouldn’t look too splashy; it should look very subtle, very elegant at the same time they should go along. All four designs will have some type of a similarity in the saree."