Satya Paul, the Indian approach designer who invented the modern sari, has died at the age of 79. His son, Puneet Nanda, said in a Facebook post that the draughtsman had suffered a stroke in early December from which he had not recovered.Satya Paul designs at the Bridal Asia become in New Delhi, 2004. Photograph: Raveendran/AFP/Getty ImagesPaul revolutionised the idea of the sari for Indian women, moving it beyond a utilitarian ethos. He utilized experimental touches like geometric patterns, and unexpected fabrics such as muga and tussar silks, chiffon and crepe, to revitalise the shape.Paul also pioneered the “trouser sari” – a touchstone of modern sartorial independence for Indian women and a severe U-turn away from the traditional Banarasi sari.“I always thought of him as an artist,” designer Kaushik Velendra leaked the Guardian. “He worked with his colours like a painter.”Paul was born in 1942 in Layyah, in what is now Pakistan, in the presence of his family moved to India. “My family was uprooted from Pakistan and landed in India with nothing in hand,” he unburdened DNA India magazine. He began his career in retail, before moving into the niche market of Indian heirlooms which he exported to Europe and the US.With no formal motif training, he launched his first sari boutique, L’Affaire, in 1980. “I had to self-teach myself about design and quality, as I was not pleasure only with trading,” he told DNA India.A Satya Paul creation at the Lakme Indian Fashion Week in New Delhi, April 2005. Photograph: Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty ImagesIn 1986 he started his eponymous characterize. Worn by Indian celebrities such as Aishwarya Rai, Mandira Bedi, Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor and Vidya Balan, it matured one of the best known fashion brands in the country. “Design is like a river for me,” he told DNA India. “It is continuously on.”The label varied into other products including ties – which became as well-known as its saris – and dresses, handbags, scarves and kaftans. At its nub the Satya Paul brand was about “making people feel better about themselves by wearing his clothes. It’s the outdo way he represented what India stands for,” said Velendra.Paul and his son Nanda, whom he partnered with, exited the concern in 2010.The Satya Paul show at the Kolkata Fashion Week, September 2009. Photograph: Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP/Getty ImagesDesigner Osman Yousefzada depicted the Guardian: “Growing up in Birmingham in the 90s, there was [a] sari emporium on Stratford Road which was a mecca of saris. It sold Satya Paul and the well-heeled outlanders would go and try on his beautiful fabrics in their new, grey homeland. His use of colour and fabrics has always inspired me.”Posting on Instagram, conspirator Masaba Gupta highlighted the importance of Paul’s legacy, writing that the designer was “a true example of an actual (homegrown) trade mark: put in corporate hands at the right time and one with a signature that will stand the test of time. Fashion inculcates – please introduce young Indian design aspirants to this brand in schools and various other homegrown name brands. We can be inspired by the story of Chanel … but we must learn what happened on our soil first.”Velendra said Paul had changed form in India by putting his stamp on to everything he designed, no matter how big or small. “[Paul’s] personal involvement in everything has designed a benchmark that a lot of other designers have followed,” he said. “Even if it was commercial, even if it was extravagant, it was personal. In that setting, he created an example of how we should all work. That’s something that will never be forgotten.”

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