THERE is no denying that the sari is a unique article of clothing that is steeped in Indian culture and tradition. However, the demands of contemporary lifestyles have made the six-yard garment cumbersome for many women. As a result, the sari is increasingly being relegated to special occasions in many urban centres.
There can be nothing wrong, therefore, if some Indian designers and an e-commerce website should attempt to redesign the sari.
Notwithstanding its elegance, the sari can be restrictive in several ways. For example, driving a motorbike or a car, getting on and off buses, clubbing, etc can all become arduous activities while wearing a sari. On the other hand, outfits such as jeans and trousers offer greater comfort and mobility. This explains the preference for the latter among youth. However, if saris could be redesigned for corporate wear or for a holiday at the beach, this perception would certainly change.
Already, saris that can be worn over trousers or jeans and pleated knee-length ‘sarinis’ are picking up in popularity. And why not? There’s no reason to treat the sari as a sacrosanct piece of clothing. If anything, the garment is a perfect canvas for creative innovations. Such innovations, in fact, could be just what’s needed to give the sari a new lease of life.
Besides, women’s fashion has always faced resistance from the guardians of tradition.
Be it corporate suits for women, miniskirts or even the ubiquitous jeans, societies have always resisted them. In that sense, changes in women’s fashion are directly linked to women’s emancipation.
Similarly, the modern saris are meant for the liberated 21st century woman who wants to look good and yet meet the demands of her modern lifestyle.