INARA SERRA: Red Sari
My husband introduced me to Firefly
when we were dating as it was one of his favorite shows; the storylines and the characters were beautifully crafted and immediately drew me into this short-lived universe. I related to Inara's love/hate relationship with Captain Mal Reynolds and of course, I loved her clothes. When our podcast crew decided to put together a Firefly
group together for Dragon*Con 2010, Sketch jumped at the chance to play Mal, and the group suggested I should be Inara.
I'd always wanted to own an authentic Indian sari, and since Inara tends to wear sarees I decided this would be the perfect opportunity for me to pick one out from Utsav Sarees
instead of making one of her outfits myself. Besides being a time-saver as I already had several projects going on for Dragon*Con, I thought it might lend some authenticity to the outfit. I looked through the catalog of options, trying to find something I felt Inara would appropriately wear as I obviously could not copy her look exactly. After studying reference images I decided to narrow my search field down to a dark red outfit with gold beading. I finally landed on this one, which just spoke to me as being appropriate for the character, with complex gold glass hand beading, intricate patterns and textures, but with just enough plainness that it was believable the outfit could be worn by a courtesan as everyday attire rather than looking too much like a wedding or other ceremonial outfit. There are three pieces; the top shirt which is adjustable, a plain red cotton skirt slip which ties around the waist, and the beautiful outer wrap which clasps around the waist with a set of traditional front pleats and then folds around before draping over my shoulder. I read up on how to wear it properly to make sure I wasn't draping it incorrectly, but it was relatively easy to do with the skirt pleats. I'm impressed with the quality of the final product and I absolutely LOVE IT. I certainly feel like an otherworldly courtesan wearing it, and it's quite comfortable. My favorite, and most unexpected part of wearing this is that every time I'm stopped by someone of Indian descent who proceeds to tell me how happy it makes them to see someone wearing a sari. I wasn't concerned about any possible negative attention for wearing a sari, but if anyone else does, please put those fears to rest. Like wearing kimono, saris do not have religious or other controversial significance and it is not considered offensive to the originating culture to wear their traditional clothing respectfully and appropriately.