Don’t discard that worn out saree just yet. City-based designers are breathing new life into old clothes to make them festival ready. 

By Monika Monalisa

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Slow fashion may be the new ‘in’ thing but it’s not easy keeping up with trends at the same time. City-based designers, however, say otherwise. The current lull in sales has forced many designers to get creative, with them now having started in-house projects of revamping old sarees in customer’s wardrobes. When it comes to designs on traditional Indian fabrics, designer Latha Puttanna’s name needs no mention. While the designer has created heirloom pieces that could be passed on to different generations, she is also encouraging people to upcycle their old collection.


Her label is calling for pre-owned Latha Puttanna sarees that they can repurpose into a salwar, lehenga, dupatta for girls or kurtas for men. “Silk sarees stay in perfect shape if they are worn regularly. And when it comes to sarees, we usually use it for one or two occasions. So I thought why not repurpose them by giving it a new look,” says Puttanna, who has been running her label for 28 years. This idea also emerges from the understanding that women are usually attached to their sarees and don’t want any touch ups. “We also offer to do a new blouse or redesign an old one,” says Puttanna, who also hopes to help karigars with work at a time like this. 

Another label Sakhi By Chandras, which turned 15 this year, had plans to come out with some special collections to mark this landmark year before the pandemic played spoil sport. But CEO Neeta Rajendran then came up another idea. “We usually see sarees being turned into lehengas or salwars, which is good but we are trying different styles like converting them into drape dresses. These are a one-piece gown with pleats, giving it the illusion of a saree,” says Rajendran, adding that apart from that, many free flowing sarees can be turned into kaftans.

“There are so many ways of revamping a saree. You can take the border off and put a new one, making it a completely different saree,” says Rajendran, adding that the drape sarees start from `2,500 onwards.Agrees Aditi Lal, who has a studio of her own label in Koramangala. “We have all have turned our mother’s old sarees into dresses and worn them, so why not now. You don’t have to stick to just Indian designs, you can make Indie dresses too. These look great for brunch,” says Lal.

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