The world is going digital. The most hackneyed turn of phrase to signify an age obsessed with a supernetwork called the world wide web. Then there comes the billion dollar social media industry, with lizard eyes thirty year olds becoming billionaires by selling your personal data and 140 character messages fuelling revolutions (or showcasing the stupidity of the most powerful man on earth). The social media has infinite potential as a tool to bring about social change (and hate crimes but lets just stay positive here)
The sari went out of fashion. Of course it has been around as a personal choice forever, but to the millennial generation it was more of an investment to look good rather than a choice of convenience.
Then there came a wave of social media and real life influencers who took up the mantle of a saree as ag garment of utility, and reinvented the whole nine yards for all its cultural and gender symbolisms.
Among the hundreds of social media trends revolving around the saree, here are the top five ones which we found really unique and inspiring.
- #unstitchedthesariproject: This is an ongoing community and performance art project by Meera Sethi. If you sign up for the project, you get a package with a saree, project instructions and a writing prompt. The challenge is to document your story and personal style of wearing the saree, using it to interpret your story as a South Asian.
- #100SareePact: Anju Maudgal Kadam is a former business journalist and Ally Mathan a perfumer, and they both love sarees. Together they began the #100sareepact, to encourage women to document their stories and what influences them as individuals. The challenge is to wear a saree for 100 occassions in a year, and document a little about why they chose to wear it. The more important aspect of the trend is the NGO goonj initiative it propelled called –your saree for dignity to provide clothes to those who need it.
- #KeepCalmandSareeOn: This was a movement begun on instagram in 2016 by Malaysia based artist Sivagami Selvaranjan. The passionate dancer, actor, artist and self-proclaimed feminist began her drive to highlight stories of passionate women and saris through this instagram hashtag that went viral.
- #BooBlouse or #NoBlouse: The Mumbai based instagrammer @saree.man Himanshu Verma began this sartorial challenge opposing the colonial hangover to sarees- the blouse. It encourages women to actually experiment with the garment and step away from water-tight compartments of traditions and had some amazing results from women across the world.
- Sari Diary: Laila Tyabji, founder of Dastkar and a writer and designer led an amazing oe month photoseries to document the versatility of the simple cotton saree. She uses a range of weaves, techniques and designs, all of them meant to signify how the saree has defined south asian women and their daily lives.