Secrets of the Sari Revealed at Costume Studies Event, May 2nd

Few styles of women’s dress are as enduring as the sari – the classic, unstitched garment worn by women in India for more than 2,000 years. On Saturday, May 2, one of the world’s foremost historians of the sari, Rta Kapur Chishti, will present “The Sari Project,” a lecture and workshop highlighting the versatility, comfort, beauty, and cultural significance of a truly unique garment that evokes tradition and embraces modernity.

“The Sari Project” will take place from 1-5 p.m. at the Einstein Auditorium at the Barney Building, 34 Stuyvesant Street, near 9th Street (subway: Astor Place, 6). The event, which will also feature journalist, art historian, and Indian cultural expert Louise Nicholson, is sponsored by the Craft Area of the Department of Art and Art Professions and the MA Program in Costume Studies at NYU Steinhardt.

“Saris constitute the very “fabric” of India, demonstrating the timelessness of the hand loom and the beauty of color as they ‘weave’ their way into daily routines surrounding kitchen and family,” said Judith Schwartz, PhD, Director of Sculpture in Craft Media: Clay, Glass, Metals, Fiber. “In my travels I was continuously impressed not only by the range of colors and patterns seen throughout the country, but also the skill of the women who routinely wear seven yards of un-fastened fabric with elegance and beauty and a seeming magical ease.”

Nancy Deihl, Director of the Costume Studies MA Program, added, “In addition to its importance in history, the sari is now seen by many young women as a viable – and very current – fashion option. It’s a personal statement that also implies tradition and cultural continuity.”

Rta Kapur Chishti is the co-author and editor of the ‘Saris of India’ and ‘Handcrafted Indian Textiles –Tradition and Beyond.’ She has been involved with research and development of handspun-handloomed textiles and is founder of the “Sari School” which produces saris and organizes workshops and private classes for those who wish to learn more about saris and how to make them more relevant to their lives today.

This event is open to the public. General admission is $20 and all students are admitted free. Seating is limited. Visit here to register for tickets.