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London Fashion Week gets a taste of the magic of ‘sari’

From Kanjeevaram to Paithani to Chanderi – the London Fashion Week (LFW) got a taste of the elegance and tapestry of the Indian sari on Saturday, leaving many spellbound at the variety, as India, its diaspora and idioms increasingly become mainstream in the UK.

Updated: Feb 16, 2020 17:42 IST

By Prasun Sonwalkar, London

Models sashayed on the catwalk wearing saris from various parts of India, including from Assam (mekhela-chador), West Bengal (baluchari), Kashmiri, and Kasavu (Kerala).

From Kanjeevaram to Paithani to Chanderi – the London Fashion Week (LFW) got a taste of the elegance and tapestry of the Indian sari on Saturday, leaving many spellbound at the variety, as India, its diaspora and idioms increasingly become mainstream in the UK.

Models sashayed on the catwalk wearing saris from various parts of India, including from Assam (mekhela-chador), West Bengal (baluchari), Kashmiri, and Kasavu (Kerala). It was the first time an India Day was organised as part of the prominent event (February 14-18).

The kaleidoscopic colours of the sari were preceded by contemporary creations of young designers from India, reinforcing change with continuity, as Foreign Office minister Tariq Ahmad, Indian high commissioner Ruchi Ghanashyam, and others looked on.

A video presentation recalled the focus of the Narendra Modi government on textiles, fashion and their export, and included a message from the minister for textiles, Smriti Irani, who extolled the importance of sari in everyday life in India.



Ghanashyam, the second woman Indian high commissioner in London after Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (1954-61), said: “This event is a true labour of love, with saris borrowed from personal wardrobes, including mine to showcase this living heritage that is so much a part of our lives”.

She added: “This is also a tribute to the wonderful craftspeople and weavers who create these most amazing combinations. Each state is different, so much of science, art and creativity goes into the making of each sari.”

The Indian designers who showcased contemporary trends included Shabnam Harjai, Nabila Saiyedarif Attas, Chaitra Basavaraj Kalyanshettar, Tanishaa Parakh, Sourav Marndi, Sandya Miriyala, Suchitra Rani Sahoo, Darshna Gothi, Ayushi Jain and Pearl Lobo.

The India Day event was organised by the high commission in collaboration with the London-based Inter National Institute of Fashion Design and the London School of Trends.

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