Girls in messy sarees




Photos: Vincent Boyer (Say hi on instagram @vincetravelbook)

This  post is an ode to girls in messy sarees. You know girls like me whose saree love resides in a world of messy pleats, crumpled sarees, un-ironed fabric, flyaway hair, practical shoes and general awkwardness?

Honestly, I am tired of the images that I see of women in sarees as most images focus on perfectly proportioned, light skinned women posing in high heels and jewellery. Where are the images of women going about their every-day lives in the garment?

Femininity in its pinned, regulated and bourgeois form makes no sense to me.  It immobilises me, restricts me and tries to control my wayward instincts. The very things that make me who I am, comfortable in my imperfections.

The saree is one of the world’s oldest and perhaps the only surviving unstitched garment, as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. It was also originally conceived as a unisex garment that continues to be an economical and easy-to-wear option, suitable for all kinds of activities and adventures.

In spite of the limited scope for any change in the garment, it has a limitless future because of the endless options for experimentation and interpretation.

So here I am, in these photos in all my messy glory  wearing a slinky saree in a tropical rainforest walk.  Wore this chiffon bandhani beauty with a Guns n Roses tee-shirt and chunky brogues for a mini hike to the top of a stunning waterfall in one of the many national parks in Sydney.

Speckled with tiny dots, textured with crinkled crease of fabric, dyed with vivid dramatic colors; bandhani or tie and dye from Gujarat and Rajasthan is a stunning sight to behold.

Diverse patterns are created by the distinctive technique of tie and dye, pinching and resist tying of the fabric before dyeing. The tied areas indicating the patterns remain undyed creating dotted outlines of forms.

It takes talented crafts people to make these stunning fabrics and I have to admit I am quite the bandhani admirer (read hoarder).


Author: Tanaya Das

PleatsnPallu is a unique project started in Sydney, Australia by Tanaya Das to celebrate the identity of South Asian women every where. This is a quest to find what the six/ nine yards of fabric means to us and celebrating who we are in a saree. The narrative is focussed on celebrating all kinds of bodies with extra attention on those that are less celebrating in the mainstream.

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