In Conversation With Natasha Thasan On Her Journey Of Exploring Stunning Contemporary Saree Drapes And More

Natasha Thasan

The pioneer of Drape Therapy, Natasha Thasan, has turned heads as she drapes her sarees in the most unconventional ways. Also known as ‘The Saree Architect’ or ‘Apsara,’ she has garnered over half a million followers on social media and earned herself a global audience for her contemporary style. With her roots being Sri Lankan, Natasha Thasan has always been an advocate for her heritage. 

Putting to test the drapes taught by our mothers, she reconceptualises the definition of draping her saree in under a minute. As a firm believer in the saree being more than a cultural symbol, she educates and advocates for the saree to be worn by all, despite their cultural background and gender.

“They see sarees; they see feminine. I want them to understand that a drape can be for anyone.” 

The Beginning

“Privacy, child’s play, and allowing myself to feel comfortable and safe.” It all began in the comfort of her room. As she struggled to find matching blouses, she engaged in ‘child’s play,’ which opened up a realm of unlimited possibilities.

Natasha says, “To have that sense of comfort and security is why I love to find myself in a child’s shoes,” describing how sometimes you see a child playing independently. “They are so comfortable, they don’t need anyone, and they are self-fulfilled.”

However, growing up in Canada, Thasan felt as if she was living a dual life, or, in her words, “playing Hannah Montana.” Her journey was not an easy one, “Growing up, I lived a double life. At home, you’re brown. You’re expected to do the brown things and live the brown life. But at school, how do I blend in? How do I look not-so-obvious?” The saree, however, served as an escape to break free from the shackles of pretending.

When she first started, she received a lot of negative feedback from her family. They expressed their concerns about her showing too much, but she said, “Draping sarees blouseless was our culture. I love how empowered and comfortable I feel in my skin.”

So, now that she has experimented with the saree, her audience may think, ‘What next?’ Along with exploring androgynous drapes, Thasan says she would love to experiment further with a lehenga. 

Her Inspiration

When asked where she gets her inspiration from, she expressed that it comes from temple goddesses, religion, and history. 

She says boldly, “For me, inspiration is the grandmothers, the aunties, and somebody’s mom; they always come to impress. They always have a little detail or signature accessory that makes it unique, and they own it.”

With everyone jumping on the trend bandwagon, she has grown to admire her parents’ generation as well as the generation before with their steadfast stance on their style and taste.

What’s Next?

Bridging the gap between traditional and contemporary, she believes that by collaborating with bigger brands and celebrities, she would be able to reach out to the younger generation.

“A lot of times, our older generation doesn’t respect the younger generation in terms of expressing their vision and creative control. It seems as if they want to control everything,” she says.

As someone who dared to step out of her comfort and put herself out there, there’s sure a lot to learn from Thasan. “I’m not just serving the Indian community, I have a global audience and it’s such a beautiful thing for women across the board,” she says.

When asked about a piece of advice she has for upcoming artists who are still trying to find their calling and place on social media, Thasan advises staying true to oneself, to begin with. “Truly honour yourself, your artistic outlook, how you feel about yourself, and how you want to embrace yourself.” 

Also read, 5 Sari Looks By Rashmika Mandanna That Make Us Want To Raid Her Wardrobe

Beauty Intern

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