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If you don’t know how to wear a saree, shame on you: Sabyasachi to Indian women

Addressing Indian students at the Harvard India Conference, the designer criticised Indian women for preferring western outfits over sarees.

fashion and trends Updated: Feb 12, 2018 11:54 IST
Press Trust of India
Sabyasachi,Harvard India Conference,Sabyasachi Mukherjee
Your clothing should be a part of who you are and connect you to your roots, the designer told students.(Sabyasachi Mukherjee Instagram)

One of India’s top fashion designers Sabyasachi Mukherjee on Saturday criticised the younger generation of Indian women for not wearing sarees and giving preference to western outfits.

“I think, if you tell me that you do not know how to wear a saree, I would say shame on you. It’s a part of your culture, (you) need stand up for it,” Sabyasachi told Indian students at the Harvard India Conference.

His remarks were received with a resounding applause from the audience.

The designer was responding to a question on difficulties women face in draping a saree. The garment, he said, is the most wonderful dress in the world and people across the globe admire it, and identify Indian women with it.

Sabyasachi referred to his recent conversation with Deepika Padukone, saying the Padmaavat actor, in her own way, is creating disruption in fashion. “She wears saree at all the places she goes,” he told the participants.

When asked why he decided to launch a label of Indian clothing, Sabyasachi said he found a “major disconnect” when he observed Indian women and men losing touch with their roots. They are becoming “socially insecure”, he rued.

“Women and men are trying very hard to be something that they are not. Your clothing should be a part of who you are and connect you to your roots,” he added.

The relationship between an Indian woman and saree is that of a serpent, the designer said. “It’s a relationship of misunderstanding. It’s easy to wear a saree. Wars have been fought in saree. Grandmothers have slept in saree and have woken up without any folds to it,” Sabyasachi added.

The Indian Consul General from New York, Sandeep Chakravarty, present in the audience brought in the question of tying dhoti in India.

“Indian women have kept alive the saree, but the dhoti is dead,” the designer said much to the laughter and applause from the audience.

When asked what it would take for the saree to go global, Sabyasachi said, he would, however, prefer that the garment stayed in India. “I would be very honest with you. I think that cultural clothing should stay within the domain of a particular country, because when you take it out, it becomes a costume and then it does not remain sustainable,” the designer said.

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First Published: Feb 12, 2018 11:49 IST