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“The look sits between festive and comfortably chic, ideal for wearing at a semi-formal gathering, an indoor party or a morning wedding function,” said Shreevatsa.

When Kashi came to Calcutta, bundled in the gorgeousness of benarasis

Shreevatsa Nevatia, creative director of Finesse, decodes the collection for The Telegraph

By Priyanka Roy

  • Published 12.11.19, 8:10 PM
  • Updated 12.11.19, 8:10 PM

Rich and bold hues. A melange of the tradition and the contemporary, through ‘a tale of two cities’. That’s Finesse’s #KashiinKokata, a special do by the Alipore sari stop from November 13 to 15. Ushoshi Sengupta was the face of this preview shoot that was shot across the city — the Maidan, banks of the Ganges, the flower markets of Calcutta and at the store.

The exhibition, timed right before the onset of the wedding season, will display 150 Benarasis. The Telegraph gets you a sneak peek.

Shreevatsa Nevatia, creative director of Finesse, decodes the collection for The Telegraph ...

For the love of Benarasis...

The idea is to source saris that are classic yet contemporary. No other sari exemplifies that better than Benarasi. We have been sourcing it for years from Kashi and Benaras. The craftsmanship of the weavers there is so inspirational. While sourcing, we have specifically focused on the fact that a Benarasi needs to look like a Benarasi. It loses its charm if it resembles any other weave.


We are looking for an atypical way to show how Kashi can be witnessed in Calcutta. There are too many temples in Kashi and the common thing in those temples is that devotees take flowers to the temple. So rather than taking Ushoshi to the temple I took her to a flower market. Our aim was to do the shoot amidst a lot of colours and show that even amidst so many colours the Benarasi can stand out.

The second location was the banks of Ganga. The Ganga flows through our city and changes its course in Kashi. But there’s a sense of continuity and that principle applies to fashion as well. The ghat in Benaras is different but the devotion in Calcutta and Benaras is the same. The same river flows through both the places.

The third is my all-time favourite place, Maidan. There is a juxtaposition of horses and buildings and we are trying to emphasise the idea that the Benarasi weave perfectly fits in the city of Calcutta. It adds to its landscape. I wanted to use that as a metaphor. It stands out and yet fits in.

The fourth one we shot in our store, in order to showcase the store that we recently refurbished. The Benarasi never goes out of fashion and also symbolises tradition.


She is a rare beauty, much like the Benarasi weave. Ushoshi is modern and contemporary, So we wanted to show how someone so modern like her would look in something so traditional and classic. The idea was to convey that no matter how modern you are, the Benarasi will surely make you stand out. 

Pictures: Debarshi Sarkar
Photo Credit: Pictures: Debarshi Sarkar

Ushoshi looked straight out of a quaint painting in this marigold yellow tanchoi. A dark purple border with traditional badla work and the pallu has jangla motifs. The sari is paired with a matching blouse and a pair of pearl jhumkas. “It is a completely traditional look and that little bit of oomph comes from the messy braid,” said Shreevatsa.


Pictures: Debarshi Sarkar
Photo Credit: Pictures: Debarshi Sarkar

Ushoshi is all mystique-pretty in this dark purple Benarasi with a minimalistic design and a simple thin bright pink border. The broader part of the border and the pallu has brocade woven with golden zari. The silk Benarasi is paired with a simple pink blouse that ups the minimal feel. A pair of chaandbalis accessorise the look. “The look embodies understated elegance. It is perfect for those who like to value traditional weaves yet only with the right amount of shine,” said Shreevatsa.

Pictures: Debarshi Sarkar
Photo Credit: Pictures: Debarshi Sarkar

Elegant is this scarlet Benarasi with intricate design detailing on kadhwa weave. The gold and silver zari brings alive the traditional shikargarh motifs. The look is accessorised with traditional kundan and emerald earrings and neckpiece. “The rich red Benarasi is the quintessential regal weave. Though the sari has heavy work, it has a weave that settles softly against the skin,” said Shreevatsa.



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