About this project
WHO WE ARE
Founded in 2010, Border&Fall is a digital publication and creative agency working at the intersection of fashion and craft, focused on India’s evolving design language. As an independent voice, we report on innovation in both sectors through compelling interviews, articles and visual documentation. We work with some of India’s most exciting designers and specialize in business development across branding, digital, retail and creative direction.
A project like this needs to marry technology and creative direction - and it’s what our team loves doing most. Want to know more? Check out our website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts for more information about our work and this exciting project.
Perhaps the most versatile garment in the world, the sari is an incredible design contribution from India. Its drape is referenced the world over and worn by millions of women on a daily basis. What can be worn in 100 different ways has overwhelmingly been whittled down to one recognised style of draping, known as the Nivi drape (shown below):
Through film, Border&Fall will document the varied sari drapes of India and the genius of the garment's design in two distinct ways:
Create the first ever comprehensive digital library of every sari drape through 84 clear, short and attractive 'how-to' drape films and collaborate with three prominent filmmakers - Bon Duke, Pooja Kaul and Q - who will each create a short indie film on the sari’s importance and relevance.
These videos will be available free of charge, across Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and their own digital site.
WHY 84 DRAPES?
A little over 100 drapes have been documented but we’ve removed the ones that have the slightest of variations and will account for those variations within the 84 films.
WHY AREN’T MORE WOMEN WEARING THE SARI?
For us at Border&Fall, our point of view is that we have taken a living and breathing garment - one meant for adaptation - and largely narrowed its scope to one dimension. Most people perceive the Nivi drape as the only way to wear a sari and more importantly, have no easy access to learn the other drapes.
Therefore, we are left with a garment that is often perceived as traditional, old fashioned and with little room to experiment. Not only is this simply not true of the sari, but this perception puts the garment at risk: future generations will not want to wear it, and in many larger cities, they have already started relegating it to occasion wear.
The sari was designed to adapt. In fact, it didn’t even have a blouse or petticoat until a few 100 years ago!
SO, THE REAL QUESTION IS: WHAT DOES A SARI LOOK LIKE ON A WOMAN TODAY?
This is the intention of our project: To look forward by documenting the past, and contribute to a much needed perception shift of the garment.
Border&Fall conducted a survey to better understand social and cultural perceptions towards the sari today. Participants included over 50 men and 50 women based in India, between the ages of 16 and 45 from a cross-section of socioeconomic backgrounds across urban cities (Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi).
Though a small sample size, insights seem to correlate with many shared notions within this sample group. For example – ‘grace’ and ‘beauty’ are words most associated with the sari, though it’s worn only occasionally and many don’t know how to drape it, nor how many drapes exist. Here are some of our findings:
WHY THE SARI (& THIS PROJECT) MATTERS
For over 5,000 years, the sari has united men and women through dress across the cultures of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal: from North to South, rural to urban, labor to leisure and young to old. It has supported and sustained the livelihoods of weavers who represent many of the world’s greatest master craftsmen. The sari is steeped in connectivity: from storytelling and identity, family and community, to environment and workplace.
Says Anita Lal, founder of India's most loved design store, Good Earth: “Along with countless generations and millions of women, I have loved and enjoyed draping saris of so many different regions, weaves and colours and have passed a lot of the saris and the love for it on to my daughters. Border&Fall deserves applause and our thanks for valiantly keeping alive sari conversations.”
Want to know even more about why this project matters so much to us at Border&Fall? Read our article: "Why 'the Sari?'".
WHO ARE THE FILMMAKERS?
We consciously approached these three diverse filmmakers for this project to explore the sari through multiple perspectives. Bon Duke brings a distinct fashion-forward and urban vibe; Q (Kaushik Mukherjee), a provocative vision and lens on Indian culture; and Pooja Kaul her intimate and sensitive storytelling. To learn more about our team, please scroll down to read their bios.
Q, Filmmaker: “I am thrilled to work with Border&Fall to produce a short film about one of the most complex subjects that I have ever worked on. I am a lover of the sari, and the fact that Border&Fall is taking this initiative is very exciting, as well as reassuring. The sari is one of the greatest art forms that exists in the subcontinent, and precious little work has been done to document and understand it. I am looking forward to the sari movement.” To watch trailers for Q's critically acclaimed films, click here: Gandu and Tasher Desh.
Pooja Kaul, Filmmaker: "I think the sari project is about memory and the future, so it is tremendously exciting. The texture of memory has always interested me, and forms part of all my work, how it lives with us in the present, and the sari physically embodies that thought perfectly. We have memories of our mothers and grandmothers wearing their saris in the morning, of lying under our mother’s pallu, and now we have the challenge of taking it into the future, of re-imagining it, of maybe even loosening it from the ties of memory. There is a sense of a battle for the sari, which makes the project important." To watch Pooja's award-winning films, click here: Rasikan Re and Winter Trail.
Bon Duke, Filmmaker: "I’m really interested in showing the youth, culture and creative work coming out of India and the forces - fashion, music, writing - behind all this amazing work. At the same time, I want to respect the subject by not implementing my own perceptions of what I know about India. The balance is going to be in creating something that is appealing to India itself - which means avoiding cliches that are common there - but which feels inclusive to the rest of the world." To get a sense of Bon's aesthetic and past work - take a peek at his reel below:
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
We’re hoping to give everyone who feels connected to the sari the opportunity to support this project, and to participate in a documentation of the sari’s past and the growing consciousness of its relevance in the future.
We’re looking to the Kickstarter community to help us raise $45,000 Canadian dollars, (the equivalent of $35,000 US dollars) which represents a portion of our total project budget of $200,000 Canadian dollars.
We are incredibly fortunate to have a pledge to match all funds raised on Kickstarter 1 for 1 - which means if we raise $45,000 Canadian dollars on Kickstarter we raise $90,000 in total! Kickstarter is all or nothing – if we don't raise our goal, we don’t raise anything.
Remember - sharing the link with your family and friends does a world of difference in getting more people to contribute!
HOW WE’LL USE THE FUNDS
$45,000 Canadian dollars will fund the hard costs of production needed to get this project off the ground including covering the costs associated with renting the studio/production team in Mumbai to film the 84 how-to drape films. It also includes booking plane tickets and accommodations for Bon and his team who are coming from New York City to Mumbai this January 2017.
MEET THE TEAM
Malika Verma Kashyap, Border&Fall Founder: Malika has wanted to bring this film series to life for as long as she can remember. She moved to India from Montreal a decade ago with extensive experience in fashion brand management, communication and business development and founded Border&Fall in 2010.
Julia FG Smith, Border&Fall Special Projects: Unfulfilled after nearly a decade in social services, Julia sought the opportunity to devote her project management experience to a creative and cultural endeavor. Her appreciation for India's rich textile heritage makes this project a perfect fit.
Rta Kapur Chishti, Sari Advisor: Rta is India’s leading authority on the sari and a recognized textile scholar, co-author and editor of ‘Saris: Tradition and Beyond’ as well as ‘Handcrafted Indian Textiles’.
Bon Duke, Filmmaker: Born and raised in New York City, Bon has shot campaigns and films for Prabal Gurung, Zac Posen and Chloe. His films have been featured on Nowness and he shoots regularly for the New York Times Magazine.
Pooja Kaul, Filmmaker: Pooja is a writer and director who explores urban Indian life, forging connections between the past and present. She has trained at the National Film & Television School, Beaconsfield, UK, and at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Her films Rasikan Re (2003) and Winter Trail (2002) have won awards at festivals worldwide and she is currently working on ‘The Umesh Chronicles’, her first full-length feature.
Q (Kaushik Mukherjee), Filmmaker: Born and raised in Kolkata, Q’s career began in advertising, directing award winning ad films. He then founded ODDJOINT, a progressive art house and his films have shown at festivals in Berlin, London, Helsinki and Rome among others. His film Gandu is a cult classic that remains the most downloaded film in the country.
Rashmi Varma, Designer: Born in Montreal and currently residing in New Delhi, Rashmi has worked in fashion, film and theatre. She has costume designed for notable directors, such as Deepa Mehta, and exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art. She recently co-authored 'SAR: The Essence of Indian Design' published by Phaidon Press.
Deep Kailey, Creative Director: Deep is the former Fashion Director of Tatler (UK) and London-based Fashion Editor of Vogue India. Prior engagements include the path-breaking publication Dazed & Confused and special projects for Comme des Garçons, Roksanda Ilincic and Kim Jones.
Thank you to everyone below for making this campaign possible!
Kickstarter campaign sari illustrations: Manuja Singh Waldia of Waldia & Co.
Kickstarter Film Production: Quite Frankly Productions
Kickstarter Image / Film Credits: Aish; Amba Weaves; Anavila; Bindaas Unlimited; Fiona Caulfield; Rta Kapur Chishti; Rimzim Dadu; Devika Daulet-Singh; Riddhi Desai of Tinyfarm; Jennifer DSouza; Bon Duke; Eka; Fatherland; Shovan Gandhi; Nimish Jain; Jaypore; Pooja Kaul; Kanya; Vir Kashyap; Rawky Ksh; Shweta Malhotra; Raw Mango; Manou of Wearabout; Dwaipayan Mazumdar; Rahul Mishra; Ogaan; Q; Georg Rulffes; Meera Sethi; Smallshop; Swati & Sunaina; Bandana Tewari; Two New York; Ritesh Uttamchandani; Rashmi Varma and Vimor.
Kickstarter Public Relations: Very Truly Yours
Risks and challenges
Our ask of $45,000 Canadian dollars plus a 1-1 match pledge represents nearly 50% of our total project budget of $200,000 Canadian dollars. We are confident this campaign will leverage our project to an international stage and that it will be attractive to other funders to help us get to the $200,000 needed.
In the event that there are delays and unexpected roadblocks that significantly impact our schedule, we promise to communicate with transparency. We’re equipped to handle the obstacles as they arise, though the more support you show us, the better off we’ll be!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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