Sari, the fabric that transforms the personality of a woman, is now a canvas for showcasing Odisha’s cultural traditions, religious rituals, natural beauty and tribal art.
Bankim Kumar Mishra, a cost-accountant-turned design consultant to the Odisha government and many organisations of the United Nations, has experimented with sari designs in a unique way.
The designs reflect Odia festivals such as Raja and Suna Besha (golden attire) of the holy trinity in Puri. The Raja festival comes alive in Mishra’s creations on Bomkai saris exclusive to the Sonepur and Boudh belt of Odisha.
Apart from creating designs for saris there is also a plan to design stoles, wall hangings, wallets and home furnishings. At present, cotton saris are priced between Rs 2,550 and Rs 3,500 and silk ones between Rs 6,000 and Rs 20,000. A buyer can also ask for customised saris.
150 saris themed on Lord Jagannath on the rath and another 150 on the Suna besa. Nearly 100 or more from each category are now with customers in US or Europe. Propagating the Jagannath culture through our designs.
His most recent designs include the one called Bihanga, meaning bird. It has a green background depicting birds sitting on trees. Tribal motifs, Boita bandana or the festival that celebrates ancient Kalingan maritime tradition and Pipili’s famous appliqué work also find a place in his designs.