Alia Bhatt’s Met Gala saree took 163 artisans 1,965 hours to make

Bollywood actor drapes elaborate saree by Indian couturier Sabyasachi

Shahana Yasmin
Tuesday 07 May 2024 11:19 BST
Zendaya and Jennifer Lopez arrive at Met Gala 2024

Alia Bhatt made her second appearance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Gala in New York on Monday and looked to traditional Indian attire for inspiration for her heavily embroidered Sabyasachi saree with a dramatic 23-foot train.

The Bollywood actor wore a custom mint-green saree by Indian couturier Sabyasachi, embodying the “The Garden of Time” dress code.

This year’s gala dress code takes inspiration from a short story of the same title written by JG Ballard in 1962 which deals with the theme of fleeting beauty.

Bhatt’s couture saree featured delicate hand embroidery and silk floss, glass beading and semi-precious gemstones, using the fantastical life led by Count Axel and his wife from Ballard’s story as the inspiration.

“The saree’s design, with its translucent, glass-like appearance is not just a nod to the ethereal quality of the garden in Ballard’s story but also a tribute to the exquisite, enduring craft of saree-making,” she told Vogue ahead of her appearance.

Alia Bhatt attends the 2024 Met Gala (Getty)

“What drew me to this look was the sheer audacity of it—how it merges traditional craftsmanship with avant-garde aesthetics.”

“Sabyasachi, known for his dedication to bringing old-world charm and modern sophistication together, seemed like the perfect choice to encapsulate the theme of this year’s Met Gala.”

Alia Bhatt attends the 2024 Met Gala (Getty)

Bhatt detailed the amount of work that went into creating her bespoke saree in a post on Instagram, writing that it was handcrafted in India by a team of 163 artisans, including craftsmen, dyers and embroiderers, and took around 1965 hours to create.

To design Bhatt’s blouse, Sabyasachi took inspiration from India’s heritage and used precious emeralds, Basra pearls, tourmalines and multi-coloured sapphires to add more flair to her outfit.

To add to the look, Bhatt’s hair featured an intricate headpiece with ropes of gemstones, and shoulder-grazing earrings featuring tourmalines and diamonds, from Sabyasachi Accessories.

This is the second time a Sabyasachi creation has been seen at the Met Gala after Indian heiress Natasha Poonawalla wore a saree by him in 2022.

“I am honoured to create the signature garment of India, a sari, handcrafted from techniques handed down over generations and mastered during a lifetime of effort for Alia Bhatt,” the designer told Vogue.

“It represents the history and pride of Indian craftsmanship that I have dedicated my career to promoting, protecting and preserving.”

This is the second Met gala appearance for the Heart of Stone actor who wore a Prabal Gurung gown for her debut last year.

People on social media reacted to her look with excitement, focusing particularly on the fact that she wore a saree on an international stage.

The theme for the 2024 Met Gala is “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion”. The gala coincides with the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual exhibit, which will be centred around 50 historically significant pieces of fashion – some too fragile ever to be worn again.

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