Reviving Six Yards of Indian Tradition
Open any Indian woman's wardrobe, and you'll see rows and and rows of colourful saris of every kind. From elaborately embroidered silk affairs, to the more breezy, chic cotton ones, most Indian women treat their saris with reverence.
A saree is probably one of the most beautiful and elegant garments that has happened to women and to the fashion industry.
While back in the day, sporting sarees was usual, be it casually or at a special occasion.
But with the increasing pace of modern life, things have changed drastically over decades. Now, women don the traditional Indian drape occasionally, mainly at social events, given the complicated draping and the uneasiness and difficulty in going about the day in the six-yard wonder.
And even though not many women and girls take to wearing sarees on a daily basis, there is no denying the fact that nothing makes a woman look as graceful and beautiful as does a saree. Most women now prefer to flit about their daily lives in the more functional salwar-kameez, jeans or skirts. And sari, therefore, has become an outfit to be worn during festivals and other formal, cultural occasions.
We have all seen photographs of our mums, their mothers and even grandmothers donning the saree - whether it is a wedding, or a birthday party. Although we adore the way it looked, and how elegantly our mothers and grandmothers carried it off, we still gringe at the thought of draping a saree, let alone handling it. But, we will wear sarees on our farewells or a wedding, to bring out our sexy but also very sansakaari side.
Admit it, our generation, would only don the saree to show off their size zero figures and look like a million bucks. Most of us can’t even drape a saree. We are impressed by foreign countries how they respect their culture and tradition and in most of the countries people love to wear their traditional outfits out of respect fortheir culture. Unfortunately, we are so absorbed by other cultures, that we forget how beautiful the culture of the saree is, in our country.
This garment, the six yard piece of never-ending and beautifully designed cloth, only looks good on someone who appreciates and respects the elegance and grace of wearing it.
The definition of a saree has also changed drastically, where the focus is not on the embroidery or design of the saree, but the blouse also plays a very important role in completing the look. There are now millions of styles, to suit everyone’s tastes from back-less blouses, to sleeveless, to net - a new trend taking over the older one. There are people, some famous some not who have always been spearheading the revival of this graceful attire.
Actresses, such as Rekha and Vidya Balan are very involved in the resurrection of the saree as a traditional Indian garment. They are always seen sporting beautiful heirloom sarees, from different designers and parts of the country. But there are also some women, who came to be known when they rocketed the 100 day saree pact to pay homage to the beautiful garment that has been part of Indian culture, for years and prevent it from becoming a mere memory.
Even if you have been living a life away from social media which doesn’t seem possible, you must have read about the 100 day saree pact in magazines or newspapers.
It is initiative by two Bengaluru-based friends, Anju Maudgal Kadam and Ally Matthan. An idea they came up over with, during a typical evening over coffee.
While the Saree is considered one of the most quintessential of Indian ethnic garments, it is not worn regularly by urban professionals who generally prefer fuss- free clothing that can be worn and accessorized within minutes.
Often, saree is reserved for formal occasions where heavier or richer clothing is appropriate.
A partnership that started off as a personal means to wear these exquisite garments more often soon stemmed into a larger movement that is now embraced by women all over who want to be able to do the same.
Starting out as a pact between two friends, the 100 Saree Pact has now evolved into a full-fledged movement. When Anju and Ally first decided to wear their sarees at least 100 times in a single year, they had no idea what women all over the country would end up responding to this ideal and following the pact themselves. As its popularity increased, this pact also got its very own hashtag, ‘#100SareePact’ which is now used prominently on social media platforms for women to express and participate in the sisterhood.
Furthermore, it has also been responsible for sparking a newfound respect for Indian ethnic garments internationally, particularly the Saree, India’s textiles and the varied kinds of handcrafted work done on them.