CHOLI BOLI as the name suggests are garments that speak! The concept evolved when the team behind CHOLI BOLI sat to discuss the limitations in donning a Saree in formal occasions and the general distaste that the younger generation has towards this very Indian dress. We realized that while Sarees evolved over time, the upper garment behind the saree still has a long way to go. One more important factor that went unnoticed through generations was that “blouse” and the current generic avatar that it assumes is highly inspired by the western fashion world. They are tight! They are meant to be tight considering that the humble blouse evolved from the western fashion of tight corseted inner wears – a must in colonial women fashion. Bequeathed to us by the Raj, it was Jnananandini Debi, the wife of Satyendranath Tagore – brother of the famous Nobel Laurette Rabindranath Tagore – who popularized the blouses, jackets, chemises and the modern style of saree today after she was reportedly refused entry to clubs under the British Raj for wearing the saree draped over her bare breasts. “Blouses” were therefore born out of “oppression” and the premise of “fitting in” like Satyendranath’s wife did and like Rabindranath insisted the same upon his wife!
The earliest representations of women in India show them with minimal clothing. Both men and women did not cover much of their torsos. Having said a piece of cloth did cover the breasts over time and they were probably termed “kacholi” worn over “dhotis” (both men and women wore dhoti then). For a really long period of time though women did not wear their “blouses” in the Eastern and the Southern parts of India. By then the “Cholis” had taken birth through the western and north-western parts of India with the fashion acculturisation of the Mughals and the indigenous “kacholis”! Cholis on the other hand were not a symbol of oppression but fashion and had its own language. Ancient Indian calendar art shows them in myriad lengths and the medieval Mughal murals in their varied transparencies. Having said, they became garments that spoke dollops of attitude about the women in that era. With this idea in mind, the conception of CHOLI BOLI took place. Albeit with the modern twist!
ABOUT CHOLI BOLI
CHOLI BOLI is a unique range of ergonomic cholis that defies “too-tight form fitting” garments to bring you aesthetically designed comfort that speak your attitude. Gone are the days of wriggling into blouses (most times with the help of others) and the days of choosing a blouse to match the saree which covered or draped over you. It is time for bold-speak where you can toss the drape aside to reveal your true nature to the world. Now match the saree with these statement Cholis that speaks dollops of your attitude!
At CHOLI BOLI there are no preconceived notions. At every step we experiment to evolve. You will find our designs fluid and blending into whatever garment you choose to mix and match with it – jeans, skirts, sarees, harem pants, giving you the same feel as in your comfort that shift – to break the suffocating embrace of the blouse too-tight!
INSPIRING BREAST CONFIDENCE
Breast and body confidence hinders women in the workplace, affecting their career and their social paths. Women have been conscious about their breasts from time immemorial. A woman’s self-esteem could take a direct knock even by a harmless comment on her breasts. From a long time they have been hiding their breasts or wanting validation by the society or fashion trends. Notably, men are more conscious about women’s breasts and women are sensitive to that. Younger women want killer cleavages while the older generation desire to lift and enhance their natural curves. Girls in puberty want to hide their small growing breasts. All these are unconscious official acceptability that women feel that they need. What they actually need is “breast confidence”. Women need to accept their breasts. In whatever sizes and shapes that they are, they need to believe that they are perfect. Hence CHOLI BOLI is a part of the “Inspiring Breast Confidence” movement. We want to impress upon all women that their breasts like any other part of their body satisfies the specific functions of nurturance. They don’t need to hide it when they are feeding their children nor do they have to feel depressed if they lose one or both to cancer. Their breasts need to be freed not from their clothings but from the mind sets and attitudes. Let your breasts speak. As in CHOLI BOLI we believe that your breasts have a story to tell!
PEOPLE BEHIND CHOLI BOLI
The company is founded by Arunisha Sengupta, a veteran MARCOM professional. Up until recently she was in the coveted panel of founder members of The Blue Ocean IMC, a young cutting edge MARCOM group. Before that she was with Percept Profile – a communications conglomerate for over 8 years and prior to that she was with Tops Security as Vice President Corporate Communications. She has had a prolific working experience with Global Brand Communications houses like J Walter Thompson. And she prides herself for being starting and sustaining many business verticals in her erstwhile roles.
Passionate about brands and having had worked for many in their various life cycles, across various domains, the entrepreneurial bug bit her and she wanted to birth a consumer/retail brand that would create a powerful paradigm shift. It had to be for women, she decided, as she found the increasing discomfort in wearing a saree in boardrooms and even casually by millennials. But the saree was not the problem she deciphered, after much research and in-depth insightful discussions with women. It was the confidence in it and its vulnerability to fall of the shoulders. Also the negative objectification of the Indian blouse that bothered her.
Working with a bunch of designers and artisans her vision is to make the Indian CHOLI a global phenomenon. She has always believed that through this initiative she would in their own small way revere the grand workings of the divine feminine energy that is infused in the nature all around us!
Arunisha believes that a working woman is a fiery force and it gives her and all women an advantage. According to her, “you may have myriad experience & expertise, skill & qualification, but only a woman brings, empathy, compassion, loyalty, sincerity, multi-dimension, pragmatism and intuition to a given task”. She therefore likes to present herself as “W@W” (reads WOW!) – a WOMAN AT WORK.