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Karuna John
7 Aug 2016 . 3 min read

Whose Bright Idea Was The Saree Blazer Look For The Olympic Ceremony?


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Saree blazer = an outfit that can confuse the hell out of many.  

It sure must have made the lakhs of Indians -- an overly optimistic guesstimate -- who watched the indian contingent march behind abhinav Bindra as he carried the national flag. There was an athlete who stood out with her golden tresses in the group of ebony over a 100 ebony haired ones, Badminton star Jwala Gutta carried her blazer on her arm. Much like some of the delhi bike riders who wear their helmets on their wrists! However while the bike riders are being plain stupid, the athlete was perhaps making a point on how a blazer and saree were not the best sartorial choice for the most important global sporting event.

What do we normally want anyone who represents india abroad to wear, yep, it’s mostly a saree for women, a formal bandhgala jacket and trousers for men. Not exactly the true representation of a country with diverse clothing styles, , but still chelaga, it is accepted without much controversy. The problem arises when we try add ‘fusion’ to the game. Think jackets over dhoties, or lehangas with boots, or sherwanis with shorts! Funky looks cool on an experimental fashion ramp, not as a representation of a nation!

Seriously, it was a ridiculous sight to see the women athletes march at Rio, wearing heavy buttoned jackets over their sarees. No one could tell if it really was ombre, or if it was chanderi, or chiffon or whatever. The women athletes did not exactly look thrilled to be wearing the combo either.

No wonder the internet lashed out at what As Buzzfeed post noted, ‘A lot of people expressed displeasure at this choice of outfit.’ And, according to this report by the Indian express: the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chose the blazer to  “shield the athletes from the ‘cold’ weather in Rio,” Rio is tropical, even in the official ‘winter’ season right now, the temperatures will hover above 25 degree celsius.  The obvious blazer reason is that the IOA needed to put the official crest somewhere. But  then a creative designer could have found a way to do that on a saree blouse or border or pallu. There was six yards of fabric real estate!

However, the fittest women athletes representing India have more creativity and mental strength and must have tucked the blazers back in the closet by now. Team India is there for a bigger purpose, and is aiming for a few golds. That will be the best accessory of all, by the time the closing ceremony rolls in.   

image not our own


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Karuna John
Woman. Pan Indian. Alive. Aware. Arisen. Learns one new thing every day. Fixes bigots. Journalist. Word Curator. Storyteller. http://www.sheroes.in

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