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While returning from a field trip in 2016, we passed by a vibrant display of embroidered blouses on Commercial Street. My friend stopped her conversation midway, thrust her hand and part of herself outside the window and shouted, "Hey, look! Indian crop tops!" It took some effort to yank her back on to the seat and explain that those were blouses and not crop tops. But then it got me thinking, what is the difference?
Earlier that year, crop tops had seized the fashion industry as a trend that could not be ignored. It soon found its way to becoming a preferred style of clothing, especially popular among teenagers. The girls crop top brought with it a sensuousness that thrilled youngsters and gave them a chance to show off their new bodies. Soon, crop tops became a must-have in every girl's wardrobe.
The Indian sari, crop top lehenga, ghagra, and even the south Indian half-sari, or paavadai daavani , call for a short blouse that does not extend beyond the bust. The skirt is worn at the waist, baring the midriff. In the fashion industry, the size and shape of this midriff bears various connotations, but in the Indian setting, it is simply that, a bare midriff. Philosophers ascribe a value to the showing of the midriff as having to do with childbirth and the life cycle. The action of not covering it is seen as giving it the freedom to develop. But these traditional attires allow for covering the stomach and navel, with a dupatta, a long rectangular piece of fabric that is draped across one shoulder, and around the waist. Crop tops are not accompanied by any navel-covering fabrics.
These days, wearing cotton tee crop tops with saris is widely accepted, and the same can be worn on jeans, or with skirts too, photo by Unsplash.
In South India, along with the sari, a kamarband, or a belt made of gold, is worn to adorn the waist. In the north, women cover their faces with the free end of their saris. These practices are signs of modesty, significant to the culture. Not covering the stomach is considered inappropriate to the values and virtues of a woman. In some states, the health of the community is evident from the amount of fat accumulated in the midriff. A healthy community had its women walking around with rolls of fat under their blouses, while women who belonged to drought-afflicted states hardly have any fat at all.
Crop tops work against the Indian function of baring the midriff. They do not permit the woman who wears them to have rolls of fat, but instead places strict norms of body image. Flat stomach, wash-board abs, relatively flatter chests, are accepted. Heavier, or curvier women cannot flaunt crop tops with the same confidence, and even if they do, they have to brave their own body image stigma against it.
Sari blouses are essential parts of the traditional Indian woman, and heavily impact the look she is trying to pull off. Crop tops are an ethnic off-shoot of these blouses for everyday use, that have been tailored for comfort. While crop tops are available in all kinds of materials, and patterns, they have evolved into an Indianism.
These days, wearing cotton tee crop tops with saris is widely accepted, and the same can be worn on jeans, or with skirts too. In the West, a blouse would refer to a formal, long-sleeved top for women, while in India, it refers to something worn with a sari or a skirt. In the native culture, the crop top is symbolic of womanly modesty, and in modernity, it is an essence of globalization, where the Indian custom has been adopted abroad, and re-introduced to the Indian, who has devoured it with a hungry relish, like one who has found lost gold.
Keywords: Crop top, Culture, Indianism
By Nimerta C Sharan
Your monthly round up of the latest lifestyle launches, from luxury indulgences to artisanal creations, here's what you can look forward to :
Exciting news for all handbag lovers, luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton recently launched their limited edition handbags 'Artycapucines - Chapter 3'. Six internationally -- acclaimed artists have transformed the black canvas of the timeless Capucines bag into beautiful art pieces. Each bag will be available in a limited edition of 200 and will be released worldwide at the end of October 2021.
Exciting news for all handbag lovers, luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton recently launched their limited edition handbags. | Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash
Add To Cart
Looking for a quick festive fashion fix for you and your loved ones? E-commerce giant AJIO has announced it's hottest fashion sale starting September 30, 2021. The shopping platform has roped in stylista Sonam Kapoor as the face of the sale that will offer more than 2500 brands at discounted prices.
E-commerce giant AJIO has announced it's hottest fashion sale starting September 30, 2021. | Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash
The country's leading design house, Good Earth, in collaboration with textile designer Madeline Weinrib will present its collection of 'butah' motif dinnerware and home textiles at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, New York. The 'Heirloom Project' that honours diverse Islamic design techniques will display curated products from across the globe.
The 'Heirloom Project' that honours diverse Islamic design techniques will display curated products from across the globe. | Photo by Jean Vella on Unsplash
Sweet dreams are made of this! Iconic French patisserie Laduree has opened its first Indian outpost at Delhi's upscale Khan Market. Spread over three floors, the bakery currently has twelve macaron flavours, their signature pastries and tea cakes and other brunch and high-tea items on the menu. Bon appetit.
Iconic French patisserie Laduree has opened its first Indian outpost at Delhi's upscale Khan Market. | Pixabay
Bright And Beautiful
Raw Mango's latest festive edit 'Moomal' goes live on their website on September 26, 2021. Inspired by the richness and diversity of Rajasthan, the collection consists of organza and silk saris and shararas, gota lehengas and kurtas and embroidered odhnis. The colours and silhouettes are just right for the upcoming festive season. (IANS/ MBI)
Raw Mango's latest festive edit 'Moomal' goes live on their website on September 26, 2021. | Photo by Souravi Sinha on Unsplash
Keywords: Lifestle, AJIO, sale, Deepika PAdukone, saris, Motifs, artisan, art
Actress Kangana Ranaut has talked about how her weight adjustments for her latest 'Thalaivii' that "messed up many things" in her body and left her with "permanent stretch marks". For her role in the film, based on the life of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and former actress J. Jayalalithaa, Kangana had to gain 20kg and undergo major physical transformation several times.
She took to Instagram to share her experience, detailing that doing all that over the six months period left her with "permanent stretch marks". "Gaining 20 kgs in 6 months and loosing it all within 6 months that too in my thirties messed up many things in my bodya I also have permanent stretch marks as well but art comes to life with a price and more often than not price is the artist him/herself," she wrote.
"Thalaivii" showcases the varied aspects of Jayalalithaa's life, tracing her journey as an actress at a young age to becoming the face of Tamil cinema, as well as the rise of the revolutionary leader who changed the course of the state's politics. Talking about her upcoming works, Kangana currently has 'Dhaakad'.
She is also shooting for her next 'Tejas', where she plays a fighter pilot. The Indian Air Force was the first of the country's defence forces to induct women into combat roles in 2016. The film takes inspiration from the landmark event. 'Tejas' is directed by debutant Sarvesh Mewara. The film will be RSVP's second film which pays a tribute to the Indian military after the immensely successful film "Uri: The Surgical Strike" which was released in January 2019. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kangana Ranaut, Thalaivii, bollywood, stretc marks, actress, tamil cinema
Signal's encrypted messaging app continues to be down on Monday after facing global outage on Sunday. The firm said it is working to fix it. "Hold tight, folks! Signal is currently down, due to a hosting outage affecting parts of our service. We're working on bringing it back up," the firm said in a tweet on Sunday.
The status website says the encrypted messaging app is "experiencing technical difficulties" and many people are also getting an in-app error message that says the same thing. Signal allows for secure and encrypted video, voice and text communication, but users are unable to send any messages.
According to Downdetector.com, users started reporting outages around 11:05 PM Eastern Standard Time and it appears to be affecting people around the world. Comments shared on Downdetector.com indicates that Signal was down for users from India, US, Germany, New Zealand, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil and many other countries.
"Down in Midwest USA. Signal was started by people connected to which secret 3-letter organization? (Look it up) Yep, that's right! An app disguised a privacy app to trick you into sharing more private information than you would with another messaging app," a user said. "I think Signal is having a rough day. Good luck, Team Signal. I'm sure you'll have it sorted out in a snap," said another. The encrypted messaging service has climbed to the top spot in the free apps category of the App Store in multiple countries, including India. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Signal, app, encrypted, messages, outage, down