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Dear Sisters of the Subcontinent,
Sarees, the epitome of femininity. Nine yards of fabric transforms onto the figure. It allows for peeks and glimpses into the form. Alluring and enchanting, it can cause one to straighten the spine and become more of a presence. But, when I look around, I constantly ask myself, where are the sarees?
In our modern world, there has been a shift away from the saree. We are career-focused women, with time being our most valuable currency. We opt for efficient fashion, items in our closets we can simply throw on. The current trend leans towards flowy anarkalis, hybrids such as saree gowns, cholis and skirts. Items are lauded for their ease and comfort. In our fascination with the new, we have moved away from the traditional.
The skillset of draping and pinning a saree is fast disappearing. In fact, a niche industry has arisen in the South Asian bridal world: professional saree draper. Women who will assist on your special day to prepare you and your bridesmaids and loved ones. We’ve reached a point where the art itself is no longer common knowledge.
The saree, if I may be so bold, is not just A, but THE symbol of womanhood. My earliest memory of fashion is of my mother draping a saree. The way she pleated, pinned, tucked, and draped, to me, there was nothing more elegant. She told me that I may wear my first saree when I turned 16. I still remember the thrill of putting it on for the first time.
Bear with me, I do have a point to all my nostalgic waxing and waning over my favorite silhouette. I believe a revolution is needed ladies, a revolution to return to the saree. Where better to start than here, right now? I urge you all to dive into your mother’s and grandmother’s closets, and spend some time just draping. Just play; become that 5 year old you once were that would spend hours constructing outfits with sarees you found. Do one of those Bollywood spins, be cinematic! Find the joy of the saree because it is a celebration, a celebration of the female form. Find your saree.