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Friday , October 26 , 2012
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When Kallol Datta sent out a shibori sari in his debut collection at Lakme Fashion Week’s Emerging Designer category for fall-winter 2008-09, he caught the fash frat by surprise. A closer look revealed an octopus on the pallu of the “pretty” shibori sari! Lots of unexpected prints have crept and crawled their way into the label since — from sperm to barcodes to mating snails (in picture). “Everyone is doing their version of the printed sari but according to me, the key is to use risque print motifs that are uncommon and then hope that the consumer has an evolved aesthetic to pick it up,” Kallol says. Pop prints these days include Masaba Gupta’s bulls and cameras and Yogesh Chowdhary’s Pacman.









The ‘new’ sari is no longer an un-stitched garment. “It is semi-stitched and sometimes even fully stitched!” says Delhi-based designer Gaurav Gupta whose saris are sexier than the sexiest of gowns. The ‘new’ sari is not only extremely easy to wear (often it’s just the pull of a zip), it is beautifully moulded, sculpted (in picture) and pre-pleated too . The blouse is equally hot, and the petticoat is more like a satin-lycra mermaid-style skirt — all for that perfect ‘fit’.










The rising demand for new options in saris and lehngas prompted Anamika Khanna to combine the two. The ‘lehnga sari’ was created circa 2008 and was shown at the country’s first ever couture week in Mumbai (in picture). In the last four years, the lehnga sari evolved in the hands of its creator. “The idea came from my mom’s wardrobe — they used to skip the pleats and make do with frills,” Anamika says about the humble origin of the sari that has become her trademark. Today, no trousseau is complete without one — if not the original, then a knock-off floating around.







Previously known as a half-and-half sari, the easy breezy drape’s latest avatar is the sarong sari. Kiran Uttam Ghosh gave the sarong sari a new lease of life at the recently concluded Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (in picture). Here’s why. “For those of us who find saris beautiful, timeless, sexy but stressful to wear, a sarong sari is the answer. The sarong is easy to slip on and can be embellished to be heavier and more dramatic, depending on the occasion. Wrap two-and-a-half metres across your torso and you are ready to go. Depending on the fabric and colour story, its appeal as a canvas for individuality is its strength,” said Kiran. P.S.: You can DIY the same with two dupattas.










The designer’s top mission is to save the sari and his efforts have earned him a special genre. Sabyasachi is the messiah of the traditional sari. His sari sometimes has bootis but almost always has a border. The weave is the hero (from Benarasi to Kanjeevaram, khadi to Kota) and colours are his forte. He learnt to tuck and pleat a sari rummaging his mother’s wardrobe at 12. It worries him that girls these days can’t tell a pleat from a pallu and weavers might soon be out of work. His determination to save the sari has yielded results, with help from his friends in Bollywood like Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan. But the DNA of the Sabyasachi sari is slowly changing. Watch this space for more.









This is another Anamika Khanna special. The drape was born to make the sari more approachable and less intimidating in the western world, the petticoat was ditched for a pair of skinny pants. The pant sari was introduced on the catwalk in April 2011 at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, Delhi. Fifteen girls walked in together in crushed cotton saris, all bright solids. They wore their saris over pants, casually, their pallus almost like twisted ropes. These days the crushed pallu has given way to proper pleats as seen in Delhi Couture Week in August (in picture). “The idea was to experiment with the sari, make it easier and live longer,” says Anamika.









Sometimes it’s shaded. Sometimes it’s sequinned. Sometimes it’s sheer. And it’s always sexy. The ‘Bollywood’ sari, made popular by Manish Malhotra, is the reason why so many pretty young things still care to wear the sari. “The key to the perfect Bollywood sari is the fabric. It has to be feminine and flowy — making the woman look beautiful and not bulky,” explains MM. The pop factor comes through the colour combinations (pleats and pallu are often two different shades) or glam additions like shimmering sequins. And then comes the ‘Bollywood’ blouse. It could be a bikini blouse like the one Kareena wears in Heroine (in picture) or a more modest one, but the glamour remains intact at all times.










The image you see above tells you many things. Carol Gracias is walking down the ramp in a stark white sari — Delhi designer Arjun Saluja’s first attempt at a sari. You might call the look severe, you might say it’s androgynous. Well, it’s definitely radical. And it’s called the anti-sari because it stands for being the opposite of a sari as we know it. The sari and its drape — inspired by Japanese martial arts — was the talking point at WIFW long after the designer’s showing. What few know is that this look (like the rest of the collection) is inspired by the journey of eunuch Dimple from Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis. “The sari had to reflect her strength, her freedom and at the same time, it had to be true to the DNA of the label,” says Arjun.