Fashion

Sari love

Shobha Deepak Singh

Shobha Deepak Singh  

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Shobha Deepak Singh on how she is keeping alive the rich heritage of saris, through 24th edition of “Vastra Shobha” highlighting silks, ikats, Patolas and Banarasi saris at Kendra Art Gallery, that opens for three days beginning October 24

For Shobha Deepak Singh, heritage textile collector, saris are heirlooms with memories attached to each. Over about three decades, the 76-year-old would go on her own to look at vintage saris. Soon antique sellers started selling Banarasis and Patolas to her. Singh is now all set to present the 24th edition of saris, some antique that she restores herself “Vastra Shobha”is an exhibition of silks, Ikats, Patolas and Banarasi saris, as well as a range of colourful dupattas and jamawar shawls. Excerpts from an interview

How did you develop an interest in saris?

While I working for my father’s company DCM (in the 1960s), I used to spend my money on good old saris. Those days, we did not have malls. Connaught Place used to be the favourite haunt of every shopper. When my daughter Pallavi Singh was about to get married, a woman antique seller came to my residence at Sardar Patel Marg. I bought from her a wide range of saris, some of them very old. When I had my first exhibition in Delhi, I realised that people have a craze for vintage saris. That is when the idea came about, to have something on a regular basis for Delhiites, who can choose between old and new variants. We do this event twice a year. Our next show is in the middle of January.

What will we get to see this time?

More than 100-year old saris, predominantly Banarasi, will be available. Some of them can even be bought by visitors. So, this event seeks to recreate interest in saris. In fact, the entire collection consists of exquisite items that people would like to see.

What is uniqueness of these saris?

The collection of saris includes the embroidered ones — The Parsi Gara which usually has a black background with multi-coloured embroidery and rich art work; the finely woven Banarasi silk saris decorated with intricate designs that usually have the emblem of the owner of the State in the middle or a lion on either side. Then there is the typical royal Patola in distinctive designs and styles mostly in yellow, red and green; and the vibrant South Indian saris with alluring patterns and unique designs. They are a mix of age-old tradition and modern trends. They been collected over the last 24 years and are in good condition.

Are you trying to re-create interest in old saris?

Saris are not being relegated to the back burner. On the contrary, there is a niche market for antique and heritage textiles. I acquire the best collection of antique textiles in Delhi

Kendra Art Gallery, Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, 1, Copernicus Marg.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 7:23:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fashion/sari-love/article29784700.ece

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