Sustainability is the current clarion call of the fashion world. Need be, with studies pointing at fast fashion production slowly but surely harming the planet.

But every time I see a sustainable label pop up on my Instagram feed, I see images shot in starkness. Rarely do sustainable labels translate their collections with a glamorous bent. And not all of us like going sans make up, sans drama.

Recently I stopped over at Studio Syu for a dekko on a particularly hot summer afternoon. My style antennae tingled. Before me lay handmade saris, scarves and yardages  in colours and illustrations tres chic. I detected the prospect of a challenge. How about taking these- hitherto ‘not glam’- pieces to a desi summer wedding!

Glam up a cotton saree? #ChallengeAccepted

My arsenal? Accessories and makeup!

For Benarasi’s and sequinned anarkali’s remain a big fat Indian wedding go-to, and one might not stand out in a faux Sabyasachi jora, but one definitely will in a cotton sari. One that’s handmade with love and (often) exclusive. One that once worn isn’t relegated to the back of your wardrobe. And… one that is very bloody comfortable!

Helping realise the vibe, I collaborated with ace lensman Kaustav Sarkar. My girl-friday Sne helped add layers to the glamour I envisaged with her deft brush work. Here’s our hard work in a look book.

REWORKING CLASSICS ft. the All Things Calcutta sari

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That the humble laal-paar sari is a fixture in a Bengali woman’s wardrobe is commonplace. A twist to the traditional, Studio Syu‘s All Things Calcutta sari modernises nostalgia. Born off a collab with illustrator Jit Chowdhury, it features quintessential Calcutta motifs. Think the ‘haath pakha’, a betel nut cracker, the Calcutta taxi, the hand-drawn rickshaws… Doused in culture and nostalgia, perhaps one for the wedding out of town?

Accessorise this mulmul number with statement Bengali jewellery- here, the haath phool– paired with maximal earrings. Let your neckline remain clutter free, warranting attention to the sari.

The make-up fairly simple. The eyes remain focus, but aren’t overdrawn. Instead, it’s speckled with subtle glitter topping off signature red lips. Centre parted hair adds raw appeal.

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COLOUR-BLOCKING CONTEMPORARY ft. the Buddhijibi sari

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It’s rare to chance upon environment-friendly clothing in vibrant colours, one like the brilliant turquoise in this Studio Syu Buddhijibi sari. It’s illustrated with block printed patterns of pens- oft credited as mightier than the sword- quills and paintbrushes, upping the quirk quotient.

Colour block. The sari is worn with an amber velvet body suit, which can be replaced with a monokini for that poolside party. And if there be a dip in the pool, keep the jewellery fuss free. Like oxidised silver earrings and a necklace.

For your makeup, bring out the highlighter, and smear a dash of blue over your eyelid. Top it off with a boho man-bun. #Fresh!

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Ladies, remember, styling a look remains your prerogative. If I’ve interpreted glamming up a look this way, personalise it with your twist. A belt to hold the sari together, or braids decorated with tiny flowers. A strong makeup game perhaps?

Let me know how it was!
Till then, #WerkItGirl
xoxo, Ridzeepop

Address: Studio Syu, 4, Raja Basanta Roy Road. Find them on Instagram @studiosyu, and DM for an appointment to view their block- and hand-printed impressions.