Tricks and treats
Mughal-style drape with four lines of borders displayed in the front, double saris that work a visual wonder, cowl-neck drapes, reverse pleats, twisted drape... Mumbai-based designer Shaina demonstrated 30 creative ways of draping the sari.
It seemed deceptively simple. As Shaina N. C of Golden Thimble, Mumbai, used her dexterous hands to redefine drapes, the multi-yard traditional sari looked anything from the graceful attire it was meant to be to a sensual modern fashion statement.
Teamed with a jacket or a halter-neck top, worn with the pleats on the back or the pallu spread out in the front... all it took was an inventive flair to spice up the sagging image of the sari. That's what Shaina, the diva of drapes, did. She came up with 30 creative ways to wear the desi attire.
Part of the Femina Clothes Show organised by Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces in association with Jet Airways on April 12, Shaina's workshop was followed by a two-day exhibition-cum-sale of her creations. Part of the proceeds was earmarked for the Cancer Patients' Aid Association.
A student of law, Shaina and fashion were destined to go hand in hand. Once she realised her creativity with colours and fabrics, she went to New York to study fashion. She now runs the Golden Thimble, founded by her mother three decades ago, when the concept of couture was hardly known in the country. "Glamour without purpose is meaningless," she says. "That's why I reach out to the Cancer Patient's Aid Association." In fact, in the past three years, the unassuming designer has been organising the famous fund-raiser Women Achiever's Fashion Show too, wherein she brings together celebrities from varied walks of life to walk the ramp. As was reflected in the show, her couture was classy and came with the solid virtues of quality, cut and craftsmanship. The fabrics were mostly soft, free-flowing georgettes with heavy embroidery.
"I do not design with the ramp in mind. I design for anybody and everybody. I love to mix and match ensembles. Wearable elegant clothes at affordable prices. That's my design philosophy," she adds. That's perhaps why she has the well-heeled beating a path to Golden Thimble.
Talking about the creative workshop on saris, Shaina muses "It's really sad that
Today's woman doesn't care much for the traditional sari. We appreciate it when Madonna or a Jemimah Khan make public appearances draped in it. It's ours we must celebrate it. An interesting thing is that saris don't get dated. They are classic. I've come across girls who spend thousands on ghagras for their trousseau and hardly use it. Sari's contemporary edge can be defined the way you drape it."
As Shaina goes about her demos, it's evident that she has a quick, innovative solution for different occasions and body-types. It doesn't matter if you've got a problem with your tummy, a wide waistline or a bulging back that has to be camouflaged... there are drapes that do the trick!
Mughal-style drape with four lines of borders displayed in the front, double saris that work a visual wonder, cowl-neck drapes, reverse pleats (just change the direction of the way the pleats are tucked in), twisted drape that ends up looking like a evening chic gown... Shaina came up with original options with an air of nonchalance. Incidentally, Shaina has draped many Miss Indias for their pageant rounds.
For the designer, these exuberant experiments with drapes are "not opposed to tradition. I am only giving a few suggestions to add pep to the otherwise simple sari, so that youngsters take to it spontaneously... " Viva sari!
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