Rekha, the bewitching enchantress & her sarees

by parineeti lal

‘If Nature gives you Youth, it is your responsibility to maintain it.’

 A thought by which the femme fatale of Bollywood, Rekha, has imbibed and lived.

A look that still has male pulses racing and female envy arising it is sheer God’s grace and her own effort that she can still pass off as a heroine when she is beyond an age where women hate to even hint it.

There are two things that help her in what she does. A youthful countenance that Nature has provided and her love for the Indian saree. Every Indian woman knows that when it comes to looking good and feeling good, there is no other attire that can do justice, as much as the saree. And when it comes to taste, the Umrao Jaan lady sure has lots of it. Just see for yourself!

Bollywood actor Rekha during the Hello Magazine Awards 2013 in Mumbai, India on November 24, 2013.

Shop for Kanjeevaram / Bollywood sarees @Unnati Silks online.

Rekha’s love for the Handloom saree

There are few stars, one of them being Rekha, whose love for the Indian Handloom saree started long before Handloom got noticed for its ethnic value and the revival movement for it started. In fact one can say that she has been one among the few to make her ‘Handloom’ appearances her ‘Signature’ look.

For one who started a filmy career at early age, she began when she was just 15, and her journey continues. Her on-screen appearances may have reduced to a bare minimum but her presence is very much felt in award functions and reality shows. The aura has not ceased but only seems to be continuing as strong as ever, so much so, that if she were to give a prominent award nite a go-bye, immediately people would notice it and question ‘why’.

With every passing year and appearance in public glare, especially in sizzling silks, be it the South Indian Kanjeevaram, the North Indian Banarasi or any other, this ‘Timeless Beauty’ only has people looking stunned and saying “Wow”. Here is why!

Rekha – the ‘Timeless Beauty’ in her favourite Kanjeevarams – (folder of 14 images)

Shop for Kanjeevaram sarees online at

Rekha has always been adventurous from the start of her professional journey as an actress.  So ‘dare’ has been nothing new to her. She tries out the unconventional and maybe people like it, hence is widely accepted – “Nothing can go wrong with her. Whatever she wears suits her.”

  • She wore the Lime green and Magenta at IIFA Awards 2019, Mumbai.
  • She tried out the Orange & pink Banarasi drape for Isha Ambani’s reception.
  • Then there is this chartreuse and hot pink number that she wore for another wedding reception.
  • The neutral toned silk sari was what she was seen in at Deepika Padukone – Ranveer Singh‘s Mumbai Reception. If you want to ‘copy the cat’ you could elevate the cream weave with a dose of purple.
  • As for Metallics in dhoti style drape, this is what she sported at Sonam Kapoor & Anand Ahuja’s wedding.

Rekha likes accessorizing and in a manner where others would hesitate ten times before trying.

  • She does not shy from wearing the full-sleeved blouse with zari cuffs or stacked bangles.
  • If you are thinking of wearing the maang tikka, layered necklaces or oversized chaand balis, and suppose you were to ask – which one to be tried, she would simply advise wear all of them.
  • According to her Maximalist jewellery should unfailingly be accompanied with a traditional potli bag, and a flower-clad bun for maximum impact.

Next time you feel like ‘daring’, bolster your confidence by simply picturizing Rekha wearing whatever you are thinking of trying out.

This is the saree creation that Rekha wore when she attended the Mehta-Ambani wedding reception last year

Javed Akhtar’s birthday celebrations saw Rekha flaunt a green shimmery silk saree with a potli, bold red lips and signature opulent jewellery.
For a reality dance show, Rekha flaunted a yellow-Cyan blue silk saree with jewellery adorned braid and subtle makeup.

Rekha draped a green pink gold Kanjeevaram saree for IIFA Awards 2019. She finished out the look with flowers, necklaces and bangles along with other ornamentation.

Rekha draped in a hot-pink green saree with opulent jewellery and bold makeup.

The Chhapaak premiere earlier this year saw Rekha flaunt a gold and ivory saree. Bold lips and jewellery completed her look. But like we said Rekha can never go wrong.

Rekha encourages and encourages tremendously like seen in the recent Indian Idol 12 event.

Indian Idol -12 is currently in progress. On the episode of April 1st that was aired later, actress Rekha appeared as a special guest on the singing reality television show. The evergreen actress gifted a special hand-written letter to one of the show judges, Neha Kakkar wishing her for her marriage. Rekha also gave her a beautiful bright pink Kanjeevaram silk saree as a wedding gift.

The actress said a saree was the “most beautiful attire” someone could wear, which is why she decided to present the newly-married singer with a saree.

“It’s always said whenever you meet someone newly-wed you should pour them with your blessings. I believe a saree is one of the most beautiful attire someone can do. So, I decided to gift Neha a saree only,” she said.

Neha was deeply touched by the gift and said that the saree will always be special for her.

“This saree is a blessing which I have received from Rekha ma’am and this would always be very special to me. Everyone has been in awe of Rekha ma’am, and I am one meeting her. Receiving a gift from her is so special. I can’t describe in words how happy I am,” she said.

Neha tied the knot with musician Rohanpreet Singh last October in an elaborate wedding. Neha Kakkar, also shared a series of photos with the actress from the sets and tagged her husband Rohanpreet Singh in her post.

The letter from Rekha read, “Meri pyaari Nehu ki preet jinhe apne kismat ki lakeero se churaya hai. Meri prarthana hai ki… Mata Rani, Wahe Guru aur duniya ke saare devi devta aap par dher sara aashirvaad barsaye aur aap dono ko surakshit rakhe!! I wish for you both… more love than your heart can contain! Khush raho, sada suhagan raho!!! Dher sara pyaar aur duao ke sath, Rekha (sic).”

Sharing the post, Neha Kakkar wrote, “Queen of Hearts won My Heart!!! Not because she gave Me “ #NehuPreet Ki Shadi Ka Shagun” but because of How She Is!!!! And When I saw her DANCING…. Must say I’ve never seen anything like that Ever in my life!!!! Also I kept looking at her throughout the day, Beauty Queen #Rekha Ji I’m Your Fan Forever Now!!!! #NehaKakkar. P.S. Do Not Miss The Letter in the pictures!(Keep Swiping Right) @rohanpreetsingh Dekho Baby (sic).”

Commenting to Neha’s post, Rohanpreet wrote, “Neha Kakkar’s husband Rohanpreet Singh commented, “Wowww How Sweet of Rekha Mam!! This is All Because Of You My Queen!! God Bless Both the Beautiful souls in the frame (sic).”

Rekha mentioned how happy she was to hear about Neha Kakkar’s wedding and decided to get her a special gift as ‘shaadi ka shagun’. Rekha also draped the nine-yard outfit on Neha Kakkar on the stage, leaving the singer and the show judge totally speechless with her gesture.

Shop for Designer Kanjeevaram silk and Pure Handloom Kanchi cotton sarees at Unnati Silks.

Rekha & her style statements

Let us see why Rekha seems to go from step to step the way she is in maintaining herself.

Bollywood’s evergreen fashion icon Rekha has an impeccable sense of style that continues to inspire generation after generation. So very individualistic is her style, that she is a Fashion icon unto herself. She has a fan following that literally await her appearances so that they may try and include what she has to offer into their own way of dressing. Some others simply do their best to copy her. Either way it fetches positive results.

  • A sense of dressing for the occasion

She has over the years developed the killer instinct in dressing. Wherever she puts in an appearance people are first goggling at how she presents herself – Quietly neat & elegant. Nothing seems to seem wrong. After all why should it. And the image below shows just that.

  • Lipstick – Making the lips just the right shade of red and shapely is an art, shown beautifully here. See the manner in which she contrasts it with the complexion of the face, highlighting her features.

  • Statement Chokers

Rekha is known for her statement chokers that she has been seen wearing for a long time. With her love for the traditional Handloom sarees she is also attributed to have started the pairing of her sarees with unusual designs of chokers that have proved a very big hit or given her a standing for good taste.  In fact this gave rise to modern day heroines like Deepika Padukone and many others following suit.

If it appeals and you have the flair for it why not look for the designs of Rekha’s choker necklaces to accessorize your own Indian outfits like lehengas, salwar-kameez and most of all, sarees.

  • The sarees she wears are her biggest statements

How beautiful she looks in the Indian handloom saree!  The manner she dons it, the way she conducts herself so easily is a big statement made by her in favor of the saree. She prefers the silk laden Kanjeevarams and the Banarasis that suit her to the T. If you are a saree lover, nothing like copying Rekha’s style of sarees that she has worn over the years.

  • Her face makeup prominently has gold tones

Rekha has the habit of touching up her face with shades of gold on her eyelids and cheekbones. It could be to match the sarees that she wears. She also at times touches up her lips lightly with gold shimmer.

But the effect that is brought about, My God! Sensational!

If you are game for facial make-up nothing like golden highlighters and eye shadows to try out seeing how Rekha does it.

Shop for silk & cotton handloom sarees, plain, designer, crafted, painted and printed upon at Unnati Silks online

Let us gaze awhile and admire the dressing sense of Rekha

Rekha’s journey in Life – briefly

Rekha was born as Bhanurekha Ganeshan to Gemini Ganeshan (a star in Tamil cinema then) and Pushpavalli. We all know her as Rekha.

Rekha started her filmy career in 1958 as a child artiste in two Telugu movies, acted in lead in a Kannada film in 1969 and then with Saawan Bhadon started her Hindi film journey.

Acknowledged as one of the finest actresses in Indian cinema, she has starred in more than 180 films. She has received many accolades that include one National Film Award and 3 Filmfare Awards.

She has often played strong and complicated female characters—from fictional to literary—in both mainstream and independent films. Despite several ups and downs in her cinematic journey Rekha has gained a reputation for reinventing herself numerous times and has been credited for her ability to sustain her status. In 2010, the Government of India honoured her with Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour.

Over the years she has matured into a beautiful actress and shone as a wonderful human being.

Rekha loves Banarasi  Sarees. Shop for Banarasi sarees online at

Look at some of her stunning sarees.

Rekha has always been considered as an embodiment of style, grace, and beauty. She has a strong fan following though she may not be much active on social media. A private person, to reserved, she is wonderful to be with when she lets her hair down. Be it an awards night or a wedding in Bollywood, Rekha is seen in the most beautiful silk sarees ever. She has made it her signature style over the years.

In the above picture, Rekha strikes a stunning pose for the camera in her signature gold yellow saree. She completes her gorgeous look with matching jewellery and a shimmery potli purse.

Rekha is,  and shall remain different. An actress who has never shied away from making bold choices, be it in her life, films, or her style. She often dresses up in bold and bright colours. But she never gets it wrong.In the above picture, Rekha looks ravishing as ever in the red kanjivaram saree. Her matching jewellery, bright red lips, and gajra complement her overall ethnic look.

The way in which Rekha has maintained her physique and Nature has preserved her beauty, is something we all wonder about, sometimes enviously. Rekha can easily give all the young actresses out there a run for their money with her beauty and grace. The veteran actress has always made sure that she turned heads every time she stepped out.

Dressed in a maroon and ivory saree, she looks absolutely stunning. Her Kundan jewellery, matching lipstick, and gajra complete her gorgeous look.

The actress loves gold and golden and has a huge collection of golden sarees.

Dressed in a gold and black saree, Rekha poses for the camera. Her matching necklace and maang tika complement her overall look.

Rekha manages to look beautiful every time she steps out. In this beige saree with pink border she completes the overall look with statement earrings and her patent bride red lips. The red rose completes the pretty picture.

Rekha loves Banarasi  Sarees. Shop for Banarasi sarees online at

The spirit of experimentation is strong in Rekha

Rekha is always seen in sarees one better than the other, but by seeing her wrapped in a saree in a most unusual way, all were bewitched by her.

Bollywood actress Rekha is a timeless evergreen beauty, appearing as beautiful & youthful as she looked when she started her career. As if Time had left no mark upon her face.Heavy Kanjeevaram sarees, traditional gold jewellery, subtle make-up, bold lip colors, the Maang Tika and flowers have all been her part of her Signature look and she looks good in that.

Nevertheless, what is special about her style statements is that despite wearing the same type of clothes, she does not look boring and when she experiments with her outfits her personality shines. This is what we got to see of her at the Deepika-Ranveer Wedding reception at Mumbai. In this star-studded party Rekha had chosen to wear her heavy Kanjeevaram silk saree. But with an element added to it, for layering. The outfit was simple but her look was elegant and sleek and she appeared very beautiful in that.

Wrapping herself in chunni like a saree in so extraordinary a fashion , Rekha stole everybody’s heart.

In this star-studded event, she chose her saree from JDS Indian Ethnic Assemblance – a Fashion label. Which she paired with a matching dupatta.In the making of this saree, Banarasi silk was blended with Charmeuse Satin, a specially woven lightweight fabric woven with a satin weave. The specialty of this Charmeuse Satin is that it has a satin side, which is shiny, and a matte side, which is dull. The outfit had a double shade combination of vibrant colors whose blouse and the pallu were purple in color with the base of the saree in golden color.

Along with the double-toned saree she had worn a full-sleeved silk blouse with golden zari floral motifs. On the pallu there was intricate silver zari patch work engraving done in several places. At the end of the pallu were tassels that added to the look. Rekha looked lovely.

The dupatta worked for her

Rekha is known for her fashion experiments. Not only does she have numerous ideas on wearing traditional sarees but also has a sense of styling. To enhance this look, she carried a dupatta on the side, so that it matched with the pallu of the saree. The dupaata was from a designer label that had silver stars engraved as motifs that were thin at the edges.

There is no doubt that the dupatta gave Rekha an effortless and polished look.

The overall look was marvelousTo complement her statement look, her make-up included blood red lips, a small dot sindoor on the forehead, beaming highlighter, middle-parted bun, large Jhumkas, Gold earrings, Choker, and bangles that matched with her saree shade. For a finishing touch she carried a potli bag that suited perfectly.

There was a perfect co-ordination between all elements of her attire. Sometimes colorful outfits could spoil the look, but in Rekha’s case the co-ordination between three disparate elements (saree, blouse and dupatta) was perfect. It was very eye-catching.

 A time when Rekha had the public confused on whether she was wearing a saree or a suit

Rekha has always been in the news for something or the other and cast her spell across different age groups. But one facet of her has made all of us her fans. Whenever the Kanjeevaram saree is spoken about, the first image that comes to mind is that of Rekha and Rekha alone. Known for her colorful Kanjeevaram silk sarees

and Banarasi silk sarees, she has created a niche place for herself. Something like that happened when she was seen in a 150 year old costume at the Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja wedding reception. She had brought the costume back from history to become the latest trend.

There is nothing wrong with experimenting, but when it comes to Rekha, even stalwarts in fashion have to bow down. In the wedding reception if you remember, rekha had appeared in a star-studded white & golden Kanjeevaram silk saree. Needless to say she looked stunning in her trademark traditional costume.

To complete her overall look Rekha used her traditional jewellery, which included a statement necklace, Maang Tika, Jhumka and stacked bangles. When she was asked about it, Rekha said that it was not a pant saree combination but a 150 year old saree known as Choughoshiya in which four pieces of apparel are there. A tight blouse with a Kashida work choli, loose tunic or shirt and a 5 meter Dupatta

The Choughoshiya saree of Hyderabad is a traditional apparel where even today when for the Nikaah ceremony or wedding function, ladies wish to wear it. The Khada dupatta was made popular by Mughal Empress NoorJehan in the 17th century, when she wanted something new for her subjects. She got it made by Turkish and Iranian weavers.

With the Chaugoshiya saree of Hyderabad, with Khada dupatta or Mugal dupatta is convenient. The famed historian Rana Safvi writes, “This costume or style of wearing has become a favourite where the saree is worn with a dupatta. But the style of wearing the dupatta is slightly different than the conventional style.

(P.S. – the other glamorous queen in black and white here is a royal wife to His Royal Highness Nizam VII, Hyderabad)

Rekha loves Banarasi  Sarees. Shop for Banarasi sarees online at

See Rekha as she wore her sarees in her Movies.  Also notice the way she combines blouse and saree, wears her jewellery and other nuances that appeal. You could definitely try these out with confidence knowing that this is ‘master class’.

Everything of the way the saree was worn in movies of the 1980s can be found in one Rekha movie or the other. From indie style to gharelu chic to plain old Bollywood glamour, she showcased it all in her 1980s films. Each movie often had a signature look with the actress sticking to a distinctive, restrictive style.

In a movie called Vijeta (1982) which had Jennifer Kapoor / Kendal as costume designer, Rekha played a Maharashtrian character. You would notice sarees like Ilkal and Narayanpet with matching blouses where the blouse was the same heavier material as the saree made of fabric known as ‘Khun’. During that time, women favoured large bindi, a prominently visible mangalsutra, glass bangles etc. which Rekha portrayed with her life-like performances.

Scroll down to see her saree- blouse combinations, her hair style, her jewellery, even her lipstick and other accessories. It could even get you a new style to include in your routine dressing.

Rekha loves Kanchi Sarees. Shop for handloom sarees online in silk & cotton  at

Preferred and Exclusive drape since traditional times – The Handloom silk saree

 From the time the nine-yard rectangular ‘saree’ has been discovered, women have taken to it as an attire of comfort, of respectability, of variety, of possibilities and so on. For a simple lattice of criss cross threads, the potential that the saree as a fabric of utility and fashion offers is simply mind-boggling.

Many are the types of handloom varieties worn in India across its length and breadth, that there is variation in fabric material (silk, cotton etc.), processes (Dabu, Bagru, ikat, Bandhani etc.), adorning finery (zardozi, brocade, meena work, sequins etc.) and so on.

Why do women hanker after handloom silk sarees?       

  • Traditionally silk has been considered to be, as dictated by religious texts, a fabric that is pure and hence considered auspicious to be worn on religious occasions. Hence the handloom silk saree is prescribed for women to wear during religious rites, festivals and other auspicious occasions.
  • Silks have always been a favourite with women because of the rich look, airy comfort and the exclusiveness in price compared to other fabrics.
  • No wedding or anniversary function is possible, even today, without the Silk ‘Pattu’ sarees being on display.
  • The bride, the women in the family, relatives, guests who attend, all appear in their resplendent silk sarees of different varieties or traditional styles.
  • It is a fine display of new incorporations of designs, patterns, colours and adorning features like zardozi, ari, gota and other forms of embroidery, kundan work, mirror work, chamki work etc.
  • Costly pure silk sarees that range from 15000 rupees onwards to touch a lakh and above, are jealously guarded, worn with caution and care exercised at every step, to be displayed only for exclusive occasions.

What is the range of handloom silk sarees available in India?

Handloom silk sarees have been made across the country in different hubs across most states, each with its own variety, style of making, flavour and tradition. If we take across the length and breadth of India, we have handloom silk sarees woven in popular hub clusters of Arani, Kanjeevaram, Dharmavaram, Chettinad, Narayanpet, Uppada, Pochampalli, Gadwal, Mysore, Bangalore, Rajkot, Kota, Benaras, Assam, Meghalaya, Bhagalpur, Odisha, Bengal silk, Tussar silk, and others.

Are we able to procure these handloom silk saree varieties online on a website?

Definitely. In this age of the internet, many online websites selling handloom sarees in different fabric materials such as silk, cotton, sico etc. are available. Handloom Silk sarees would definitely be put up for sale.

Can you tell me about a website where I can buy genuine handloom silk sarees with the confidence that I will get what I order?

Unnati Silks has been associated with handlooms since 1980. It has one of the largest collections of handloom fabrics in silk, cotton and other materials under one roof.   Over and above the reputation of selling genuine handlooms, it also has most of its fabrics covered by Handloom Mark and Silk Mark which are certifications of the Govt. of India.

Are there other advantages of buying handloom silk sarees from Unnati Silks?

Unnati Silks ships to all parts of the country free and to more than 60 destinations overseas through reputed couriers safely and promptly. Prices are attractive both for wholesale and retail with discounts, special discounts, festival sales etc. being part and parcel of its ethos.

The Unnati Images of sarees

Before we part, see Rekha in her Rajya Sabha appearance

Rekha’s videos


– Video where Rekha mentions why she presented Neha Kakkar a saree

2) – You tube video of Rekha in Banarasi sarees

3) – in Designer Sarees

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