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'Don't abandon the sari for jeans'

'Don't abandon the sari for jeans'

Publication: Sify.com
Date: April 2, 2009
URL: http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=14877712

Making a forceful plea for retaining the pre-eminent position of the sari in the Indian woman's wardrobe, noted fashion journalist Suzy Menkes on Wednesday rued it was increasingly giving way to blue jeans.

"The sari is such a beautiful garment. Why are young Indian women abandoning it for blue jeans, even if they are branded jeans?" she wondered while speaking at the inaugural session of the International Herald Tribune Sustainable Luxury Summit here.

According to Menkes, the sari "is a fine example of the enduring power of a piece of cloth. Young Indian women may have started to abandon the country's national emblem in favour of western clothes or have given the sculpted 'cocktail' sari the thumbs up for nuptial celebrations".

"But, at its most tranquil and beautiful, the sari is an object of desire that is nurtured and passed on to the next generation. It has an image that any luxury company would long for," Menkes added.

The session on "Sustainable Luxury: Surviving Turbulent Times and Putting Green On The Agenda" also saw Menkes waxing eloquent on India's richness and inspirational qualities.

"India is such a fascinating country. It is so inspiring because fashion is a way of life here," she maintained. She also sounded a reality check, given the global meltdown, warning that the era of "greedy consumers" was over.

"One can no longer afford to be greedy consumers. One has to be more responsible," she maintained. "For the forward looking in the industry, ethics is the new elegance, and doing things right carries more weight than doing things fast," Menkes added.

Speaking at the session on "Deep Luxury", Christian Blanckaert, executive vice president of international fashion brand Hermes, said that sustainability and responsibility were the new buzz words in an era of global recession and the key to success lay in innovation.

"Luxury is not just sustainable but responsible also. Luxury for me means to bring craftsmen from different countries together and then to exchange ideas and to observe to bring out the creativity they have," he contended.

"The key to success for any fashion brand is to innovate and create something new. And for this, we have to find ways generate new designs so that the customers also understands what we are doing," he added. According to Blanckaert, luxury "should be a chance given to everyone, rich or not rich and deeper luxury should not be expensive".

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