Everything but the Sari - Border and Fall - 'Sari Series: An Anthology of Drape'
Over a year ago, I started thinking about the sari and how it would be interesting to explore my relationship to my culture through it but I had no idea how to set about it. As a British Asian brought up in the North of England and living in London, I have grown up wearing hardly any cultural dress unless there happened to be ‘boho’ moment in fashion where the odd tunic may have worked but saris? Only for the odd wedding or at my mother's horror... potential fabric for cushions. However, this single piece of fabric has recently come to represent a major cultural signifier for me, as I see it as a way to help me connect with my culture. Last year creative agency Border and Fall in India launched a successful Kickstarter campaign create ‘The Sari Series: An Anthology of Drape’. They are documenting various regional sari drapes of India through short film and will be creating over 80 how-to-drape films and 3 independent art films to be launched this autumn. The project have launched recently on Google Arts & Culture as part of their #WeWearCulture platform. visit http://www.borderandfall.com/the-sari-series-an-anthology-of-drape
The project’s Creative Director Malika Verma Kashyap says in her article http://www.borderandfall.com/journal/why-the-sari/ - “As with all the sari drapes in the past, we believe the sari must continue to adapt to reflect our current lives.” She acknowledges that the sari is seen increasingly only at formal occasions and therefore worn with pins, underskirts and tight blouses making it beautiful yet cumbersome. There is so much more to the sari with actually over 100 different ways to wear it. I met Malika recently in London, I told her of my desire to wear a sari but lack of confidence to know how to even start. There is also little advice to be gained from my mum and aunts as their way of wearing a sari just doesn’t serve my needs and style - they are definitely of the pin and petticoat brigade - so even in talking about this singular garment which connects us all, I am slightly the disruptor. Malika explained that most drape came about from adaptation so I should just have a go at making it up and adapt it to suit myself. It was good advise and I so far I have worn very casual saris, made up my own drapes, mixed with my own style and gone about my day wearing it and I love it. I am looking forward to the ‘How to Drape’ Sari Film Series so I can try out some of those drapes.
Photography by Border and Fall