In a country that oozes big, bold and experimental, Kerala’s Kasavu sarees stand out to be a staple garment representing a rich cultural heritage and timeless elegance.
The infamous off-white saree worn in Kerala is crafted by the handloom weaving communities in the rural parts of the state.
Kasavu sarees are traditionally bought in the festive season of April and August and worn during the Onam harvest festival as per tradition.
However, with the hard-hitting pandemic and floods, the artisans have suffered dire losses and stagnant sales. Combatting the odds for a cause is the new line of monochrome saris and textiles that reimagines the iconic Kasavu to make it appealing to a contemporary buyer demographic beyond the state as well.
Vidhi, a reimagined collection of the traditional saree silhouette headed by the Save The Loom initiative was launched on May 4, 2021, marks the 116th birth anniversary of Justice Anna Chandy, the first woman advocate of India. The new line is also dedicated to the organisation’s founding patron Late Justice KK Usha, the first female chief justice of Kerala who had a deep passion for handloom, reports Vogue.
The incredible initiative deemed to be sustainable, to have longevity, incur repeat buying and appeal to a broader demographic beyond the state where they’re produced.
Seeking to create a practical silhoutte that resonates with the modern working women, Ramesh Menon (founder of Save The Loom) set out to modernise the age-old colonial interpretation of the excessively layered lawyers and judges’ sarees.
Our problem was how to make the sari lighter and appealing to a young lawyer who doesn’t want to wear the heavily-starched saris that her grandmother wore which balloon up after a few hours of wear— Ramesh Menon
The collection comes through in a monochrome palette that features a half and half print, geometric prints and patterned blouses. With subtle design elements and a dual pallu, this is quick work to casual switchover garment. Each sari features a handwritten tag that provides the buyer with an insight into the women who wove it and the story behind the product. Along with being a fashion-forward reinterpretation, the sarees also pay homage to India’s incredible but largely ignored women legal luminaries.
Feature image courtesy: Vogue
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