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Old is Gold 5 Ways to Reuse Heirloom Sarees

Varun Gandhi’s bride Yamini Roy wore a beautiful heirloom creation for her wedding. Her mum-in-law Maneka Gandhi wore a gulabi khadi saree, which was handwoven by late Jawaharlal Nehru. It’s a special feeling when you wear the family’s most sentimental sarees on special occasions. While revivalist designers are gaining popularity, some brides like the Do-It-Yourself approach in figuring out how to add a contemporary touch to priceless memories. Bridal Designer/Stylist Soojata Kothari tells you how you can reinvent the Patolas or Paithanis, Ashavallis or Ikats, Benarasis or Kanjeevarams in 5 new imaginative ways.

“Most heirloom sarees are heavy, and you can wear it as it is, pair it with something more contemporary and flowy or use parts of it as home or fashion accessories. When clients come to me with their heirloom sarees, sometimes the whole saree is perfect, or usually the border is perfect and saree stained, or the centre is fine, and the borders worn-out. So my recommendations depend on the condition of the border or the saree”

1. Colourful & Contemporary Ensemble
If the saree is in perfect condition, pick a crushed silk flowy lehenga, and drape the colourful stiff saree like a dupatta or odhni. Team it with a halter or full-sleeve blouse depending on your body shape, and you have a colourful & contemporary ensemble.

2. Classic Sherwani
If only the border is fine, use it alongwith parts of the saree to create a Sherwani. Wear it with a churidar, and plain crushed silk or net dupatta (chiffon and georgette would be mismatched with heavy sarees) for a classic look.

3. Fun Jholas.
If you have limited fabric, make a Jhola bag. Team it with a trendy silk kurta and your mom’s jewellery for a fun look.

4. Big & Beautiful Batwas.
Again if you have less fabric create a big & beautiful batwa to wear with your lehenga choli. You can even use the fabric to make comfortable mojris. And if you’re wondering which designer will make mojris and batwas with your family’s old fabrics, here’s my advice. Don’t waste time going to big designers or stores. There are many small shoe/ bag shops in places like Linking Road who are highly versatile and more creative than anyone else.

5. Style your Home
Make those heirlooms a part of your Home. Frame them on your wall or use the soft-feel sarees as bed spreads. Or use parts of the fabric as cushion covers.

If you’d like Soojata Kothari’s help with wedding shopping or briefing stores/ shops on how to best use your priceless fabrics, call her on 9820072979. Soojata’s Personal Shopping services are priced at Rs 5,000 plus depending on the number of hours you spend/ places you visit.

Shruti Sharma