Drape it in style

Six-yard wonder

Drape it in style

The Indian handloom industry is going through a revolution and so is the six-yard wonder. A graceful attire, saris are not just draped, but are worn like dresses too! Surprised? Well, with many young designers promoting the elegant wear, saris are evolving with the latest fashion trends and they are here to make a distinct style statement. The normally traditional and subtle silk and cotton garments are undergoing a makeover with unique colour combinations like burnt orange, indigo blue and  aqua, and are inspired by floral patterns.

While there are a lot of renowned designers like Thangam Mathai, Gaurang Shah, Vijayalakshmi and others who are promoting the exclusive Indian wear, there are many boutiques in the City too that are providing their clients access to trendy saris. ‘Sakhi’, an exclusive store for Indian wear, has quirky saris that fit the young fashionistas. Started by Chandra Rajendran and her daughter Neeta, it has a design team that dedicates itself to promoting the Indian outfit with a subtle Western touch. She says it is the crossover sari that is doing its rounds among the style conscious crowd while another highlight is the ‘insta sari’.

Yes, like ‘insta food’, there is something called an ‘insta sari’. And what’s special about these saris? They can be worn (not draped) in less than thirty seconds! Says Chandra, “The ‘insta sari’ is a one-piece constructed unit with the blouse attached. These designer wears can be custom made to any measurement, in addition to standard sizes. The collection is crafted using fine quality material like lycra blended silk, French lace and flowing net, contrasted with brocades and glamourous sequins.

The sari wraps snugly around the body.” The saris are subjected to innovation with varied prints and it is the cut work, kalamkari and handblock prints that are trending this season. Quirky saris have emerged as a dominant trend and are attracting young professionals who wish to don the traditional yet contemporary look. The attire, which is sought-after for special occasions, is now being adopted as comfortable work wear too. “‘Insta sari’ is a one-stop solution for all the young women who lament about how scared they are to drape the six yard. It is perfect to highlight the numerous roles the modern Indian woman takes on. Get it right! Look absolutely amazing and ensure the pleats form well and don’t fall apart,” says Chandra.

Another fashion trend is that of crossovers, which look like lehengas, but are actually saris that can be wrapped around like a skirt. These saris are quite colourful and their blouses are taking centre stage. “Many women today prefer Indo-Western cuts in addition to the classic style. This lets one grace the same sari for multiple occasions. The stretchable lycra material blouses are also gaining popularity as they fit well. It is these designer blouses that are much sought-after for the grand Indian wear,” she opines.

Designer Vijayalakshmi, who recently launched her collection ‘Love Story’, says, “When in doubt, wear a sari.” Elegant and traditional, her designs are out for the ever-experimenting youngsters and she says, “The sari one picks up has to be trendy and comfortable. Most importantly, it has to suit the purpose or occasion it is being worn for. It is necessary for us designers to merge traditional designs with contemporary techniques.” With indigenous fabrics and prints, saris are taking an interesting twist. Fusing traditional fabrics like jute, mangalgiri, kalamkari, ikat, chanderi and many more with a desi funk, they are attracting youngsters to drape the ethnic and chic look.

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