naushad ali

Sari revival has been an integral initiative of the fashion industry. Designers and revivalists have successfully worked with weavers to introduce new yarns and designs. In fact, through these endeavors, the once-inconspicuous sari blouse has been finally recognized for what it really is – a versatile, less-traditional and fun garment. One cannot miss its reboot and reinterpretation by India’s young fashion makers.

The Pot Plant, Nakita Singh
The Pot Plant, Nakita Singh

“Every sari blouse for us is a piece of art crafted with a vibrant and artsy feel to it. The fabric is our canvas and we experiment with different forms in terms of embroideries and self-developed prints,” explains designer Nakita Singh. Her recent collection has been inspired by the technique of sketch – an outline form of a doodle.

This renewal of the sari blouse can be instrumental for sustainable fashion. Take for instance The Pot Plant. Their checked sari blouse is meant to be paired with a bandhani sari has been crafted to bring back natural fabrics, great weaves, and comfort. Poochki’s sari blouse features Dabu prints in muted earthy tones. They have been conceptualized by designers Ishanee Mukherjee and Anirudh Chawla along with craftsman Bheru Lal Chippa from Rajasthan.

“We have as a label always tried to focus on both, saris and blouses, equally,” says Naushad Ali who aims to bring an unprecedented edge to the sari. His collection A.seam | असीम darts between the stitched and the unstitched elements of the sari. “The ‘Take a Bow’ blouse is a nostalgic nod towards the full sleeved, structured blouses of the 80s. Here the sari itself forms a sleeve within its pallu giving it a new age edge. Similarly, Hemang Agrawal, who specializes in textiles and apparels, collaborated with a handloom cluster from Varanasi to create a buttoned-down sari blouse – an alternative take on power dressing.

#100SareePact, Hemang Agrawal
#100SareePact, Hemang Agrawal

Anju Maudgal Kadam, who started the globally popular #100sareepact, believes the fact that the sari and blouse don’t really go hand in hand may have actually triggered this revival. “The ‘matching-matching’ sari and blouse styles perhaps held back more free fashion souls. By ‘unmatching’ the blouse and even pairing it with a tee ‘updated’ the sari into everyday life.”

Text by Wyanet Vaz

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