The Timeless Drape
By : | February 8, 2014

These days, no art or craft exhibition across India is complete without the presence of sari weavers and artisans, who sell their beautifully weaved pieces of art to increasingly enthusiastic buyers. On fashion ramps and at sophisticated soirees, the sari stands out as the biggest differentiator in a sea of crowd where women are dressed in Little Black Dresses. Haute couture designers like Tarun Tahiliani and Gaurv Gupta have turned sari into a new-age fashionable tog with their sequined and gown saris.

The book, ‘The Whole Nine Yards’, on the art of draping a sari, then, comes at the right time. It is written by Kalpana Shah, the woman known for her amazing drapes, who has taught a generation of brides, fashion models and women wanting to make an impression, on the right way to drape a sari so that it looks beautifully elegant. She takes you through several sari drapes – from the more traditional to the ones with a twist on traditional and the completely modern (think gown saris).


The Whole Nine Yards has been exquisitely designed and caters, as the release says “to the aesthetic needs as well as functional requirements of the sari enthusiasts”, using precise instructions to photographs that illustrate the many steps that go into draping a sari.

Photographed in beautiful locations, the book offers a variety of styles that are suited to different occasions and events – parties, weddings and even corporate events.

But the book is much more than a DIY step-by-step guide. Features such as the history of the sari, frequently asked questions, and a comprehensive glossary makes it a collector’s item. Besides the basic style, the book details many forms of draping a sari, including the Corporate Style, Square Pallu, the Gujarati Style, Open Pallu, Retro Style, and the Bengali Style.


“I want women to know and experiment with different ways of draping a sari, but I can’t personally guide every one of them,” says Shah. “I don’t want this wonderful art to be restricted to a few.

This is my humble effort to take this craft onto the world stage.”