‘The Sari Series’ collaborator Rashmi Varma in aapnu Amdavad

#sareenotsorry and #100sareepact hashtags took the internet by storm in 2015 and got thousands of urban class women embracing six yards as the ‘new emerging trend’. It would be quite an irony to say that while the fashion fraternity is harping about the evolving trends of saree fashion, majority of the rural population adorns saree as an everyday wear in India. Border and Fall, a digital platform documenting India’s craft and fashion was founded by Mallika Kashyap who also started ‘The Sari Series’ last year.

For the uninitiated, ‘The Sari Series’ includes 90 short videos documenting 83 different styles of draping, as well as three short films. It is an attempt to document different drapes prevalent across the country while also trying to shift the perception of saree as a garment. Mallika Kashyap collaborated with her long-standing collaborator Rashmi Varma, a designer who is known for her edgy and couture –ish saree dresses along with Rta Kapoor Chisti, the lady who is a leading authority on Sarees and its drapes in the country to create a visual anthology of different drapes prevalent in India. The yearlong project was crowd-funded to create a documentation of the cultural implications on the way saree was worn as a garment across the country. The videos and short films are now being showcased on Google Arts & Culture and Youtube.



We met Rashmi Varma at the exhibition titled ‘The Urban Nomad’ brought to the city by ‘Style Audit by Jaina Lalbhai’. The event was curated by Jaina Lalbhai to bring forth a motley crew of designers who were edgy, unconventional, bohemian and high on urbane quotient. As always, it was a delight to witness the changing aesthetics of the city while Jaina acted as a catalyst.

Rashmi Varma’s saree dresses were the first thing that got us interested in the event. Yes, there have been ready-made and pleated sarees available since quite some time now, but what makes Varma’s saree dresses class apart are their drapes.

Having been an integral part of ‘The Sari Series – An Anthology of Drape’, one could not help but get amused in admiration at the beautiful amalgamation of Bombay drapes and Andhra drapes in her collection. A falling palla, a tuck and a pleat in the back, loose side drapes were just about some detailed elements that were carefully executed in jersey fabrics for the modern day fashionista. Gone are the days when petticoats, blouses and 3 safety pins were a necessity. It is interesting to observe the shift in draping styles. Sarees are now being worn over pants or sans it; blouses are replaced by crop tops and shirts, thanks to the saree movement.

This festive season, treat yourself to a couture saree dress in silk or handloom cotton and be glam-ready with Rashmi Varma’s Saree Dresses. The standard style that we adorn on regular basis is the Nivi Drape, but there is much more than that. The traditional Gujarati seedha palla, the Bengali style , the Maharashtrian nav-vari style or the Coorgi style; we have seen many regional drapes but haven’t always tried, right ?




You definitely want to try interesting drapes this festive season, don’t you? For the ones who are interested in learning new drapes, head over to Youtube and search ‘The Sari Series’ to learn 83 different kinds of drapes. Rest log on to Rashmi Varma’s site and add your selected item to the cart.

October 01, 2022 — CICERONI TEAM

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