New Delhi: Sarees have become first choice for most Indian women during auspicious occasions but designers and experts suggest doing away with the ‘traditional only' tag for the exquisite garment and urge wearers to don them more.
“Youngsters have a perception about the saree that you wear it on special occasions to look traditional, we need to kill this kind of tagging. Saree is just another garment,” says Sanjay Garg, Designer and Founder-Raw Mango, a brand of contemporary handloom textiles.
Garg was delivering a talk on the ‘Revival and re-fashioning of Indian handloom sarees and weaves' here recently.
He was joined by textile expert and author, Rita Kapur Chishti and traditional weave revivalist, Gitanjali Shah Mandawa. The evening also included live demonstration on unique saree tying techniques by Rita Kapur Chishti. “I think blouses need to take a backseat for the saree to come in the forefront again, because if the blouses don't fit well, one will avoid wearing a saree. Earlier the saree was prominent and you could wear anything with it, now the blouses have become prominent,” says Mandawa Generations of women have affirmed the saree to be an elegant and stylish garment.
“When I wore my first saree for college people told me I have come of age but today if you wear it to college youngsters say “Woh to Bhenji Agayi Hai Dekho” (An aunty has come to college) that's the difference between the 70s and today,” says Chisti.
The author cum expert urges the young to adorn saree as she believes that Indian body types are perfect to wear them and show off their assets.
“We are looking at ourselves through the mirror of television or the media or some visual reference. We have this big bust line, we have beautiful shoulders, we have great waist. We have assets but unfortunately we are showing all our shortcomings starting from the horrible pair of knees and legs,” says Chisti.
At the other end of the spectrum, a lot of designers and experts are designing sarees in a more contemporary way and also imparting knowledge as to how to drape sarees in various styles.
“Rita also teaches people about sarees and how to wear them as an everyday wear which is really good. Sanjay on the other hand is making young people wear his contemporary sarees. A lot of young girls are wearing his sarees as they are hip and happening for them. So sarees are making a come back,” says Mandawa.
Young celebrities like actor Sonam Kapoor made a splash at Cannes Film festival with white lace sari with a long embroidered jacket and designer Rohit Bal teaming up a cape with a saree at the recent Fashion Week. Experts say that these reveal changing trends.
“I think we are all working towards this. I am personally doing a lot of photo shoot with celebrities and youngsters wearing sarees,” says Garg.