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Drapes galore

Sari is the most elegant and sensuous Indian attire. Read on to know what Designer Kavita Bhartia has to say on some of the lesser-known but most interesting sari draping styles.

fashion and trends Updated: Oct 15, 2010 14:22 IST
Aroma Sah
Aroma Sah
Hindustan Times

Of all the ethnic Indian garments, the most stunning is the sari. From pujas to Parisian runways, its timeless charm is unmatched.

And while we may be normally coming across women draped in a seedha or ulta pallu, fascinatingly enough, there are as many as 108 traditional styles of draping the sari and it can be re-fashioned according to your taste and the statement you want to make.

Designer Kavita Bhartia, who is hosting a Sari brunch on October 16, at DLF Emporio, to celebrate the sari in its myriad forms, says, "Saris are elegant, sexy and can span any age group. Saris are the most versatile garments; they aren’t seasonal, nor do the silhouettes change over time. However, we don’t explore the versatility of the sari enough."

Rita Kapur Chisti, who has written Saris — Tradition & Beyond, a book on the different styles of draping a sari, says, "We can make anything out of a sari, from a dhoti to a dress and even shorts to a gown."

sariBhartia adds, "We don’t realise how much can be done with the sari. While we’ve been experimenting with blouses, we don’t do that with the drape. To make things easier, we have chosen styles that can be done with any regular sari."

There are some drapes that can be particularly nice for an evening — the off-shoulder tube styles, or the one-shoulder styles. Here, the designer tells us about some interesting sari draping styles. Read on to choose one for you, to flaunt during the upcoming festive season.

Design house Ogaan is holding the Sari Brunch, where guests will be taught little-known sari-tying styles from all over India. There will be sari collections by designers such as Anamika Khanna, Kavita Bhartia, Pankaj & Nidhi Ahuja, Studio Petticoat, Saffron, Payal Pratap and Gaurav Gupta and also sari installations.

Rural community style
Length of the sari:
5.7 yards
Worn by: Tribal rural community in South Orissa
How to tie: This form of draping the sari resembles a wrap-around-skirt or a fitted lehenga worn with a dupatta. In this case, the sari serves both the purposes. Tie it in a way that the sari doesn’t touch the floor but stays around the ankle. Accessorising it with an anklet is a good idea. With a beautifully tied knot on the shoulder, you could not have imagined that the rural style can be so impre-ssive and fashion-worthy.

Tribal agriculturist
Length of the sari: 6 yards
Worn by: Tribal agriculturist community in Central Karnataka
How to tie: A sari with overall work gets best visibility in this form of draping the sari. It resembles a flowy gown that the agriculturist community women wear with a bustier. With enough pleats in the front, it is not hassle-some. Wearing layers of beaded neckpieces enhances the complete look; exactly the way the agriculturist women do it.

North Jharkhand style
Length of the sari:
5.5 yard
Worn by: Munda, Ganju and other tribes in North Jharkhand
How to tie: This one-shoulder style of wearing a sari is wrapped in a way to let your hands stay free. This style of draping the sari is best, if you wish to flaunt an embellished belt or a traditional kamarbandh. A sari, which is in dual colour, works best for this style. Wear it to a festive party or marriage to look part of the occasion and strikingly different as well.

Between-the-legs, Odissi dance style
Length of the sari:
5.7 yards
Worn by: Dancers in Central and Eastern Orissa
How to tie: This form is the most comfortable as the sari is tightly tied. Often seen during Odissi dance performances, once you get into the mould of wearing this style, the rest might seem hassle-some. Also, this is the best way to flaunt a sari where the intricately embroidered border is the center-piece. This drape will lend you a dancer style look. Bring in the variation by experimenting with the blouse.

Aadiwasi/ Tribal style
Length of the sari:
5.7 yard
Worn by: Tribal community in Northeast Kerala, especially Wayanad and Palakad districts
How to tie: Wear this sari with a bustier for a blouse. This sari style is the best way to flaunt your shoulder. After tying the pleats around your waist, wrap the free end of the sari around your chest twice and the end-piece over your right shoulder back to front to complete the look. A three-fourth sari style, it is sensuously revealing and makes a statement.

First Published: Oct 15, 2010 12:48 IST