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Sanskari yet trendy

Updated on: 04 July,2021 11:56 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Cynera Rodricks |

The most timeless piece of garment, the saree, is getting redefined in new ways. Saree enthusiast Jasmine Randelia Bavan has curated some versatile draping styles that bring playfulness to the garment’s traditional charm

Sanskari yet trendy

Jasmine Randelia Bavan

Jasmine Randelia Bavan is a multitasker. She works at an FMCG company and is the co-founder of the Live Love Babywear Mommy Support Community, which helps 6,000+ moms across the globe from pregnancy right up to when their children are pre-schoolers through niche support groups. She has varied interests and saree draping is just one of them.

“My tryst with sarees began in my early teenage years, when I would occasionally wear them to college for farewells. I was never comfortable in a saree, let alone draping one on my own. As the years passed, I grew fond of this all-forgiving garment, which could be worn at any stage of fitness. I learned how to drape the saree on my own because I did not like asking for help. My first attempts were a little sloppy, but as my confidence grew, so did my skills with the saree,” says Bavan. 

Bavan began experimenting with different drape styles after she became a mother and started wearing her baby in wraps. It was also around this time that she was introduced to a community of women she felt inspired by.  While personally preferring the Nivi and Gujarati drapes, Bavan shares some of her draping techniques, while also showing how to transform these sarees into chic dresses for that stylish evening party.

The pom-pom flower dress

This outfit is perfect for an informal event and also makes a cute summer dress. Fold the saree in half and pleat both the ends to make six to seven pleats on each side. Pin these pleats securely. Take the middle of the folded saree under your right arm and tie up the pleats (with the help of a fabric rubber band) to form a pom-pom flower on the left shoulder. Once the pleats have been secured with the band, remove the safety pins. To make a sleeve, secure one end of the saree under your left arm with a safety pin and another further down on the side just above your knee. Add a statement belt along with some dainty jewellery to complete this look. You don’t need a saree silhouette or a petticoat for this drape because the saree is doubled up already.

The palla flaunting drape or modified Bengali drape

Who doesn’t love to flaunt their palla? Especially when there is a beautiful design stitched on it. If you like to do the same, this style is for you. Personally, I prefer to keep the palla pleated and pinned ready before I start draping my saree. It helps reduce the time of draping and also helps to get ready quicker. Once the basic tuck is done, take the pleated palla and put it over your left shoulder, straight up from the left leg to your left shoulder. Measure the fabric you need for the palla to be taken around and pinned across your chest and under your left arm. Adjust the length of the palla and pleat the rest of the fabric in front. Once done, take the palla from the left shoulder, under your right arm and across your chest. Pin it up under the saree border. Pin up the border straight on the right side of the chest to get a neat finish. You will be left with a slight cowl on the back which can be left as is or can be pinned up to make it shorter. Accessorise your look with traditional jhumkas and bangles.

The infinity drape

This is stylish and again, a hands-free drape. Once the basic tuck is done, make a few pleats—not more than three—take the palla behind and bring it down from the left shoulder to the front. Make such that there is a cowl on your left hip. Your finger should be able to touch its edge, and the palla should reach the floor. Arrange the palla in such a way that when you fan it out, you are pulling out the bottom-most pleat of the palla. Take it behind, pass it through the cowl and tuck the end with your pleats. You can add a belt if you want more drama and definition. Again, you can accessorise with traditional jewellery and a pair of heels or mojris. 

The halter-neck dress

Tie a knot in the middle of the saree, which will rest in the middle of your back. Get the saree’s two ends and make a knot in the centre of your chest. The drape will rest on this knot so ensure it’s tight and secure. Make three to four pleats on either side and tuck them away from the centre. Then take the remaining ends and make another loose knot, roll the knot forward and tie the ends around your neck. This will give you a nice waterfall effect on the front and I would strongly suggest you add a statement belt to finish the look. A large chunky belt will look great.

Jacket drape