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Thursday October 31, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday October 31, 2013 MYT 11:22:20 AM
by vijenthi nair
Skilful: Sanmuga Selvi (left) showing how to drape a saree on Saathana Arumugam at the former’s FKJ boutique in Amcorp Mall.
DRAPING a saree can be tricky even for Indian women.
The six-metre-long fabric may look intimidating but the art of wearing it can be mastered with the right techniques.
Swans Wedding founder Sanmuga Selvi Rajagopal said a woman needs to feel comfortable and confident in a saree to carry it off well.
“Some go for readymade sarees, which are pre-stitched with pleats and easily secured with hooks.
“However, tying your own saree is always a better option. Once you know the technique it is quite easy.
“My advice is to buy a saree only if you really like it. You want to look good and feel confident in what you are wearing,” she said.
These days, even non-Indians are wearing sarees, including senior operations manager of a medical company Avelyn Chua, 39.
Chua fell in love with the garment in 2011 when she was looking for an outfit for her company’s Bollywood-themed annual dinner.
“I went to a boutique near my office to buy a saree and was amazed with the beauty of the fabric.
“I was surprised at how comfortable it was to wear. I have yet to master the art of tying the saree, so I always get someone to do it for me,” she said.
Chua now owns more than 10 sarees and has even bought the material to be used for other outfits.
“I have tried converting two saree materials into a dress, cheongsam and Punjabi suit. When I wore them, everybody noticed what I was wearing and asked me about them because they looked exclusive,” she said.
For restaurateur Nik Izni Rahim, 27, her interest in the saree was sparked by her hostel’s warden.
“She gave some of her sarees to my friends and I as a farewell gift before our graduation.
“Wearing a saree is an experience in itself. I find draping it a little difficult.
“The readymade version did not look as nice so I tried learning the art of draping the saree from a YouTube video and took two hours to do it successfully.
“Now, I can tie the saree in 45 minutes. Sometimes, I get it done at an Indian beauty parlour. It is always worth the effort to wear a saree because everyone talks about it during events.”
However, Nik Izni said sarees were expensive in Malaysia and that she had managed to buy more affordable pieces in India.
“The last time I wore a saree was during the Malaysia Day celebration in Jalan Bangkung. Everyone loved it.
“I still have a grand two-toned red saree that I am hoping to wear at an appropriate time.
She also has 10 Punjabi suits which she finds more practical for daily use.
“I think more people should explore the diverse fashion options in a multicultural country like Malaysia,’’ Nik Izni added.
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Community, Central Region, saree, draping
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