I promised a blog post about the things that are inspiring me persona wise that I am working on. Its a massive rabbit hole and I love that India had this incredible variety. Here they are in no particular order.
This is from the Akbarnama, a text from 1585. You'll notice a number of very different clothing styles here, indicating differing points of origin for the women in the painting. I am most fascinated with the woman in the green and purple, bending over offering a cup to the noble lady and the one in blue and red at the bottom possibly playing a drum.
I love the embroidered breast band and belt in these photographs of a sculpture. I say embroidered, but it is more than possible that it would have been painted and then beaded on top of instead of embroidered. This appears to be three layers of belt with the beaded clasp portion on the top. The 'pretty' bit looks to only be in the front, as the back is flat and has no embellishments cut into the stone. The sculpture is dated to 1400, and is probably a diety. Though the sculpture itself is missing some of the decoration that would indicate a goddess (The shoulder panels and intricate headdress)
The above images are from Additional MS 16880 Pen Nem. A Dakani poem about Shahji and Mahji, by Hasan Manjhu Khalji who wrote under the pen-name of Hans and either completed or commenced the composition of this poem in 1009 AH, i.e., 1600-1601 AD
Another figure with the breast band and decoration.
This is a celestial beauty an aspara. A very minor diety, 8th century. I love the simplicity of her garmets and decorations. and i wonder if she was holding a fly whisk or a fan.