Most ethnic clothing is based on simple design. Take a simple rectangle and you can make many different garments with either no cutting or only a few cuts for neck and arm openings and have beautiful results. The colors and design of the fabric becomes the emphasis, not the intricate cutting and sewing. While I love watching "Project Runway" ( and I have to say that "Project Runway All Stars" was "FABULOUS Darling") I still marvel at the simplicity of using a rectangular piece of fabric to make a beautiful garment.
Check out this video on just that concept. The Sari is just one long piece of fabric wrapped around the body. No cutting or sewing is involved, just a beautiful piece of cloth!