Exclusive Celebrity Blog: Lisa Ray for Satya Paul, Phoenix Rising.

Lisa Ray

I have always admired Lisa Ray, she’s charming, effervescent and absolutely gorgeous. Having watched her battle cancer with immense dignity and positivity I can only say my regard for her has gone up ten-fold. Love that your star is shining brightly Lisa Rani Ray and more power to you girl. xoxo – MissMalini

Lisa Ray
Lisa Ray

It brought me so much joy, now why can’t it bring joy to others?

I’m talking about my Satya Paul Wedding sari. It was an unexpected addition to my trousseau by the SP team and it left a huge impression on my Wedding guests. Muted yet glittery, subtle yet impactful with both gold and silver embellishments and a gorgeous choli, the exclusive custom designed piece got me thinking.

Lisa Ray wedding sari
Lisa Ray wedding sari

It was the perfect embodiment of all the emotions of my Big Day in Napa Valley. I was celebrating my marriage to the love of life, but I was also celebrating life itself. After my Cancer treatment, I didn’t expect to find my life partner, get married, launch into a successful new phase of my career and life. Sometimes we need to be broken down before we rise from the ashes, like the proverbial Phoenix. Who hasn’t experienced some suffering, some pain, some heartbreak in their life? And while we can’t see it in the moment, we get through it to emerge stronger, more powerful and more graceful than before.

Lisa Ray wedding sari
Lisa Ray wedding sari

Immediately after my honeymoon I was scheduled to be in Delhi. I sent a proposal to the SP team: my wedding sari was an exclusive creation, but why keep it to myself? Why not collaborate on an exclusive capsule collection, themed around emerging from darkness into light? Satya Paul is a brand renowned for its colourful palette and prints, so it was also the perfect partnership to explore the shades of life, through fabric and form.

Lisa Ray wedding sari
Lisa Ray wedding sari

People don’t always associate me with saris, but the fact is a lot of my peaks in life have been marked by saris: my Polish mother always wore saris when we visited my father’s family in Kolkata, a key moment in Bollywood/Hollywood (which launched a career in Canada), my role in Oscar nominated Water I wore a sari for three months, my wedding and now I find I wear saris to red carpet events abroad as it makes an impact and celebrates my bond with India.

The other major motivation behind this collection was to highlight a cause very close to my heart: Cancer Research. I’d been working with an organization called Living with Cancer in Delhi and I thought why not encourage another beautiful marriage: Fashion for a Cause. Ten percent from the sale of each sari will go to this non-profit which is also encouraging Research for a cure in INDIA.

Living With Cancer
Living with Cancer
Lisa Ray wedding sari
Lisa Ray wedding sari

This meeting and idea happened before Masaba Gupta was named Fashion Director, but it was very apparent there was a buzz of excitement at the SP office. I met with Sanjay Kapur of Genesis, Sujata Assomull, brand consultant and ex-editor of Harper’s Bazaar and Rajiv Grover of Satya Paul and within minutes we agreed to make it happen!

Next step: conceptualizing the collection! After meeting with Pallavi Das and the creative team, I had to return to Toronto, but we scheduled calls and brainstorming sessions late at night (or painfully early) to work on the line. I’ve always been passionate about design and so this was an opportunity which I jumped into headfirst.

Lisa Ray
Lisa Ray

In a crazily quick amount of time, we had the collection preview ready: five embellished bridal pieces, based on my wedding sari, capturing the spirit of a boho bride a woman who is beautiful, confident and still respects tradition- but reinvents it through her own lens. The idea of using a lot of gold and silver embellishments was to capture the intersection of opposites: light and dark, east and west, tradition and modernity. I love the results: so pretty, but still a bit subversive.

The print collection really captures the heart of my experiences. We themed each sari around emotions I have experienced on my journey to Lisa 2.0.

Chant (with “New Beginnings” emblazoned on the pall), Victory (with an iconic smear) Faith and most importantly Phoenix Rising. The ‘phoenix’ sari has a graphic representation of the phoenix flying from a plume of smoke on the pallu – and the sari is shaded from black to light: emerging. The choli is a stunning phoenix in gold embellishment on the back. It’s a winner! I’m so proud.

Most importantly we are auctioning off the original wedding sari on Satya Paul’s Facebook site

Log on here: SatyaPaulIndia with the entire amount going to Living with Cancer. Someone pointed out that this has never been done before in India.

Lisa Ray and Jason Dehni
Lisa Ray and Jason Dehni

Bidding started at 40,000rs and closes on December 27th 2012 at 5pm IST. For more details contact [email protected]

I am so overwhelmed and touched with the response we got during the preview in Delhi. I’m also grateful to Marie Claire for partnering with me on this collection. Pearl, fashion director of Marie Claire, loved the Chant sari with the positive affirmations. Let’s face it: positivity works. It’s a bit of a story behind the collection, but what is life but the narrative we give it?

I’m planning another launch party in March when the collection is ready – in Bombay. My husband Jason will be able to travel with me then. What a fab introduction to India that will be for him…

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