(ETX Daily Up) — From kimonos to Chiapaneca gowns, it’s not uncommon to see traditional dress on the red carpets of the biggest ceremonies, but it seems the saree has taken its place for it for a year now. A phenomenon we owe to the international influence of Indian celebrities, including Deepika Padukone, but also to the rise of the long cloth worn by millions of women in Asia.
From actress Sara Ali Khan to entrepreneur Sudha Reddy, film critic and curator Meenakshi Shedde and content creator Dolly Singh, Indian sarees are appearing more than ever at the Cannes Film Festival, expressing themselves in a new light, between tradition and glamour. The second wind that can make this traditional dress a new red carpet star. Anyway, here’s what we’ve been able to observe over the course of a year with our first foray into the MET gala, and several appearances at previews, exhibition unveilings, fashion shows, and, as we’ve seen, on the Croisette. Phenomenon, an exhibition has just opened in London to focus on the revival of traditional clothing, and its contemporary variation, ‘The Offbeat Sari’, will be found until next September at the Design Museum in London.
Pride has its place on the red carpet
A year ago, on the occasion of the traditional 2022 Met Gala, Natasha Poonawalla made a splendid arrival on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. While the fashion event themed ‘Gilded Glamor and White Tie’, the Indian businesswoman appeared a luxurious golden saree adorned with a sculptural bodice in gold metal, perfectly respecting the evening’s dress code while standing out from the other guests. A look that hasn’t gone unnoticed, and seems to have allowed traditional clothing to find its own place on the red carpet. As proof, a few days later, on the Croisette, the sari shone with a thousand lights, covering the body of Deepika Padukone, a member of the jury of the 75th Cannes Film Festival. This world-famous actress caused a sensation, and also contributed to the revival, as well as the spotlight in the West, of this long cloth, which has been worn for thousands of years.
The story could have ended there, but as we have seen, sarees continue to make their appearance on the red carpet, often being performed by Indian celebrities or public figures, but no longer just. This past April, it was Zendaya and Gigi Hadid who caused a splash of luxury sarees in Mumbai, India, at the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Center gala. The first wore a star studded model by Rahul Mishra, while the second opted for a traditional gold saree decorated with embroidery, sequins and crystals, signed by Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla. All pay homage to Indian craftsmanship. Two outfits that caused a lot of ink to flow, and made the sari shine a little more on the international scene.
Over 5 billion views
It must be said that India is attracting more and more fashion houses, and for good reason, a country that has gradually opened up to luxury is today the most populous in the world. And it was the house of Dior who opened the celebrations this year, choosing India Gate in Mumbai to present Maria Grazia Chiuri’s pre-fall 2023 collection in front of a host of stars. A parade that does not fail to celebrate the craftsmanship, knowledge and rituals of ‘the world’s greatest democracy’, and participates in India’s return to the spotlight of the fashion scene. . Enough to satisfy the public who seem to have been captivated by the famous traditional dress which is wrapped by expert and knowledgable hands perfectly over a woman’s body.
Today’s social networks can witness the aura of the sari, and the enthusiasm of the people, especially the younger generation, for this distinctive dress. On TikTok, the hashtag #sari has generated over 1.3 billion views to date, when #saree has amassed over four billion, and that’s not counting all of its derivatives. The terms ‘fashion’, ‘dress’, ‘aesthetics’, ‘draping’ and even ‘makeup’ have been most associated with the saree, resulting in a number of videos featuring various, but always traditional styles, as well as rituals, tips for draping it according to customs or regions, or even a different way of wearing it, in a traditional or more modern way. So many indicators point to a saree being well and truly ready to hit the fashion scene, from the red carpet to the catwalk to the everyday man’s dressing room.
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