An Evening with India’s Leading Fashion Designers
Join our Head of Curatorial Priya Khanchandani in conversation with India’s leading fashion designers Sanjay Garg, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Rajesh Pratap Singh as they explore the allure of India’s most ubiquitous and iconic garment – the sari.
In 1990, India Today reported that the sari had fallen out of fashion and was viewed by many younger people, as old-fashioned, contrived and uncomfortable. However, in the last decade, a new generation is growing bolder in exploring their identity through contemporary design and styles that are shaped on their own terms.
The sari, propelled by a new wave of Indian designers experimenting with unexpected materials, forms, and accessories, is proving to be the height of fashionable contemporary clothing.
In conversation with Design Museum Head of Curatorial Priya Khanchandani, a panel of India’s most distinguished fashion designers will share their unique perspectives on some complex issues wrapped up in the sari. Their discussion will encompass recollections of their earliest encounters with the sari, their muses, cultural appropriation, and their role in rethinking the design of the sari for a diverse global market.
Garg is a textile designer and founder of Raw Mango- a design house creating new conversations in textile and culture through a range of saris, garments and objects. Growing up in a village of Rajasthan, Garg's appreciation for aesthetics began with the sensibilities of rural India. He constantly engages with established rubric to imagine new possibilities. A vocal textile advocate, Garg’s designs have been exhibited at the MoMA and the V&A.
Khanchandani is a writer, curator and commentator based in London. She is the Head of Curatorial at the Design Museum and a Trustee of the Hepworth Wakefield. She has worked across arts institutions and design journalism for the past decade, following degrees from Cambridge University and the Royal College of Art and an earlier career as a lawyer.
Mukherjee is the founder and CEO of his studio Sabyasachi, India’s leading luxury design house. Mukherjee has redefined Indian fashion into a lifestyle firmly rooted in heritage, craftsmanship and authenticity. Patrons of the brand include celebrities, royals, intellectuals, and achievers. Mukherjee has helmed several initiatives, both non-profit and for-profit, including Save The Sari and Sabyasachi Art Foundation, working closely with artisans and artists on models of economic sustainability.
Singh is a fashion designer and creative director of the legacy brand Satya Paul. He was awarded the National Award in 2019 by the Government of India for “Outstanding contribution to Indian Fashion”. Singh’s Ajrak prints on linen as well as handloom weaves in Ikat are housed in the permanent textile and apparel archives of the V&A in London. He has undertaken costume designing for the French Opera “Padmavati by Albert Roussel”.
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A new exhibition celebrating the contemporary sari, bringing together the finest creations of our time from designers, wearers and craftspeople in India. Tickets on sale.
Learn how to style and wear a sari with confidence and discover how the modern sari has evolved and been transformed by a new generation.
Join us in examining how the sari endures as a site of design innovation, self-expression and creativity.
Join guides Andrew Mashigo and Lynn Cox for a special audio-described tour of the exhibition The Offbeat Sari, for blind and visually impaired visitors.
Join guide Edward Richards for a special tour of the exhibition The Offbeat Sari, delivered in British Sign Language suitable for Deaf and hard of hearing visitors.
Background image: Photograph of Folia Sari from the 'Other' Collection, 2021. Raw Mango. Photo Shubham Lodha.
Sanjay Garg’s Image: Amlanjyoti Bora for Raw Mango