Designer Sabyasachi criticises Indian women for not knowing how to wear saree, Twitterati hit back

Updated: 13 February, 2018 09:01 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

His remarks were received with a resounding applause from the audience

Sabyasachi MukherjeeSabyasachi Mukherjee. Pic/Twitter

One of India's top fashion designers Sabyasachi Mukherjee on Saturday criticised women of his country, particularly of the younger generation, for not wearing saree and giving preference to western outfits.

"I think, if you tell me that you do not know how to wear a saree, I would say shame on you. It's a part of your culture, (you) need stand up for it," Sabyasachi told Indian students at the Harvard India Conference.

His remarks were received with a resounding applause from the audience. The designer was responding to a question on difficulties women face in draping a saree. The garment, he said, is the most wonderful dress in the world and people across the globe admire it, and identify Indian women with it.

Sabyasachi referred to his recent conversation with Deepika Padukone, saying the "Padmaavat" actor, in her own way, is creating disruption in fashion. "She wears saree at all the places she goes," he told the participants here. When asked why he decided to launch a label of Indian clothing, Sabyasachi said he found a "major disconnect" when he observed Indian women and men losing touch with their roots. They are becoming "socially insecure", he rued.


If you grew up in Bengal at the time I was growing up, sometime between late seventies and early eighties, you would know that the consumer was the designer. I spent hours watching my mother and her friends stretching organdy sarees over hand frames and hand painting exotic blooms on them. More often than not, they would match the blooms in their sarees to the real blooms on their hair. Talk about style! This is my homage to them. My mother and all her Bengal art school friends. What they lacked in terms of resources, they always over compensated with imagination. That is the true art of dressing well and good housekeeping! #Sabyasachi #TheWorldOfSabyasachi #TheSabyasachiArtFoundation #DeepikaPadukone #AsianPaints #Nilaya #SabyasaschixAsianPaints #SabyasachiForNilaya @worldofnilaya @asianpaints @deepikapadukone

A post shared by Sabyasachi Mukherjee (@sabyasachiofficial) onFeb 4, 2018 at 6:47am PST

"Women and men are trying very hard to be something that they are not. Your clothing should be a part of who you are and connect you to your roots," he added. The relationship between an Indian woman and saree is that of a serpent, the designer said. "It's a relationship of misunderstanding. It's easy to wear a saree. Wars have been fought in saree. Grandmothers have slept in saree and have women up without any folds to it," Sabyasachi added.

The Indian Consul General from New York, Sandeep Chakravarty, present in the audience brought in the question of tying dhoti in India. "Indian women have kept alive the saree, but the dhoti is dead," the designer said much to the laughter and applause from the audience.

When asked what it would take for the saree to go global, Sabyasachi said, he would, however, prefer that the garment stayed in India. "I would be very honest with you. I think that cultural clothing should stay within the domain of a particular country, because when you take it out, it becomes a costume and then it does not remain sustainable," the designer said.

Meanwhile, Twitterati did not seem to take Sabyasaachi's comments lightly. The designer seemed to receive quite a bit of backlash on the social media platform. 

While many social media users pointed out the high prices at which the designer's sarees are sold, others blamed him for not wearing a dhoti himself. The designer has thus far not isued any response to the criticism.

With Inputs from Agencies

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First Published: 12 February, 2018 20:25 IST

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