Sari or Saree?
I have found that amongst many south Asian women, the spelling of this traditional garment worn by south Asian women that showcases the midriff, differs. I’ve grown up using the spelling “sari”, but I feel that this isn’t something that matters. What matters most is the history and evolvement of this iconic south Asian wear. A sari is a important component within south Asian culture, especially for women as various sari and its colours have different meanings - for example red being the traditional colour for a wedding sari. For me having grown up in a westernised society, the sari is something that south Asian women have proudly begun to wear and embrace within western communities but in a various styles. It is a way, for many south Asian women with dual identities like my own, to represent their heritage through fashion.
The sari doesn’t only just come in various fabrics for many different occasions and types of wear (comfort or event); but there are also various way to drape a sari. The draping technique is a style that I feel is constantly changing and developing; just like the fabric itself which traditional was an unstitched piece of fabric to something that use more contemporary materials such as cotton, silk and synthetic fibres. These watercolour illustrations of different styles of wearing a sari, worn by women of and in South Asia are by M. V. Dhurandhar (1928) and are just a few examples of various and more historic draping techniques.
However the techniques have been embraced and developed by many other south Asians such as Natasha Thasan, a Tamil draping architect. A creative that has found and created many new and innovative ways to wear a sari within westernised society as well for cultural events. Techniques and styles that also rebel against expectations of south Asian clothing for women; she is creating new trends and idea that I love, something that more and more south Asian women are embracing.
All photos by Natasha Thasan, https://instagram.com/natasha.thasan
Check out her amazing sari draping techniques at https://instagram.com/drapetherapy.tv