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Design Museum to place focus on the sari in 2023

By Danielle Wightman-Stone



Image: Design Museum

The Design Museum in London has announced an exhibition dedicated to the wrap-around garment, the sari, next year.

‘The Offbeat Sari’ exhibition will run from May 19 to September 17, 2023, celebrating what the museum calls the “radical reinvention of India’s traditional sari.” It will feature dozens of the finest saris of our time from designers, wearers and craftspeople in India and highlight how designers have been experimenting with hybrid forms such as sari gowns and dresses, pre-stitched saris and innovative materials such as steel.

Curated by the Design Museum’s Priya Khanchandani, the exhibition will unravel the sari’s numerous forms, “demonstrating the sari to be a metaphor for the layered and complex definitions of India today,” explains the Design Museum.

It will showcase how the sari in urban India manifests as a site for design innovation, an expression of identity, and a crafted object carrying layers of cultural meanings.

The exhibit will also share how young people, who used to associate the sari with ‘dressing up,’ can now be found wearing saris and sneakers on their commutes to work. As well as the fact they are wearing the sari as “an expression of resistance to social norms and activists are embodying it as an object of protest”.

‘The Offbeat Sari’ exhibition will open in May 2023 at the Design Museum in London.

Design Museum