Trending Handloom Sarees – Old Wine in New Bottle

by Shatika, April 2, 2015

With the growth of Indian fashion trends globally, sari has regained its popularity not just in the country but internationally too. Many Bollywood celebrities like Aishwarya Rai, Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor represented our country at international events, wearing the national costume thus representing our culture. Infact, by the fragility and the femininity it confers on the wearer, sari has intrigued many and made an impact on women globally. From the days when the Indian celebrities wore gowns at international events to now popular international figures like Pamela Anderson and Ashley Judd adorning saris on such occasions, sari has come a long way. These newcomers to the sari say that it is comfortable to wear, requiring no girdles or stockings and that the flowing garb feels very feminine with unusual grace.

The current trend followed by weavers across the country today is to bring in flavours of other states with different styles of embroidery, colour dyes etc while keeping their traditional style of weaving as the base. For example, Master weavers of Fulia have experimented with permutations and combinations of yarn – Ghicha and mulberry silk; tassar and matka; cotton and noil – the possibilities are endless, creating mind-boggling textures. The predominance of traditional recurrent motifs is also markedly absent in these handloom sarees. Instead, the emphasis is on colour and feel.

As a part of larger revival movement in the Indian textile industry, Ritu Kumar, a Kolkata-based designer and textile print-expert started working on reviving the traditional hand block printing techniques of Bengal and presenting it in a modern avatar, making it a part of the fashion industry. She was followed by many other Indian fashion designers who experimented with colours, fabric and weaving techniques to present the traditional handloom saris with a modern touch.

Recently in an ongoing Lakme Fashion Week summer-resort 2015, Bollywood Actress Vidya Balan, an ardent lover of handloom sarees, was the showstopper of the show wearing an ‘Organza Kanjeevaram’. This unique piece was designed by award winning designer Gurang Shah known for his work in textiles and Khadi. In fact in this show, Gurang had brought in a twist in using khadi by mixing it with Bangladeshi khadi, Phulkari, Chikankari and Kalamkari in his collection this time.

He had also experimented with the art of Kalamkari. “Generally, when the Kalamkari is painted, they do the black outline and then fill the colour. But this time I have not used black and I have done the painting directly with the colours!” he added. Now that is called old wine in new bottle!

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