A South Asian woman has stunned TikTok with footage of her putting on a saree for the very first time.
Anastasia Stani (@stasi.stani), a Sri Lankan Australian model based in Melbourne, took to the video-sharing platform to serve some looks in a gorgeous, purple iridescent saree.
“Can’t believe I’m South Asian and this is my first time wearing a saree,” Stani writes while modeling the look to a rendition of “Die For You” by The Weeknd featuring Ariana Grande. For accessories, Anastasia opted for a silver set that consisted of a layered necklace, earrings and bangles.
In a follow-up video, Stani shows off the mini photoshoot she did in her saree.
“The pics in this saree!!!!” reads the text.
“Oh my gosh this colour and fabric on you”
As expected, both of Stani’s videos garnered a ton of praise from commenters.
“aweeee first sareee!!! CANT WAIT TO SEE MORE,” @natashathasan said.
“celestial angel,” @ihateunowgtfo replied.
“Oh my gosh this colour and fabric on you,” @samarajosephine praised.
“YESSSS we need more ethnic fits,” @sumana.xo wrote.
“omg u need to wear them more girl,” @harman.naru commented, to which Stani responded, “I’m actually obsessed!!! Starting a collection of them hehe”
Saris, which are also referred to as sarees, are garments with a long, embedded history in South Asian culture. The word “sari” is derived from Sanskrit and means “a strip of cloth.” With the average sari measuring about 3.5 to 9 yards in length, a celebrated aspect of the single, unstitched piece of fabric is the way in which it allows for interpretation. In other words, a sari is highly versatile, and with more than one hundred methods of draping, wearers can essentially manipulate the fabric however they choose.
In fact, Toronto-based creator Natasha Thasan (@natashathasan), who commented on Anastasia’s video, offers what she’s dubbed “drape therapy.” She’s garnered attention for her efficient and ethereal methods for draping sarees in ways that celebrate wearers’ bodies while also encouraging others to consider sarees as garments that can be worn regularly — not just for special occasions.
“So many people say there is one way to carry and wear a saree, but there’s really not. A saree speaks to so many people around the world in different ways, and we shouldn’t have to feel that there’s only one way to wear it that’s appropriate,” Thasan told Narcity.
“It’s a lot of handwork,” Thasan added. “A lot of hand tension learning how to get that muscle memory in your hand, and a lot of the time, Brown girls who drape are used to ridicule or a certain standard, so for them to do it on themselves can be really stressful.”
“I look at them as a 5.5-meter long canvas that I can use to create a piece of art that tells a story,” saree designer Ayush Kejriwal told Teen Vogue. “Saris don’t discriminate; irrespective of your body shape or size, the size of the saree always remains the same.”
Anastasia is among other South Asian creators who’ve documented their first-ever saree try-on on the digital platform. What she shares with them, as exemplified in these videos, is the pride and confidence they radiate while draped in these elegant fabrics. We love how these women are taking the opportunity to revel in the beauty of the saree, along with its rich, culturally relevant history.
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