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Have you met the Saari Girl?

SAMAA | - Posted: May 6, 2020 | Last Updated: 3 weeks ago
Posted: May 6, 2020 | Last Updated: 3 weeks ago
Have you met the Saari Girl?

Photo: Courtesy The Saari Girl

There’s a 23-year-old anthropology student on Instagram who is passionate about saaris and wants other Pakistani women to feel comfortable in nine yards of beautifully spun cloth.“They are an inherent part of our sub-continental heritage, and it’s time we owned up to it,” said Aiza of The Saari Girl. 

According to Aiza, the aim the page was to normalise wearing saaris in our society as we once did. “The idea is to provide affordable, casual and formal saaris to women. I keep prices very low, and also support a number of charity initiatives with proceeds,” she said. “As a rule, I have fixed 5% of sales to be donated.”

For Aiza, a saari isn’t just a piece of cloth but a means of expression. “To me, it’s not just a dress but a whole persona…and we should all be able to express ourselves as we wish, however that may be,” she told SAMAA Digital. “I am fond of saaris myself, there were many others around me on the lookout for trendy and affordable everyday saaris. With the encouragement of friends and family, I found the confidence to start this and haven’t been happier.”

Attention to detail, Aiza said, is crucial in any dress, “especially when wearing a saari”. Many women are wary of the saari because they are unable to pleat it or are unsure of how long or short a pallu should be or what the shoe situation should look like beneath the saari.

“Facial expression and body language make or break the game. The more at home you are, the better you will feel and look in a saari,” she explained. “In these cases, many girls turn to their mothers and grandmothers for assistance, often calling upon their age old expertise with saaris. I did too.”
Her favourite draping style is pleated because “if well done, nothing looks more elegant”.

Aiza, a graduate from the Lahore University of Management Sciences, procures the saaris herself from different markets to give her clients a good mix. “Catering to a diverse audience automatically calls for a diverse range of available articles. I personally like variety and hence offer it to my clients,” she shared.

She added that she had a soft spot for pink, sea green and yellow saaris.

“The work has been exceptionally rewarding. Initially, I began the page so I could update it from time to time. It was supposed to be a side hobby of sorts, not so much a regular business venture,” she said. “I’ve been lucky to receive overwhelming love from my clients, many of whom I call my friends now. The work has grown on me. I’ve formed a social responsibility chain to it, and enjoy it tremendously.”

The Saari Girl is currently working at a research firm in Lahore and hopes to go to grad school later this year. Her one wish is to continue offering affordable saaris to normalise the trend, while also giving back socially consistently.

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