Welcome to India; the centre for oriental and colourful style, and an Eastern fashion hub.
Whenever a country has a specific or more appreciated dress code, it is often assumed that that country is exempt from the fashion world. On a recent visit to India, I was able to experience first-hand that this is most definitely not the case. I was immersed in the fusion of colour and intricate detail of women’s dress in the country. I learnt the different types of dress: saris, suits, salwars and duppatas, with bright and striking colours with jewels and gold detail present in every design. It is so impressive that women take such care and pride in their appearance, looking like brides every day.
There is quite obviously a stricter dress code in India than in western countries. It is frowned upon and considered disrespectful to show your shoulders and back as a woman. However, even by covering up the majority of their bodies, women are able to look beautiful; adorned in a world of sparkles, glitter and sequins. Personally I love this Indian style of dress, as I feel it acts as a tribute to the colourful aspects of Hinduism and Sikhism.Â The two religions are highly respected and followed in India, so it is great that they inspire, even if unknowingly, another part of Indian culture: the fashion industry.
It is not simply the Indian clothing that is incredible. Gold jewellery interlaced with coloured pieces decorates women, and arms are woven in gold and jewelled bangles and bracelets. The Aladdin-esque shoes are loved and worn by many in India. Their traditional name is Mojri and they come in a variety of colours and intricate, embellished patterns. The buttersoft scarves are also vital, in true Indian fashion, with the supple, smooth silks of pashminas and their delicate stitching and designs.
Similar to the British high street, Indian style incorporates layering and a mixture of textures in the composition of their . Yet, unlike Londonâ€™s edgy and innovative trends, Indian fashion reveals more of an oriental glamour that is breathtaking and equally as eye-catching. What is also incredible is the sense of pride with which Indian women wear their saris and suits. They wear their clothing with such dignity that it releases an aura of confidence, making their outfits appear even more beautiful. The bold and vibrant colours stand out against the dusty roads of India, and the sequins and sparkles glimmer in a grand and royal way. Even in the slums, I saw a hard lifestyle, but the women still dressed in these fantastic fabrics.
Indian women are proud to dress in such striking, regal colours, and in materials covered in jewels. Where do they shop? Fabindia is the equivalent of a popular British high street brand. Its more modern compilation of Indian dress is perfect for teenagers and young adults who wish to maintain their Indian heritage and dress, yet look current with a bit of an edge. Whilst I was in New Delhi, I asked various students where their clothes were from and Fabindia definitely seems to be the place to shop. With free shipping on international orders over $100 (Â£50!), it is definitely worth a browse online to add some oriental style to your wardrobe – I know I will be!
The fact remains that whether you love the traditional dress in India, with the gorgeous silks and array of colours, or whether you prefer the more modern take on Indian dress, this middle-eastern countryâ€™s style is one to watch!
India Fashion Week 2013
India Vogue July 2013
An Indian street clothing market.