More : The "families" of drapes - Why ? - photos - books - Français
SARIS: AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO THE INDIAN ART OF DRAPING

Indian Drapes

Of all the beauties of India, one is at the same time the most common and the most bewitching. Who hasn't marvelled at the elegant gesture of a woman adjusting the folds of her sari on the shoulder? Draping is an art fully mastered by Indian women and men, following with grace every one of their movements.
Yet, of India's many arts, draping alone has never been fully researched and even less exhibited. Although saris have been featured in many shows, it was usually for the fabric, and tied only in the most common "modern" way. Indeed, many traditional styles have never been researched, and are today on the verge of being completely forgotten.

Kappulu saris
Bengali sari

The research :

Few specialists of India or its costumes have even suspected the extraordinary variety of Indian drapes. Up to this day, no exhaustive research has been completed on the subject. The most wide-ranging study has been made by Chantal Boulanger. She has recorded more than 100 different styles of draping.
Her research brings out new ways for classifying Indian costumes and opens different perspectives on the meaning of drapes. It demonstrates that most saris fit in a few "families" corresponding to ethnic origins. Thus, Indian culture can be approached through an analysis of traditional garment. The study of draping reveals the history and ethnic wealth of the Indian subcontinent.
Yet, Chantal Boulanger also discovered that since draping shows one's clear place in the social hierarchy, women tend to stop wearing their traditional drapes and adopt the "modern" sari. Many styles have already been forgotten, and in about 20 to 50 years, most of them will be. This is why she has spent the last 6 years recording as many traditional drapes as she could.

ALL THE STYLES AND RESULTS OF HER RESEARCH ARE IN HER BOOK:

SARIS: AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO THE INDIAN ART OF DRAPING

Chandrapur sari Pinkosu sari

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Pour le texte en français, écrivez-moi :
Chantal Boulanger : CONTACT
78 Hammersmith Bridge Road, London W6 9DB, Great Britain

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