Sensual, magical, feminine, the sari is one of the most versatile garments. The Indian national costume is usually associated with traditional, even welcoming, women, but the country’s youth are breaking this stereotype by personalizing the look in a way that is both practical and comfortable, and making the saree worn on a daily basis.
Whether it’s playing with draping styles, pairing the garment with leggings or jeans, and replacing the choli blouse with a t-shirt or cropped top, the new generation sees the saree as a staple of the contemporary wardrobe, thanks to social workers and social media stars.
Shortly after Eshna Kutty’s hula-hooping video – in a saree, wide-legged pants, and sneakers – went viral, many young women copied her relaxed style of draping, which is widely regarded as a waste of time and an obstacle to daily activities.
More and more women are now doing “unusual” things while wearing a saree. Jayanthi Sampathkumar, senior director of engineering at Google in Hyderabad, has been running marathons in a saree since 2017.
She ran her first full 42-kilometer marathon at the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon the same year she broke the Guinness World Record for fastest saree race. “For this race I got myself a light nine-meter Ikat saree and wore it Madisar style with slight modifications,” she says.
More sari-clad athletes young and old can be found in the Pinkathon, a women-only marathon with a “sari run” segment hosted by actor, model and humanitarian Milind Soman.
Ramesh Menon is another man with a sari revival plan, who was devastated by the destruction caused by flooding in his hometown, Chendamangalam, Kerala, in 2018. Menon started Save the Loom, a non-profit organization to help affected weavers and revive all destroyed looms.
“Since then, we have reinvented hand-woven fabrics like kasavu to give them a contemporary look and appeal to young people and working women,” Menon explains. The brand’s Vidhi line, for example, is a collection of lightweight, breathable sarees in classic designs originally intended for female lawyers going about their business in stuffy courtrooms. The range has since become popular with other professional women.
Lover of hand looms and passionate about sarees, Mrinalini Shastry from Hyderabad has launched a dynamic start-up called Six Yards Plus for women who care about the environment and society and are looking for more versatile and versatile sarees. sustainable. “We are also constantly innovating to meet the demands of our young customers, given their limitations in terms of experience and time to shop in the traditional way,” says Shastry.
The Sari Surprise unboxing program, for example, requires women to choose one of three categories – earthy, vibrant, or festive – and complete a brief quiz about their lifestyle priorities, before receiving a saree packet that meets their aesthetic needs and preferences.
Sari spin-offs are also popping up across the country to take advantage of the growing interest of young women.
Shruti Kasat of The Saree Sneakers, for example, designs intricately embroidered sneakers to match sarees and other traditional Indian clothing (although it’s not uncommon to see women – even new-age brides – pair their sarees with sneakers. trendy white).
In the online sphere, Border and Autumn is a digital publication created to showcase Indian crafts and fashion. Her project The Sari Series was born out of Creative Director Malika V Kashyap’s passion for showcasing the many ways a sari can be draped other than the typical Nivi style.
The project is a digital repository of 90 short videos that describe 83 styles of draping, as well as three short films that “capture how the textures of the sari can envelop us, how they can travel with us like a second skin and comfort us like a friend. “.
Update: November 7, 2021, 3:31 a.m.