Playing house as little girls often do, I have the fondest childhood memories of sneaking into my mother’s freshly washed and ironed pile of saris, all the while trying to fathom how I would drape six yards of fabric around my little frame, in an effort to mirror what I saw as being quintessential woman. Cousin sisters would often come to my rescue by haphazardly tucking and pinning where possible to then somewhat give me the semblance of drape. We would then try to replicate the femininity with which our mothers, aunts and grandmothers effortlessly carried themselves in a sari as they went about their day.
I have always thought of the sari as a garment that should be revered, only to be worn on special occasions. But as the years away from home add up and the nostalgia strikes less over time, I can’t help but worry that I may have lost touch with such an essential garment in any Indian woman’s wardrobe. ( I say that only because if it is intimidating to those of us who are very accustomed to being surrounded by it, it is doubly so for those who see yards of fabric alone). There is no question that it is one of the sexiest, if not sexiest pieces of clothing any woman can wear. There is just the hint of a waist and the slightly off shoulder drape of the pallu highlighting the collar bone. Wear a full sleeved blouse or crop top paired with a petticoat or jeans, there is no end to the versatility of this garment. So you can imagine my joy to discover that someone has undertake the mammoth task of documenting ways to wear the sari.
Malika and the Border&Fall team are working hard to bring this garment to the center stage of the world. To take away some of its mysticism but to finally give it the stature it deserves. As an entire new generation of girls comes to age, I cannot wait to see the continued evolution to one of the most beautiful things India has given to the world and women alike.
Feature image of Rajmata Gayatri Devi from the internet
Sari Illustration by Manuja Singh Waldia courtesy of Border&Fall