Deepika Padukone’s silk sari made a powerful statement at last night’s style awards
The power of the red carpet
I have a confession to make — I do not enjoy wearing saris. Blasphemy from an Indian woman — worse still, from one whose mother is the designated draper of my friend circle. It’s a nightmare to iron, I can’t tell where my legs are, and wearing one requires a degree of restraint that a generation raised in jeans just cannot summon.
And I’m not the only one who thinks like this, as is clear from the fact that a pitiable percentage of young Indian women buy or wear saris for anything other than weddings.
Which is why Deepika Padukone’s silk sari at last night’s HT Most Stylish made such a powerful statement. By choosing to pick a nondescript handloom from her personal collection for an event that specifically awards celebrities for their taste in fashion, the Padmaavat star wordlessly conveyed that the sari is relevant, that it is decadent, and that it is immeasurably stylish. No knock on her fellow actresses who crowded the red carpet with their feathered gowns and sequinned mini skirts, but Deepika’s traditional drape unintentionally made everything else appear like costumes, too carefully curated to seem natural.
Everything about her understated look — from the temple jewellery to the pulled back bun — ensured that all eyes were focused on the six yards that draped around her statuesque frame. Just like a sea of celebrities in black dresses at the 2018 Golden Globes gave the world no choice but to face the #TimesUp movement, we hope Deepika’s thoughtful choice will have a ripple effect around the country, in handloom studios, in fashion stores and in the minds of young consumers who will look at the sari with a renewed perspective.
In an age of hyper-adulation and the mindless deification of people who essentially play make-believe for a living, here is a red carpet moment that deserves our applause.