The Fabric of India exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum has inspired many women to take up wearing a sari this year, with an exploration of traditional, classic fabrics, vintage designs and contemporary patterns all vying for attention. Style is about more than just fashion. It is about presenting oneself with flair, exhibiting a verve for colour and appreciating the manner in which clothes, accessories and hair all work together to present a truly unique appearance. It is also about appreciating fabrics – the texture, appearance, colour and feel. And nothing is more difficult to pull off than a sari.
Described as ‘a world of meaning in a single piece of cloth‘, the sari encapsulates the beauty, adaptability and personality of India’s most iconic garment. The multifunctional sari is used to “filter out smog, carry keys, wipe a table, lift a hot vessel, wipe sweat and protect one’s modesty” whilst at the same time being used as a garment for seduction, passion and flirtation and to rock the red carpet. Here we present the 5 stylish women who totally rocked in a sari in 2015.
Presented in alphabetical order by surname
1. Samantha Cameron
2. Tanuja Desai Hidier
3. Kamel Hothi
4. Dame Asha Khemka OBE
5. Rani Moorthy
The UK Prime Minister’s wife Samantha Cameron almost upstaged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in red and black sari that she wore to the UKWelcomesModi event at Wembley in November 2015. Her height and slender form lend themselves very readily to the sari which she wears with confidence and grace.
Tanuja Desai Hidier
Tanuja Desai Hidier is an author, singer-songwriter born to a Maharashtran mother and Gujarati father, raised in the USA but now based in London. Best known for her critically acclaimed novels ‘Born Confused’ and Bombay Blues’ which won the 2015 South Asia Book Award. This year, Tanuja took up a unique challenge in the form of dare2drape which is based on 7 X 7 (7 drapes,7 sarees, 7 nominations, 7 weeks, 7 winning drapes) theme. Having never previously ever attempted to put on a sari, we think Tanuja looks amazing in the georgette sari held up with paper clips! You can learn more about dare2drape at www.dare2drape.org and more about Tanuja at http://thisistanuja.com/
Kamel Hothi is Head of special projects for the Group at Lloyds Banking Group. She heads up the Group’s Charity of the Year Programme; its Sponsorship for the Prince’s Trust Business in The Community Connector Program and the Lloyds Bank School For Social Entrepreneurs project. However it was in her role as Asian Markets Director for the bank from 2004 – 2009 that saw her create the Asian Strategy across Corporate markets, including sponsorship of the Lloyds TSB Jewel Awards and the Asian Women of Achievement Awards. Kamel wears a sari on numerous occasions with grace and aplomb.
Dame Asha Khemka OBE
Dame Asha Khemka OBE took up her post as Principal and Chief Executive of West Nottinghamshire College Group in May 2006. It is now one of the largest colleges in the country with just over 32,000 students, 12,000 apprentices and an annual budget approaching £65 million. Dame Asha has received public recognition for the regeneration of the ex-mining communities of North Nottinghamshire. She is a board member of several national organisations, including the Association of Colleges (AoC); AoC India; the Education and Training Foundation, D2N2 LEP and the Cabinet’s Education Honours Committee. Dame Asha often wears a sari for formal business events and carries them off with a unique style.
It’s been all about the sari for Rani Moorthy this year as the Sri Lankan Tamil, Malaysian-born playwright, actress, and artistic director of Rasa Productions toured with her show ‘Whose Sari Now?’ a funny and poignant journey of one sari in the lives of the many characters who wear it. The play examined the intriguing relationships we have with the sari from the personal to political to myths and traditions. The show offered audience members a chance to get their favourite sari out of the closet and share their story with the public.