Exhibition The Offbeat Sari

Unmissable highlights from #TheOffbeatSari

The Offbeat Sari exhibition brings together examples of trailblazing saris from designers, wearers and craftspeople in India. Explore the 9 unmissable saris presented among other very special designs you can't miss!

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Gold Sculpted Wave Steel Sari by Rimzim Dadu

An unusual pairing of cold hard metal and fluid silk, this handcrafted sari comprises a futuristic wave of molten gold, elegantly draped across the body. 


MET Gala Sari and Bustier encircled by rings of Saturn by Sabyasachi x Schiaparelli

This show stopping ensemble by Sabyasachi and Schiaparelli, belonging to Natasha Poonawalla, marked the first time a sari had ever been worn at New York’s celebrated Met Gala.  


Shimma Sari by NorBlack NorWhite

The Y2K-infused aesthetic of NBNW remixes a contemporary globalised perspective. The Shimma Sari, a maximalist reinterpretation of Bollywood glamour, has been worn by influencers and celebrities alike.


X-ray Sequinned Sari by Abraham & Thakore

Get to know how these designers’ recent experiments with X-ray film from hospital waste, cut into sequins, adorn a sari imaginatively made from recycled PET bottles.


The Metanoia Saree by Amit Aggarwal

Explore textiles at their most experimental in this pre-draped sari made from synthetic polymers, with shapes inspired by amoebic forms.


Portrait: Manju by Bharti Kher

Draped on a cast-concrete plinth, this heavily lacquered sari is not intended to be worn and instead creates a portrait of an absent body. The sculpture recalls the artist’s childhood: her father worked in textiles and her mother was a dressmaker with a fabric shop.  


Seaweed Zari Sari by Anavila Misra

Reflections of iridescent light and textures evoke the organic nature of seaweed shimmering in crystal waters in this beautifully hand-crafted linen and metallic sari.


Guler Sari by Raw Mango

Raw Mango invested heavily in reinterpreting heritage textiles through generating renewed excitement for hand-woven saris in bold colours. This one is woven from blue silk and adorned with silver floral butahs.


Pink sari owned by Sampat Pal Devi of The Gulabi Gang

(gulabi meaning pink), a social justice group established in 2006 to oppose domestic violence in rural north India.

The exhibition

The Offbeat Sari

Curated by Priya Khanchandani, this exhibition will unravel the sari as a metaphor for the complex definitions of India today.

Exhibition photography ©Andy Stagg for the Design Museum.