As Deepika Padukone arrived on the red carpet of the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, she looked every bit confident in her retro look. The actor wore a black and gold saree designed by Sabyasachi. She paired her outfit with a golden headband and kohled eyes. Her hair was tied in a bun. Besides Deepika, actors including Vidya Balan, Aishwariya Rai Bachchan and others have also represented the country with our vintage piece of clothing, the saree.
The former Miss World and Bollywood actor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was seen wearing an all-gold saree by designer Tarun Tahiliani at the 20th annual Cinema Against AIDS gala, held in Antibes, France. Sonam Kapoor has made bold fashion statements and has worn an Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla saree at the International Cannes Film Festival.
Suggested Reading: To Wear Saree Or Not: Only Women Have The Power To Decide
Saree at Cannes Film Festival
In addition, Bollywood parallel cinema artist and humanist, Nandita Das showed us how solid colored hues on the traditional ethnic garment sans any fancy embroidery and karigari can still make anyone stand out. Pink and black were the shades which she carried for the minimal yet somber vibe to come through. We also saw Vidya Balan gracing the carpets at Cannes 2013, her look was all about room for more movement and comfort.
Besides, colour has always been a very special feature in International festivals, which are invested with varied design of garments expressing the charm and subtle beauty of colour synchronisation. Colours also with nuance of mood and poetic association set the tone of red carpet events.
Heritage craft traditions, or sarees have redefined themselves as contemporary fashion. They have further led to the rising acceptance of Indian ethnic/fusion fashion as a paradigm shift to understand and create a sense of belonging and stimulate a sense of fashion which is prevalent across all cultures.
Saree to top it all has always been the represented garment at international festivals.
In a National Geography report, India remains one of the last great handicraft cultures. In addition, it is a powerhouse for dyeing, printing, and silk weaving, all represented in at least one of the estimated 30 regional varieties of sarees. In Varanasi, weavers sit next to their wooden looms to make Banarasi silk sarees, usually in bright red, with metallic zari thread. In tropical Kerala, predominantly white sarees reflect the styles popular before 19th-century industrialization, introducing us to the colorful aniline dyes.
At more than 5,000 years of existence, the Indian saree is the oldest form of garment in the world still in existence. The Vedas – among the oldest literature composed by humankind – mentions it, and records from the Indus Valley Civilization (3300–1300 B.C.E.) also indicate its usage at the time. No wonder that the garment, although ancient, is still popular on the ramps at leading fashion shows, in Bollywood, on streets of rural and urban India, amongst college students and their conservative grandmothers: The saree is as enmeshed in our culture as it ever was.
So, not only celebrities, but with its ability to be warm in winter, and cool in summer, a saree’s professional and aesthetic appearance can be for example, folded and tucked, as it develops itself into the most suitable attire for South Asian women and beyond. This is precisely the reason it is donned by politicians and farm-workers alike.
From tourists, locals, and bridal parties, everyone hunts for sarees in shops that seem to line the alleys of Jodhpur or buzzing streets of Mumbai. One finds them at grander, more expensive boutiques such as Delhi’s Ekaya Banaras, known for its hand loomed silks and support of over 8,000 Banaras weavers, or Chennai’s Nalli, open since 1928, sprawling over two floors of an Art Deco building in the city’s T. Nagar neighborhood.
Views expressed are the author’s own.