Friday, September 11, 2020

Fashion in India


 India is a country with an ancient clothing design tradition, yet emerging in a Medium Saic fashion industry. Though a handful of designers existed prior to the 1980s, the late 80s and the 90s saw a spurt of growth. This was the result of increasing exposure to global fashion and the economic boom the economic liberation of the Indian economy in 1990. The following decades firmly established fashion as an industry across India.

Post-independence: ethnic revival and Bollywood fashion


Post-independence focus on revival of traditional textile and design led to the rise of "ethnic chic".

The history of clothing in India dates back to ancient times, yet fashion is a new industry, as it was the traditional Indian clothing with regional variations, be it the sari, ghagra choli or dhoti, that remained popular until the early decades of post-independence India.[1] A common form of Indian fashion originates from Western culture. Fashion includes a series of sequins and gold thread to attract customers and apply a statement to the Indian fashion community. A famous Indian fashion trademark is embroidery, an art of sewing distinct thread patterns. A way to include the traditional look and create a new fashion statement includes embroidery applied to different dresses, skirts, shirts, and pants to reflect the western culture influence as well as include the Indian tradition.


As part of larger revival movement in the Indian textile industry, Ritu Kumar, a Kolkata-based designer and textile print-expert started working on reviving the traditional hand block printing techniques of Bengal, and making it a part of the fashion industry, established "ethnic chic".[2] She opened her first boutique in Delhi in 1966. In 1973, she first showcased the Zardozi embroidery in her garments, which had its origins in the royal costumes dating back to the Mughal era. This led to the revival of this lost art. In time embroidery became a prominent feature of Indian wedding attire, and also one of the country's biggest fashion exports.[3][4] This was a period of revival, where various organisations, NGOs and indicuals were involved in reviving traditional Indian techniques, in weaving, printing, dyeing or embroidery, including ikat, patola (double-ikat), bandhani (tie-dye) and shisha (mirror embroidery).[3]


An early trendsetter in fashion was Bollywood (Hindi cinema), where costume designers like Bhanu Athaiya started experimenting with film fashion in the 1960s. Athaiya started working on period costumes in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) and Amrapali (1966), though she went on to introduce varied trends through Teesri Manzil (1966), Chalte Chalte (1976), Karz (1980) and Chandni (1989). These were soon followed by the mass market. Also situations and themes in Indian cinema became westernised, making way for the display of diverse fashion. Over the years, popular Bollywood trends have been the Madhubala's Anarkali-look with kurtas and churidars in Mughal-e-Azam (1960), purple embroidered sari worn by Madhuri Dixit in Hum Aapke Hain Koun...! (1994), to Rani Mukherji's short kurti-suits in Bunty Aur Babli (2005), Veer Zaara suits and blouses from Parineeta. This comes besides various fashion interpretations of the sari in films like Chandni (1989) with Sridevi, Main Hoon Naa (2004) with Sushmita Sen and Dostana (2008) with Priyanka Chopra, which became fashion trends.[5][6]


However, in recent decades, with increasing exposure to the West, its influence is no longer as strong as in previous decades.[5] By the 2000s, with rise in the Indian diaspora around the world and the non-resident Indians, Bollywood continues to exert far greater influence on the fashion sensibilities amongst Indians around the world.

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