Tuesday, March 13, 2007

This Old Sari

Painting by Raja Ravi Varma


Chantal Boulanger, French author, cultural
anthropologist and researcher, regarded as the
ultimate authority on Saris :

'I didn't make this lengthy and difficult research for the past.
I made it for the future. This book is not an achievement,
but a beginning. I hope it will raise an interest in drapes,
not only in India but in general. Archaeologists, ethnologists,
artists, stylists, etc. need such studies to understand the
clothing of the past, present and future.
To a large part, saris are also the expression of women's
creativity and could become anyone's inspiration.
I don't think that these drapes should simply be recorded
and have for only future the dust of libraries.

Most of us, Westerners, think that people drape because
they don't know how to stitch. This wasn't true of the Romans,
and Indians have always had additional stitched garments.
Even though Indian women, clad in their elegant saris, evoke
in us visions of our Antiquity, they live right now in the
20th century. Drapes have many advantages over stitched
clothes, especially when beauty is an important value.
Saris are much more practical than we think, especially since
they can be so easily modified.

Saris are fun to wear. From the material of this book, they can
be tried by anyone, and more styles can be created.
By teaching workshops on draping, I learned that there is
for each woman one drape that fits her perfectly. It's not
often the modern sari, and can be any of the styles in my
book on "Indian Drapes", or even one the woman invents for
herself. I also made this work for anybody who wants, at least
once, to wear a drape, any kind of drape.

Draping is an art. I hope my book will help it take its place
as a heritage of mankind'

Like Liz Hurley elegantly attired in the right sari for her
Desi re-nuptials, today's woman is almost instantly endowed
with regal status upon donning a Saree*. Sari. Sorry.

*This thought is not lost on the most visible folks on the planet,

Celebrities as presented by Ebay vendor Sabira.

Finally, here's eye candy in a gold-and silk gem of a sari.

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