A Parsi heirloom from China

Perveez Aggarwal's My Beautiful Embroideries keeps the tradition of Parsi Gara saris alive and provides employment to embroidery workers who lost their jobs during the 1992 riots

Centuries ago, when enterprising Parsi traders from India visited China for trade, they brought back silks with delicate Chinese embroideries for the Parsi women. This weekend, you have the chance to buy some of these recreated beauties at the ongoing My Beautiful Embroideries exhibition.

A Gara sari from Perveez Aggarwal's collection

The enterprise is the brainchild of Perveez Aggarwal who is attempting to keep the traditional attire alive. "Women who could not use stoles or shawls requested the traders to get the saris embroidered instead," says Aggarwal. The result of this modification was the Gara sari, which has over the years become an intricate part of Parsi traditions. These saris are considered heirloom saris because apart from being rare, they are worn by Parsi women on occasions such as engagements, weddings and religious ceremonies.

However, only a few of the original pieces remain and the ones that do are prized and even framed by the families.

Aggarwal started My Beautiful Embroideries almost 18 years ago when the 1992 riots were raging in the city.
Due to the riots, a lot of embroidery karigars had been left unemployed and Aggarwal took them under her wing. They have since been working with her and recreating the Gara saris. The textiles are embroidered with images of fruits, flowers, birds and intricate vines.

Aggarwal provides the karigars with the colour and design details. Apart from recreating the older designs, Aggarwal has also modified a few of her designs in keeping with the times and encouraged experimentation with various fabrics other than silk. "Traditionally, these saris were made of heavy silk but since it's not conducive to the climate of Mumbai and difficult to drape, we use a mix of fabrics including chiffon, silk and georgette."

If saris are not your cup of tea, she also stocks jackets, skirts and salwaar suits with Gara embroidery.

On Today, 11 am to 6 pm
At DBS Galleria, DBS House, Prescott house, near Cathedral School, Fort.
Call 40509335

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