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Indian Fashion – Coming Closer to the Common Person

Dec 29th 2015 at 11:20 PM

Compared to the huge strides international fashion has made, the Indian fashion industry can still be considered to be in its infancy. While there is a tradition of thousands of years in the country, the sector has only very recently been highlighted on the commercial stage. With an immensely rich and varied heritage of textile design and manufacture, the fashion industry is now rapidly making up for lost times both on the domestic and international stages.  The Indian fashion scenario is extremely complex with apparel styles and wearing preferences differing from region to region. When you add the influence of contemporary lifestyles to this the scenario becomes even more intricate.

Major Inroads Made by Western Wear

Even though western wear has made considerable inroads into the wardrobes of Indians, it still remains largely restricted to the urban markets when it comes to women’s wear. Ladies who need to go out to work or even use two-wheelers for personal transport have taken to wearing of trousers and a variety of tops because of the freedom of movement that is much superior to that afforded by the traditional saree. Among the younger generation, the wearing of jeans and a diverse array of T-shirts has become extremely common and acceptable even to those of the older generation who may still find them awkward to wear personally. The influence of Hollywood and Bollywood can also be easily spotted in the apparel sported by the younger generation.

With India becoming a global force in the delivery of a vast range of IT and IT-enabled services, women have also got an opportunity to travel abroad and interact with their western counterparts. This has also led to the early adoption of western apparel styles. By no means is western wear restricted to the masses. Even in high-society and corporate circles, women have taken to wearing western high street fashion labels, and indeed are carrying them off with great aplomb.

Indian Ethnic Wear Still Hot Favorites

Even with the huge impact of western sartorial styles on the fashion scene in India, the sari, salwar-kameez, and lehenga-choli remain as popular as ever. One just needs to attend a big fat Indian wedding to get an appreciation of how popular they remain even in the younger generation. Indeed one would be bedazzled with the incredible styling, intricate embroidery, and embellishments that often include gold and silver thread as well as precious stones. While region-specific styles can still be identified, the trend is more towards a cosmopolitan look. The influence of the Indian film industry is very visible, with Bollywood sarees as the sarees worn by the leading ladies of Hindi films becoming very popular, if the movies and style click with the audience.

Sarees and Salwar-Kameez – Must Haves for the Indian Fashionistas

The bejeweled ethnicity of the saris and dresses are also very uniquely and often extremely seductively set off by the blouses that are cut in a variety of styles such as halter-neck, katori style, high-neck, backless, back-buttoned or bow-tied, etc. While the sleeves come in a variety of lengths right from the summery sleeveless to the almost-Victorian full-sleeves, one can see a discernible shortening in the length of the blouses. Girls, especially, the unmarried, have made midriff-baring extremely commonplace. While there is no agreement regarding the number of ways the saree can be draped, the conventional back pallu as well as the Gujarati style with the pallu at the front reigns supreme. India continues to celebrate its varied culture with sarees at the very forefront of fashion. One can as easily spot French chiffon as a heavy silk Kanjivaram saree when one does the rounds of the plentiful boutiques that have sprung up in virtually every street corner.

Bollywood Sarees


The salwar-kameez too has undergone a style morph with the garment now being cut in diverse ways – sometimes to accentuate the body lines or if need be to camouflage unsightly bumps. The dupatta, once an integral part of the ensemble has all but disappeared and the yoke tends to be more heavily embroidered or embellished. The length too has a lot of variations with some of the shorter editions being teamed up with a pair of jeans even for a very modern and urban chic look.

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