Shopping: Sakhi opens a small store in Sadashivnagar and launches its new crossover sari as an incentive to visit.

The sari transforms itself into various things in the hands of Chandra and Neeta Rajendran, the mother-daughter duo that form Sakhi Fashions. The Crossover Sari is their latest offering — where they’ve combined the drape of a lehenga with a less bulkier pallu.

The new collection marks the launch of Sakhi by Chandras’ third store in Bangalore. Tucked away in a quiet leafy corner of Sadashivnagar, on the banks of the Sankey Tank, and sharing space with the famous Tarangini block printing studio, is this small store.

The Rajendrans decided to open this store for fans of their creations in North Bangalore, who find their Indiranagar and Jayanagar stores too far off to go shopping to. “Also, it was in Malleswaram that I first started making my creations, so I had to come back here,” smiles Chandra, wearing one unbelievable cream and maroon crossover sari trimmed with a Kalamkari frill!

In some of these crossover saris, like the one Chandra wore, they’ve added frills at the bottom of the pleats to add volume and bounce to the sari. And then instead of the traditional pallu, it’s got a dupatta-like pallu — the width of the pallu alone is that of a dupatta, making it less bulky and therefore easier to handle. “We experimented quite a bit to arrive at this design,” says Neeta, dressed to kill in a teal blue and hot pink sari.

Then there’s the Anarkali range with its old world charm (it sort of reminded me of Mumtaz from Hindi films of the late-60s and early-70s). The kalis or panels are pre-stitched so you don’t even need to pleat the sari! And at the end of it all it offers the fish-tail gown look. “We keep reinventing the look of the sari because, after all, most people these days prefer the sari as occasional wear, rather than everyday wear,” says Chandra.

The other Sakhi specials are at the store too — their sheer and brocade range, as well as the half-n-half sari. “We’re also trying to stress on our online store sakhifashions.com. So sometimes we take orders on that, and for people rushing to the airport, this store becomes a stopover to pick up their readied sari on their way to catch their flight,” says the smart businesswoman in CEO Neeta.

Also on offer are Kanchivaram silks with specially designed colour palettes, hand-block print saris, designer cutwork saris, readymade blouses that you can mix and match with your grand Kanchivarams. Of course, salwar kameez sets can’t be far behind. There are also accessories that range from earthy terracotta, to silk bangles, Jaipur semi-precious bead jewellery, clutches and potlis, Benarasi brocade footwear — basically all you would need to complete the look of the sari for an occasion.

The Crossover range is priced Rs. 7,000 to 15,000, Kanchivaram silks from Rs. 10,000 to 25,000, designer cut work saris from Rs. 6,000 to 35,000, and accessories from Rs. 200 to Rs. 10,000. Ready made dress sets come in the range of Rs. 950 to 5950.

The store is at Tarangini, 12 cross, Sadashivnagar (Aramane Nagar), in the lane opposite the Sadashivnagar Police Station. It’s open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. six days a week, and is closed on Sundays. Call 65703377.