The unstitched fabric called sari is more than just a six-yard clothing. You can create magic in 108 different ways in sari, says textile scholar and sari historian Rta Kapur Chishti. Her book explains that the style of draping the garment is profoundly influenced by the uniqueness and geographical context of a particular region, and hence the wearing pattern varies from one region to another. But the fact that the sari gels into the comfort of the person wearing it adds to its beauty and versatility. For a 70-year-old a sari is elegance personified while a 17-year-old lass sees it as a glamour quotient.
Gone are the days when pastel shaded cotton saris are attributed for the older crowd. Drifting away from the traditional norm is the latest 'Olam' collection from the stables of the famed 'Save the Loom' brand of Chendamagalam weavers in Ernakulam district of Kerala. ‘Save the Loom’ founder Ramesh Menon has handed over the products to 17-year-old Diya Madhavan and Samyukta, the face of the new generation. To his surprise, the response from the girls was more than encouraging. He received a slew of stunning photographs of the girls stylising saris as an everyday wear. They experimented on a new style statement by pairing the the attire with denim jacket, crop top and belt. To those who feel that a lot of hassles are attached to the unsewn garment, Diya and Samyukta get into the off-beat track of sari-sneakers combo to drive home the point that easy leg movements are indeed possible.
Save the Loom was started to revive the handloom clusters of North Paravur in Ernakulam that were destroyed by the floods of 2018. Fashion veteran Menon decided to add colours to the lives of the weavers by introducing new design pattern and colour schemes to the traditional fabric. As a glowing tribute to the workmanship of the artisans, the 'Olam' collections will bear the names of the weavers of Chendamangalam who wove the fabric. After the saris are washed by the traditional washing community of ‘Dhobi Khana’ in Fort Kochi, the women of Sree Narayana Sevika Samajam give the final touches before the product enters the market. After all, the signature of Olam saris goes beyond the six yards weaving together many tattered lives.