Let us not, for once, link saris with traditionalism and walk the trodden part. Let’s skip the ethnic and cultural aspects of the garment for the moment, forget the notions of history and heritage associated with it. Instead, let us link it with grandeur and luxury. Let us view it as a marker of exuberance, of elegance that only money can adduce, and the uniqueness wrought by the quality of its being handmade to boot.
While weddings and festivals call for expensive and exquisite saris, it is not everyday that you would (or could, given the heavy work on them) wear them. Luxury saris are of a different breed, made to be worn whenever the wearer chooses not to be dictated to by sundry occasions, few and far between. Extravagantly embroidered but also comfortable, beautiful and exclusive, these luxury saris by Anita Dongre, Luxurion World and Rimple and Harpreet Narula are for the fashionable and discerning women.
Saris by Luxurion World are made of materials that are hand-woven and reflect the quintessence of the geographical region from where the design springs. Its range of premium saris includes work such as kantha, Parsi garas and Kashmiri aari. Says Vinod Gupta, CEO, Luxurion World, “The saris are designed by talented artisans and weaved by master craftsmen. Inspiration for the art is drawn out of nature, history or daily routine. Moreover, our designs are unique and cannot be woven again. The hand embroidery for one piece takes about six to eight months.” This prized collection ranges from 50,000 up to 3 lakh.
For homegrown queen of pret, Anita Dongre, “Luxury is an experience; it is intangible. The feel of a handmade fabric or the essence of handcrafted embellishments allows a sense of uniqueness to the wearer. No two products of crafts are exactly alike, making the wearer feel special.” Dongre’s saris are light and enable ease of movement, and come with highlights of gota patti (her signature design work) and subtle embroidery in jewel tones. The designer’s Autumn/Winter 2017 collection pays tribute to the Bishnoi tribe of Rajasthan and their reverence for nature. Dongre’s saris cost anything between 50,000 to 1.5 lakh.
Coutouriers Rimple and Harpreet Narula make their saris using Preciosa metallic crystal sequins that are especially imported from the Czech Republic and then worked onto fine silk chiffon. “Each individual component is hand-sewn onto the base fabric in a beautiful art-deco pattern that is derived from old vintage textiles belonging to the era of the erstwhile maharajas,” say the duo. The saris designed by them, in the range between 50,000 to 1.5 lakh, come with unparalleled handiwork and many hours invested in their creation, which make the range premium and luxurious that it is.
What is the market like for premium saris? Say the duo, “We have seen a renewed interest in the sari and the market for premium saris has definitely seen an upward swing over the past couple of years with more and more clients wanting to go back to their roots and wear ensembles that showcase our immense cultural and textile crafts heritage.” Anita Dongre also sees a similar ethos in the market. “Women like to wear saris for all kinds of occasions and shopping for saris becomes a friendly experience before most festivals,” she points out. Elegance and sophistication aside, these saris assure the perfect amalgamation of comfort and luxury, rolled into one.