How do you feel winning two national awards?
Honestly, I really can’t believe that I had won two national awards. It’s all about team work. I have dedicated this award to craftsmen for whom I was working for so long.
You are a fashion designer. So, what is your take on saree becoming the national costume?
Saree is a symbol of Indian tradition. It represents our deep culture and the most amazing thing is that this six-yard wonder can be worn in many different ways and that itself says much of its versatility and durability. It is a symbol of our sartorial culture and tradition. Like Tiranga, it’s our national dress. Ever since PM Modi came to power, there has been a serious attempt to reclaim our past glories and symbols of culture. Now, we wear them on our sleeves. As a result, people are foraying into international events wearing saree, which previously looked like a costume, but now it has become very contemporary. There are many modern versions that are coming in, and to me, this is a good thing.
And to me, the saree is the single fashion item that has never changed. From that standpoint, I believe that when our Miss Worlds walk the runway wearing sarees, it is another beautiful display of Indian-ness.
You’re not attempting to pass yourself off as an international identity belonging to another culture; instead, you’re simply going there and telling them, “OK, we’re from this country, and yeah, apart from that, I think every time this word saree comes into context, it also talks about the cultural diversity that we have in India, right?” In one of my articles, I wrote that that is the that first of all, saree is fastest fashion that India could produce because one can wear it as soon as it is out of the loom.
Second, we can reduce massive fashion waste if people started wearing sarees instead of other outfits that take a lot of cut and sew, resulting in a tremendous waste of fabric and, in the long run, affecting the earth itself. As a result, if more girls start wearing sarees, we will be able to eliminate such landfills and fashion waste fabrics.
Furthermore, during the last decade, the saree has grown so modernised that it has inspired several international designers, such Dior and Hermes, to produce modern garments inspired by the saree. As a result, prominent Indian couturiers such as Amit Agarwal and Gaurav Gupta have been able to transform the saree from a traditional emblem to a cocktail party attire. As a result, I believe saree is going through a lot.
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