1. Sari by Raw Mango, 2021, image (c) Shubham Lodha;
2. Garbage sari, Kallol Datta, 2017
3. Banda, Uttar Pradesh, India - rally of women from the Gulabi Gang, wearing pink sari to fight against violence against women, (c) Joerg Boethling, Alamy Stock Photo
Worn as an everyday garment by some and considered by others to be contrived or uncomfortable, the definition of the sari has multiple subjectivities. Conventionally an unstitched drape wrapped around the body, which can be draped in multiple ways, its unfixed form has enabled it to morph and be absorbent of cultural influences.
In recent years the sari has been reinvented. The urban youth who previously associated the sari with formal wear can now be found wearing saris and sneakers on their commutes to work. Designers are experimenting with hybrid forms such as sari gowns and dresses, pre-draped saris and innovative materials such as steel.
Today the sari manifests as a garment subject to transformation, an expression of identity and resistance, and a crafted object with layers of cultural meanings. This exhibition positions the sari as a designed object from these three perspectives.