A sari is one of the most versatile Indian attire. A typical 6 yard sari has been a part of the traditional Indian wardrobe since decades. It’s a go-to item for any occasion be it formal or casual. It is a drape which flatters every body type and makes you look gorgeous instantly.
There are many fabrics, materials and styles that one can choose from when draping a sari. A Benarasi is a classic and iconic sari and has been an all-time favourite for many Indian women.
A Benarasi sari is a traditional sari which comes from Benaras or Varanasi, a city in India. The saris are inspired by the mystical personality of the holy city known for its beautiful temples and ghats. The 6-yard silk sari is woven with gold or silver zari or silken threads and is decorated with intricate patterns and designs. There are various patterns and designs in Benarasi including the Jungla, Chouka, Aada, Khinkhab and so on. From geometrical designs to metallic floral designs, a traditional benarasi sari always looks regal and elegant.
These saris have been part of the of the Benaras household since centuries. This tradition has been passed through generations when Indian women used to wear these hand woven silk beauties for special occasions like weddings. A typical piece takes months to finish based on the intricacies involved, which makes it riskier for the weavers, since by the time they finish a piece it may be out of fashion. That’s where Warp ‘n Weft comes in play by working from the grass-root level.
Warp ‘n Weft is an institution from Mumbai which brings the voice and soul of Benares in the exhibition of traditional hand-woven benarasi textiles at the flagship store in Mumbai for last two decades. The founder and creative director, Ms. Sagrika Rai, is born and brought up in Benaras which makes this project close to her heart.
Warp ‘n Weft hosted a week-long exhibition at the Nehru Centre in London till the 30th of September 2016. Warp ‘n Weft presented the secrets from the sacred Ganges and the opulent traditions of the Indian culture to London through the gorgeous textiles and handlooms. The curated collection had a perfect blend of traditional Benarasi handlooms with modern sensibilities which made the silks look stunning along with ethnic style of jadau jewellery from Jaipur Gems.
A special evening was organised on Wednesday 28th of September in London. The event was held at the Nehru Centre in London which promotes cultural exchange between India and UK. The centre has hosted several musical, dance and cultural events in the past. This was an exclusive invite only event promoting Benarasi culture, ethos and handicrafts by Warp ‘n Weft.
The attendees included buyers, press, bloggers and members of the Indian fraternity and the collection showcased traditional apparels in Benarasi Fabric and style like saris, scarves, along with a traditional twist on western outfits like jackets and shorts. The evening and the curated collection was a romantic combination of the east and the west. The event enjoyed real sounds of temples and ghats, handloom and powerloom and various moods of the Benaras life captured and composed by Grammy award winner Dr.Prakash Sontakke, a Hindustani vocalist from the Benaras Music School. Warp ‘n Weft will soon be releasing this music album Benaras A Future From The Past across the digital music arena.
It was an enjoyable evening spent in the depth of Benarasi culture with some soft music, delicious Benarasi food, wonderful people coming together to enjoy a beautiful collection of curated fashion.
Warp ’n Weft also at the event, announced the launch of ‘Benaras Pashm’, an inimitable expression of a functional blend of pure cashmere with the beautiful Benarasi silks in colours and hues apt for classic as well as modern tastes. The gossamer and delicate complexion of these shawls captured the interest of British Reality TV artist Jasmin Walia to wear one in Pure Burgundy over her sequined lavender dress for the evening.