Banarasi silk sarees are Mughal inspired and handwoven by Muslim artisans in the city of Varanasi also known as Banaras. Silk was earlier imported from China but now the Chinese and Japanese silk is replaced by silk in the Banaras market. The government is taking a take in saying that they are trying to create innovative ways in which weaving could get easier and a few top designers have a say, saying that they wish to set up factories in Varanasi in effort to bring back the lost glory of banarasi silk saree which in the name of modernism is lost somewhere.
Top designers have made sure of keeping the essence of royalty and elegance of banarasi silk saree to be intact. Here are some of the top designers working to reinvent the banarasi:
- Raw Mango
Sanjeev Garg’s Raw Mango is a hot favorite of celebrities like Vidya Balan, who you can often find wearing banarasi sarees from the brand. Raw Mango keeps things simple without losing the magical, regal touch of the ancient art of banarasi weaving. Truly, his sarees are so breathtaking, it’s hard to your eyes off them!
Everyone has seen the stunning red banarasi saree Anushka Sharma wore at her wedding. Sabyasachi is the man to give credit to and he is rather happy about the attention the gorgeous saree received: "Bollywood can play a major role in spreading awareness about Indian textiles and handlooms. And I must say the occasion couldn’t be better. I know copies of this saree will flood the entire country in the next few months to come, which also means that a million weaver’s children will be back at school."
- Anita Dongre
Truly the queen of the avant-garde, Ania Dongre has used handlooms in her designs since she launched her eco-friendly and socially responsible brand Grassroots. With banarasi, she showed a brilliant collection for Spring/Summer 2019 that still has our jaw on the floor.
Famous for its exceptional renditions of classical Banarasi weaves, Ekaya’s purpose is to re-form the cottage manufacturing in Banaras and transform them into high-functioning ateliers, centered on producing the most exceptional handwoven designs. The design label focuses on both keeping weavers in Varanasi employed and creating stunning works of art.
For Akshita and Aanchal Sagar, their label Ohfab appeared as an excuse to get closer to their roots. When they were studying and working abroad, a sudden trip to Varanasi exposed them to the deplorable state of the weaving industry. Love and patriotism resulted in the launch of Ohfab. Their recent offering bridges the gap between tradition and contemporary tastes combining traditional Banarasis with Bengal’s dhakai-jamdani, and sarees with old-school Banarasi borders.
At Shoonya, we too are trying the same: reinvent the banarasi so it can reach a wider audience. We want every Indian woman to fall in love with this art and we want the weavers to flourish as well. So visit us now to take a look at the exquisite offerings we have for you!