Satya Paul, the Indian fashion designer who invented the modern sari, has passed away at the age of 79. Her son, Puneet Nanda, said in a Facebook posts that the designer had suffered a stroke in early December are yet to recover.
Paul revolutionized the idea of saris for Indian women, transcending a utilitarian ethos. He uses experimental touches such as geometric patterns, and such unexpected fabrics also and tussar silk, chiffon and crepe, to revitalize the silhouette.
Paul also pioneered the “trouser sari” – the touchstone of modern independence for Indian women and a sharp departure from traditional styles Banarasi sari.
“I’ve always thought of him as an artist,” designer Kaushik Velendra said the Guardian. He works with color like a painter.
Paul was born in 1942 in Layyah, in what is now Pakistan, before his family moved to India. “My family was uprooted from Pakistan and landed in India with nothing in hand,” he said Indian DNA magazine. He began his career in retail, before moving into the niche Indian heritage market which he exported to Europe and the US.
With no formal design training, he launched his first sari boutique, L’Affaire, in 1980. “I had to teach myself about design and quality, because I wasn’t satisfied with just trading,” he told DNA. India.
In 1986 he started his eponymous label. Worn by Indian celebrities such as Aishwarya Rai, Mandira Bedi, Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor and Vidya Balan, it has become one of the most famous fashion brands in the country. “Design is like a river to me,” he told Indian DNA. “It’s continuous.”
The label diversified into other products including ties – which became known as saris – and dresses, bags, scarves and kaftans.
In essence, the Satya Paul brand is about “making people feel better about themselves by wearing their clothes. That’s the best way he represents what India stands for, “said Velendra.
Paul and son Nanda, who partnered with him, left the company in 2010.
Designer Osman Yousefzada told the Guardian: “Growing up in Birmingham in the 90’s, there was [a] the sari emporium on Stratford Road which is the mecca of the sari. It was selling Satya Paul and wealthy immigrants to go and try on their beautiful fabrics in their new gray homeland. Her use of colors and fabrics has always inspired me. “
Post on Instagram, designer Masaba Gupta highlighting the importance of Paul’s legacy, writing that the designer is “a living example of a true (domestically-grown) brand: put it in the hands of the company at the right time and one that has a signature that will stand the test of time. Fashion school – introduce young Indian design candidates for this brand in schools and various other local brands. We can be inspired by the Chanel story… but we have to learn what happened in our land first. “
Velendra said Paul has changed fashion in India by putting his stamp on everything he designs, no matter how big or small. “[Paul’s] “Personal involvement in everything is a benchmark followed by many other designers,” he said. “Even if it’s commercial, even if it’s wasteful, it’s personal. In that context, he created an example of how we all should work. It is something that will never be forgotten. “