A modern flip to tradition

A modern flip to tradition

A modern flip to tradition
Remember how as a kid, you’d take a dupatta and drape it like a sari? Your mother probably found it cute and tried to fix the falls for you. And when you grew up, having your own sari or wearing your mom’s was a rather special moment.

The style of wearing a sari has evolved over the years. It has now come to a point where designers are using old saris to make dresses, tops and kurtas out of them.

Amit Aggarwal, a fashion designer, says, “I was inspired to try something exciting with saris during one of my travels. I heard that women from Waghri community in Gujarat trade these so-called shreds for aluminium utensils. I realised that a traditional sari that had taken months of craftsmanship becomes useless once parts of it are weathered by time and use.”

This gave him the idea to give the old (or new) saris a makeover. He modernised it with structured silhouettes and the fluid nature of handwoven silk chanderi and ikat supported from nylon meshes, poplins, tapestry and faux leather braids.

Kusum Rohra, the owner and designer of ‘Timri’, also has her own story to narrate. She says, “A sari on its own is quite magnificent, so when you’re working with it, you have to understand the structure of it which will help you to use it best. My aim is to convert the traditional wear into a contemporary outfit.”

She believes that the dresses she makes give one the freedom to express themselves. “It allows one to make a statement. The outfits might look regular but they have so much detailing behind it, just like a normal sari would.”

It’s not just designers who have an eye for detail. Sanjukta Bhaumik, a professional, loves taking her grandmother’s old saris and make ‘kurtas’ out of them. “I’m from Kolkata and the red and white saris are very popular there. I took the sari to my tailor and told her how I want it. She made a design near the bust area using the border of the sari; it’s absolutely lovely. And the best part is that I can create at least two to three tops with one sari,” she explains.

She points out that she has at least seven kurtas redesigned from saris. She says, “I get some great feedback when people know that my outfit is made from a sari. Most of the time, they don’t even realise it! It’s pretty awesome.”

Priyanka also recreates Kerala saris into skirts. The owner of ‘Pilgrim’ designed a ‘kasavu’ skirt with the sari. She says, “I was shopping for fabrics and realised that I couldn’t find what I was looking for. So I decided to use the Kerala sari and make a skirt out of it. I used the border of the sari to design the last bit of the skirt and that gave it a classy look.”

So whether it’s designers or fashionistas finding an innovative way to use the sari, one thing is for sure, the ideas are limitless.

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