Meet Debjani, the designer behind Vidya Balan’s Sherni motif sari
Vidya Balan and her way with sari are unmatched. And the vivacious actor has been a profound voice for #vocalforlocal, using various platforms to say it loud and clear. At the song launch of her upcoming film Sherni, we spotted her in a jamdani sari with striking tiger motifs, matching the theme of the film, and it turned out that it was from the Kolkata-based label Ghuri by Debjani. Couturier Debjani Ray Chaudhuri who dressed up Vidya for the second time, tells us more about the collab. Excerpts:
How did the collaboration happen?
Last year one of my jamdani designs got selected by Vidya's team for the promotion of her film Shakuntala Devi. Interestingly, that jamdani design was on tiger motif. After that, I was given a brief that they were thinking of a customized saree for Vidya later. In March 2021, they contacted me again and was told to design specifically keeping in mind the Sherni film theme.
Tell us about your ideation on the theme?
I was given complete freedom to design the basic blueprints and was told to keep in mind that the sarees should be handwoven and handcrafted and they must drape like butter. So, I had to keep in mind that the textile material should be soft and light even if the work on it is heavy. After submission of the basic design outline, the colour, placement and other technical details were decided, once approved by Vidya and her team.
How many saris did she pick?
In the final selection, I was told to send 4 sarees, differently designed on the same jungle theme. We had made only sarees because generally, she styles them differently with different blouses.
Tell us about the two saris.
Out of the four saris, two are high cotton count fine handwoven jamdanis. One has woven tiger motifs on black and another one is a jaguar on carrot red. The third one a tussar silk with a big jamdani woven tiger on pallu. Lastly, the fourth one is batik on jungle theme with Indonesian tiger paintings.
Any other celeb you are working with?
Right now, we are working on a capsule project of a web series, but we cannot reveal the details now.
A celeb you would want to dress and why?
I would definitely want Swastika Mukherjee to drape one of my creations. I have this dream since 2020 when I met the great Bibi Russell and looking through my designs she told me, "Only Swastika can do justice to your funky designs, if you meet her someday, tell her I told you this." Apart from her I would love to work for Vidya Balan again, as it's always challenging to impress her with designs and it’s really fun to work with her team.