'There’s nothing more powerful than sarees,' says Sabyasachi Mukherjee
Doyen of Indian traditional designs, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, recently stated on social media that he feels "a great sense of joy" when any woman, his patrons or otherwise, chooses to wear a sari on a global stage. Sabyasachi has designed some of the most iconic red carpet saree Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Vidya Balan who elegantly sported the looks to various red carpet festivals like Cannes Film Festival. He has also designed for none other than Oprah Winfrey.
Sabyasachi wrote on his Instagram, “When I think about the various times I’ve designed for the red carpet, my proudest moments have been the sarees — especially those worn for international red carpets. In my opinion, there is something so powerful about this garment. Perhaps it’s because some of my greatest muses (like Amrita Sher-Gil, Gayatri Devi, Leela Naidu) wore them with pride. Or maybe because of the nuanced and beautiful history of the saree in many parts of India and the surrounding regions. Or it’s the craftsmanship, time, and love that goes into weaving the 6 yards of fabric. Or maybe it’s all of that and more. When a woman wears a saree on a global stage, I feel a great sense of joy. Not because it’s subversive for an international audience, but because it’s a reminder that an evening gown needn’t be the only formula for glamour, and sometimes the most glamorous garment you can wear is the one that connects the most to your roots. I remember Indra Nooyi (former CEO of Pepsi Co.) famously saying at Rashtrapati Bhavan how she chooses to wear Kanjeevarams for power dressing. Many women share this sentiment — often reflecting on how wearing a saree makes them feel empowered, rooted, and authentic. Understanding this, it’s no surprise that several global celebrities that I’ve interacted with (from Oprah, to Dita Von Teese, to Katy Perry, and Christian Louboutin) are enamoured with the saree. It is a garment that has come to represent so much for so many people. And while it may mean one thing to you, and another to someone else, I hope we can all agree that the saree belongs just as much in board rooms as tailored suits, and as much on red carpets as evening gowns. (sic)”