Luxury upcycling sarees is where the earliest breaths of this brand House of Bilimoria have come from. A closet full of sarees that then just a girl, our founder Shilpa Bilimoria-Cherry with a vision saw as textile that would become the flamboyance that she saw in a dream world.
Now seeing more and more people turning into their own closets to look to upcycle and repurpose their own sarees, is something that makes us very happy.
We had the joy of collaborating, and styling on a body of work by Alia Romagnoli. A series she entitled 'Monsoon Season', she explored how sarees could be worn, repurposed.
We took some time out to interview Alia, and get some more behind the scenes views on this series. Read below...
What was your inspiration and concept based on?
Monsoon Season was part of a wider series exploring the garment, the sari, and how it can be worn, draped and repurposed. It was important for me to explore traditional sari draping, individual interpretations and how newer generations like to style and embrace the piece. I loved the idea of the sari being an average of five meters long but having the ability to take so many different forms and be presented in so many different colours, textures and patterns. The illustrations in this series was inspired by sari borders and kalamkari patterns and I wanted the story to extend beyond your beautiful garments into the beauty and art direction of the piece.
What do flowers represent for you?
When I first picked up a camera when I was around eight, the first roll of film I ever shot was filled with flowers. It was something I have always been drawn to and used to create texture and colour in my work. In all honesty, I just love flowers with my whole heart and love to find ways to incorporate them in my photography. It is perhaps because its also such an important feature in South Asian life and culture- we see it on intricate artworks, painted onto buildings, hiding in traditional clothing and all around us really!
Is this style and era of Bollywood glam your favourite and why?
The 1970s and 80s are definitely one of my favourites! It’s the bright colours, bold patterns and the playful experimentation between what was modern and traditional. The aesthetics and energy were always what drew me in and my work often takes inspiration from the looks Sridevi and Rekha wore on screen
What style of saree is your favourite and why?
There are so many beautiful sari styles and draping patterns that showcase regional dress but the one that will always remain special to me is the classic nivi style which is one of the more common ones. The memory and awe of the garment came from watching my grandmother as I grew up over the years in her saris when celebrating holidays and festivals.
What would you call your style?
My photographic style is very much influenced by my upbringing in India- I always look to old Bollywood for inspiration as well as Indian folk art, architecture, mythology and fashion.
Can you see a future in luxury upcycling sarees?
I definitely can! I think it is so important to find more sustainable ways to wear and repurpose garments. It can give you an opportunity to find new love in an old piece and extend the lifespan of something special.
Have a saree or textile that you wish to luxury upcycle? Fill in our form here.
🌸photography Alia Romagnoli
🌸designs and styling @house_of_bilimoria
🌸makeup and hair Beauty by Fey
🌸models @harshi.gandhi @aryakikothari @lakhi56
🌸series illustrated by Samhita Kamisetty
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