Indian women and our relationship with the six yards of elegance is eternal, almost like the memories of childhood, where unfailingly, there is a woman-figure, clad in a saree, epitomizing strength and style.
Says, Sujata and Taniya, sibling-entrepreneur duo who, in the recent times, have filled our feed and our life with their heavenly, mul mul Suta sarees, “For us, saree means love. Our earliest memory of our dida (our maternal grandmother) is of her, sitting near the clay hearth, cooking while wearing a dark blue mul mul saree with a thin green border. And my thakuma (my paternal grandmother) always smiling with her grey eyes full of worldly knowledge, white hair, and a beautiful soft white and green tant sarees – those were her favourite colours.”
Years later, these memories of their grandmothers carrying the drape like a second skin fills these sisters with nostalgia makes them believe that saree is as beautiful and as powerful as them.
And rightly so. The beautiful Indian drape, which can be worn in at least a hundred different ways, is today a symbol of tradition and transformation. Wear it like a dhoti, as Lavani folk dancers from Maharashtra would, or wrap it from left to right in the Kappulu style or try the atpoure style from Bengal, the choices are endless. And if you need some more inspiration, just scroll through these vibrant posts by Instagram’s saree-clad influencers, they have aced the art:
1. Mamta Sharma Das aka Bohobaalika
Bright hues of yellow, red, and green dominate Mamta Sharma Das’ Instagram feed. Mostly covered in saree-clad pictures of her, sometimes though, her social media posts offer a rare glimpse into her private world . A bona fide Insta star – her Instagram page, thebohobaalika boasts a following of 9,15,000 and counting – she clearly has a soft spot for vibrant colours, books, tasteful cutleries, everything Freida Kahlo, and of course, sarees.
In fact, though her many collaborations with brands and designers, Mamta beautifully showcases how saree is the most versatile piece of fashion, ever. Whether it is her traditional drapes, embellished with silver jewellery, or her modern chic look with a geometric sunglass and a chunky belt, there is little that we don’t like about her style.
2. Isha Singh aka desidrapes
“Finding beauty in everyday life through all things Desi & Drapy,” reads the bio of Isha P Singh, the saree connoisseur who goes by the name of desidrapes on Instagram. Curly haired with a large bindi adorning her face, Isha mixes up her sartorial combinations for visual delight. Sometimes, it is a shirt styled as a blouse and on other occasions, you will find her amping up the glam by pairing a blazer with the good old saree.
Never a hint of monotony in the way she mixes traditional with western, Isha, however, is a big proponent of sustainable fashion. Frequently, you will see her styling the same blouse or saree, with an ample addition of accessories, in a completely different look.
3. Chinna Dua
Kanjeevaram, silk, ikat, chanderi, gichcha, chiffon, handloom, and a dozen other fabrics adorn Chinna Dua’s wardrobe. Mother of comedian Mallika Dua, she offers a glimpse of her saree haven to her thousands of followers on Instagram and Facebook.
A radiologist by profession, this social media influencer’s love for traditional Indian drapes, after all, is hard to hide. In all her meticulously put-together looks, she oozes charisma and old-school glamour.
Much like the drape itself, the face of the popular Facebook group Six Yards and 365 days, which seeks to support the weaving community and handloom sector, Chinna’s style is ageless.
4. Vijayalaxmi Chhabra
It is the story behind every saree that makes it even more special, giving us all the more reasons to break out that old Tangail or Tussar which has probably receded to the recess of our wardrobes.
Saree afficionado Vijayalaxmi Chhabra, who calls herself a “broadcaster by profession but a raconteur by choice”, does exactly that: unveiling a hidden story from her wardrobe every time she drapes that six yards of pure grace. Watch out for the gems from Odisha’s Gopalpur and Berhapur, which Vijayalaxmi beautifully weaves with a heart-warming anecdote.
5. Amarjyot Chahal
Serial entrepreneur Amarjyot Chahal, based in Chandigarh, commands more than 31,000 followers on Instagram, where she promotes handloom sarees. Owner of the Qila Mubarak Jutti Studio, she has been on Instagram for just over a year, and her minimalist styling has won the attention of not just saree-lovers but brands and weavers’ associations looking for support too.
Interestingly, the self-confessed handloom enthusiast believes that handmade shall be a self-driven, secure, self-sufficient industry with wide patronage and no need for advocacy. However, with previous experience in entrepreneurship, branding, and marketing, Amarjyot has established herself as one of the most prominent the lifestyle influencers in the country for handloom industry.
(Edited by Athira Nair)