From tradition to the red carpet, the sari is shining bright on the global fashion scene

From tradition to the red carpet, the sari is shining bright on the global fashion scene



From kimonos to Chiapaneca dresses, it’s not uncommon to see traditional garments on the red carpet of the world’s most prestigious events, but over the past year, the sari seems to have been taking pride of place. This is due not only to the international renown of Indian celebrities like Deepika Padukone, but also to the revamping of this long piece of fabric worn by millions of women in Asia.

From actress Sara Ali Khan to entrepreneur Sudha Reddy, from film critic and curator Meenakshi Shedde to content creator Dolly Singh, the Indian sari was more than ever on show at the Cannes Film Festival, revealing itself in a new light, between tradition and red carpet glamour. This modern revamp could be in the process of turning this traditional garment into the new star of the red carpet. At least, that’s what seems to have been happening over the past few years, with a first noticeable foray at the MET gala, and several appearances at previews, exhibition openings, fashion shows and, as we’ve seen, at Cannes. Interest in the sari is such that an exhibition recently opened in London, focusing on the revival of this traditional garment and its contemporary variations. ‘The Offbeat Sari’ runs until September at London’s Design Museum.

Pride of place on the red carpet

At the 2022 Met Gala, just over a year ago, Natasha Poonawalla made a striking arrival on the steps of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. At the fashion event, held under the theme ‘Gilded Glamour and White Tie,’ the Indian businesswoman stepped out in a sumptuous gold colored sari embellished with a sculptural gold metal corset, perfectly in keeping the evening’s dress code while standing out from the other guests. And this appearance didn’t go unnoticed. In fact, it seems to have paved the way for the traditional garment to take pride of place on the red carpet. A few days later, the sari shone brightly on the French Riviera

And the sari’s rise didn’t stop there, continuing to make red carpet appearances, often showcased by Indian celebrities and public figures, but no longer exclusively. In April, it was Zendaya and Gigi HadidRahul Mishra

More than 5 billion views

In addition, India is proving to be a focus for more and more fashion houses, and for good reason: the country, which is gradually opening up to the luxury sector, is now the most populous in the world. This year, for example, DiorMaria Grazia Chiuri

Today, social networks can testify to the status of the sari, and the public’s infatuation with this typical dress, particularly among younger generations. On TikTok, the #sari hashtag has over 1.3 billion views, while #saree has racked up over four billion views, not to mention all the other derivatives. The terms ‘fashion’, ‘outfits’, ‘aesthetic’, ‘draping’ and even ‘makeup’ are the ones most associated with ‘sari’, offering a host of videos presenting versions as varied as they are traditional, as well as rituals and tips on how to drape them according to custom or region, and different ways of wearing them — traditionally or with a more modern twist. Everything suggests that the sari is well and truly ready to make its mark on the fashion scene, taking over red carpets and catwalks, as well as wardrobes around the world.


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