The Sari Project

The sari has always been beautiful. From our grandmother's plain ones, with simple zari borders, to today's statement-making khadi and glorious metal saris, the drape has transformed into a canvas of the times. And yet, despite knowing in theory of the quiet genius of its design and the many ways that it could be worn, most of us in our 20's and early 30's tend to reserve the sari mostly for festivals and weddings. Sure, there were those few social media experiments like the #100sareepact and #sarinotsorry, which pushed a significant number of women to get up and put on their forgotten, barely-worn saris on an almost-daily basis, but for many, it still remains a daunting task- multiple safety pins and yet, an hour later it's falling off. For me at least, learning to wear sari perfectly is #lifegoals.  

So when I stumbled on an Instagram post by digital publication Border & Fall and learnt that there are over a 100 different ways to wear a sari, and some without one safety pin or a matching blouse in sight, I was delighted!  

Border & Fall is now attempting to create the first digital anthology— by way of a series of films— on the many different ways to drape the sari. "This project’s intent is to document the anthology of the Sari drapes on film for the first time, and make the idea of the sari more accessible to a global audience,” says Malika Verma Kashyap, founder of Border & Fall in a statement. Through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, they hope to raise $45,000 CAD (about 1 crore in INR) and execute the project in collaboration with three prominent filmmakers: Bon Duke, Pooja Kaul and Q (Kaushik Mukherjee).  Called The Sari: A How-To Drape Film Series, it will have 84 ‘how-to’s and three short independent films. These short films will complement the 'how-tos' and delve into the sari's past, present and future. Given the deep organic connect that most women in the Indian subcontinent tend to have with the garment, this project is relevant and exciting.

Kiran Rao in the most common drape,  the Nivi drape  (Image Courtesy- Border & Fall's Kickstarter page)

Kiran Rao in the most common drape, the Nivi drape (Image Courtesy- Border & Fall's Kickstarter page)

“I have been in love with the sari since early childhood, growing up in Calcutta, surrounded by billowing yards of soft fabric. The fluidity with which the Sari can move through time, class, religion and social norms is something no other object can," says Q, who has earlier made cult films like Gandu and Bengali films such as Tasher Desh. "The tactile nature of the garment and the extreme turns it can take by shifting folds and molding forms continues to amaze me”, he says adding that he's been, for a few years now, working on an independent, personal project documenting his love for the drape. "With Border & Fall, I am going to make a short film that takes a silent look at the men involved in the process," Q adds. 

Q or Kaushik Mukherjee (Image Courtesy- Border & Fall)

Q or Kaushik Mukherjee (Image Courtesy- Border & Fall)

We can't wait for April 2017, when these videos will be available for free on various social media platforms and on their own website.

To help the Kickastarter campaign before its deadline of Sunday, November 13, 2016, click here.


Text by Anusha

Thumbnail image courtesy- Border & Fall