By Girish Kumar Dubey
Varanasi, Jan.17 : Varanasi's handloom industry is anticipating that they would gain an image boost across the country after learning that Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai will be seen dressed in popular Banarasi saris in her upcoming film Jodha Akbar. Banarasi sari industry had earlier witnessed a high demand when former Miss World Aishwarya Rai bought some of the Banarasi saris for her marriage with actor Abhishek Bachchan, son of Amitabh Bachchan, the Bollywood superstar.
The industry is already witnessing an increase in demand for Banarasi saris.
Apart from the Banarsi saris used by Aishwarya, who plays Jodha in her latest film Jodha Akbar, the demand for Sherwanis (the traditional long coat for men) is also likely to witness a surge in demand. Actor Hrithik Roshan, playing Emperor Akbar, wears Sherwanis in the film.
According to the owners of handloom units, this movie will show the real art of Benaras and create mass awareness.
"During marriage of Aishwarya and Abhishek, there was a boom in the handloom industry in Benaras. In the latest film Jodha Akbar, Banarasi saris and Sherwanis made of Benaras silk have been worn. All of us are really happy that Banaras sari business is doing well. We also hope that their will be a boom in this business," said Abu Sahi, a handloom unit owner.
As one of he owners of a handloom unit mentioned, no sooner than any film features the matchless artistry of Benaras, a huge demand is seen despite short skirts and other designer ware dictating the trends in fashion industry.
"It's a very big budget film. We hope that when Banarasi saris used in the movie will captivate pubic attention in India and abroad. Even people in the villages and cities will notice it. When the celebrities wear the saris, their demand grows," said Abdul Wasi, owner of a handloom silk unit.
Popular fashion designer Neeta Lulla has taken fabrics for costumes in the film from Benaras. She wanted the characters in the film to create a feel of traditional as well as authentic.
Aishwarya will be seen wearing Banarasi saris with a detailed work of embroidery done on her costumes in the period film.
Widely known for their appeal, the traditional Banarasi saris have been a prized possession for almost any well-off woman's wardrobe for generations. Besides, these saris are also a big fascination for various celebrities, especially from Bollywood.