Meet Bengaluru make-up artist Durga Venkatesh who can drape a saree in 155 styles in two hours
She holds the record for draping the highest number of saree styles in an hour with 83 styles in the India Book of Records and the Asia Book of Records
In a time where inspiration and endurance is wearing thin, Durga Venkatesh, a make-up artist and bespoke fashion designer, has chosen to take life by the hems. Venkatesh, who has lived in Bengaluru since her childhood, currently holds the world record for the fastest number of saree styles draped, having been attested by the Limca Book of Records, India Book of Records, Asia Book of Records, Asian World Records, British World Records, and, most recently, the Kalam’s World Records in August. In addition to this, she also won the Divalicious Mrs South India Universe title for 2019, and manages her own make-up salon and academy, Durga Makeup Studio & Academy in JP Nagar.
She holds the record for draping the highest number of saree styles in an hour with 83 styles in the India Book of Records and the Asia Book of Records. At the Asian World Records and British World Records, she draped a saree in 135 styles in two hours, 14 minutes and 28 seconds. In the Limca Book of Records and the Kalam’s Book of Records, she holds the record for draping a saree in 155 styles in two hours, 15 minutes and 38 seconds. In addition to this, she was also awarded an honorary doctorate for the achievement of being the fastest saree draper from the International Anti-Corruption and Human Rights Council, an NGO operating from Chennai.
An internationally-certified make-up artist, Venkatesh has had a life-long interest in fashion and make-up, particularly saree draping. Watching her sisters drape sarees as a child for various occasions, she decided that she wanted to learn the art of saree draping. Before she knew it, she had created almost 135 saree draping styles as a result of draping sarees at her salon, notably a saree for Shruthi Gowda, Mrs India Karnataka for 2017. “Then I said, ‘why can’t I try to do some records?’ So, I tried and I got them,” she said, talking about contacting various record books to document her achievement.
On what her plans are next, she says, “Actually, women who get married feel they can’t do anything after marriage or after they have kids, so I wanted to help include them and teach them as well as give them a positive attitude and support their employment.” After her various achievements, she has made an effort to teach various people, particularly those from poor backgrounds, most recently in Kengeri, classes and workshops on how to apply make-up. “I want to train many people and have them make use of it, because many people aren’t able to earn so I want to support and encourage them,” she says.