Tuesday November 20, 2018
Home India Indian Ethnic...

Indian Ethnic Fashion and its appeal in the West

1
//
Image source: blogspot.com

By

Mumbai: Men’s fashion is undergoing a gentle game-changing transformation on the Indian subcontinent. Elements of traditional Indian wear, reserved as “garnish dressing” on holidays or ritual events are slowly getting affirmation as modern menswear.

In this new world of indie fashion, it’s not uncommon anymore to find contemporary versions of Nehru jacket being retailed by ready-to-wear labels in New York City or to find a suave young man striding the cobbled streets of London in a pair of Jodhpuri pants. If you delve a little deep into style aesthetics, you may spot a touch of charm embroidery on an English pea jacket or a sophisticated sherwani collar on a formal coat.

Nikhil Mehra, from the famous designer duo Shantanu & Nikhil, says, “This bringing about of our cultural and ethnic identity in fashion, after years of blindly following the western commandments of dressing reflects that as Indians we are at that important point where we are taking pride in our identity.”

The recently concluded Van Heusen and GQ Fashion Nights, a prestigious men’s fashion showcase in Mumbai was attended by the likes of American designer Alexander Wang and Bloomingdale’s Kevin Harter. There were native Indian silhouettes, such as achkans, Jawahar waistcoats and Jamas (a long coat worn during the Mughal era) in an urban context.

Designer Raghavendra Rathore showcased a collection comprising classic Nehru jackets, jawar waistcoats, riding breeches, shirts and achkans. The designer team of Shantanu & Nikhil brought back the romance of Nehruvian era to the ramp with a collection that had blended Indian aristocracy with a colonial touch.

Indigenous Travels International Shores

So what is behind this shift in the way men want to dress?

Menswear designer Zubair Kirmani, views it not just as a romantic return to the native fashion movement, but also as smart trade tactic: “We can say that it started with the opening up of NRI retail market that resulted in a boom in e-tailing business, which in turn led to add some structure in a very scattered Indian wear market.”

When non-resident Indians looked at shopping in India they obviously wanted a touch of their homeland for two vital reasons. First, they wanted to feel the power of ceremonial Indianwear in a distant land. Second, the best of western fashion was readily available to them anyway, leaving them with no reason to look for western wear in India.

A savvy young breed of Indian techies quickly tapped the demand and began adding online shopping options that were earlier unavailable in the very localized and chaotic Indian retail segment.

Trade analysts say that with the popularity of e-tailing and development of the e-commerce segment, today it seems possible that the Indian ethnic wear market, which was once totally tailor dominated to cater to small, local needs, has the potential to grow exponentially. A study by retail consultant Technopak found that the ethnic wear market in India stood at Rs 82,220 crores ($12.6 billion) in 2014 and is projected to grow to $19.4 billion by 2019.

Kirmani, who is all set to design a line of kurtas, says: “We are introducing rare Kashmiri crafts and intricate tilla work on men’s kurtas as today encouragingly every one is looking at owning a part of Indian heritage.”

Soaring But Not Conquered

Ethnic menswear sales are on the rise and style gurus, such as Manish Malhotra, best known for draping Bollywood belles in gossamer chiffons, are dabbling in traditional men’s wear that can be worn by any club-hopping young man. So Is ethnic chic?

Designer Troy Costa who has taken unique crafts from Indian states and molded them for Men’s Fashion Week in Paris was asked whether international markets might pick up the ethnic trend. He says, “Though we may have the richest variety of textiles, it has still not reached a commercialization scale where there is a serious emphasis on quality control.” Industry insiders point to challenges, such as cloth shrinkage, garments losing their sheen after washing, use of old yarn, etc. that constrict the market potential and acceptance by global high street giants.

Industry insiders point to challenges, such as cloth shrinkage, garments losing their sheen after washing, use of old yarn, etc that constrict the market potential and acceptance by global high street giants.

“It’s the new in-thing to promote khadi, but those not in the trade do not realize that it’s a challenge to commercialize it with its high level of shrinkage and the need to use a pre-washing enzyme to make it durable,” he adds.

This may partly explain why despite the fact that major designers, such as Armani to Gaultier, have incorporated Indian influences in their collections many years ago, the Indian ethnic market has a minuscule presence on the global fashion map.

Designer Nikhil Mehra points to another pragmatic limitation: “We cannot deny the interest going by the demand. Until three years ago most men would want to go for a tuxedo for a special occasion, today many want to go for say a bandgala.”

Stylists suggest flashing the ethnic fashion sensibility at avenues such as film screenings on international events. Costa recalls, “Irfan Khan wore a bandgala for a film screening function in Toronto and it worked, just apt for the occasion. I made Rahul Khanna a bandgala for a film function and it worked as it was showcased were it needed to be seen.”

Infusing New Energy

Designer Nida Mahmood, who recently ventured into menswear with her new line of funky and boho modern kurtas, consciously shot her collection with a French model. She says: “ I chose to work with my friend Julien to model my new line of kurtas, because the idea was to showcase the global appeal of the handloom fabrics. It was to make a statement that transcending borders in terms of design and appeal of our Indian fabrics is really as simple as that.”

Many designers increasingly feel that the universal appeal of Indian products hasn’t been tapped and recognized thus far.

Popular sociologists say one reason why traditional designs are gaining currency is because the world is getting more experimental. The creative and artist lobby is almost as influential as business or finance workers.

A sherwani in a sea of similar looking black blazers is far more intriguing. The notion that Indian wear should be reserved for weddings and festivals is fast changing with western design teams turning to Asia for style innovations.

Costa explains the future of the trend: “The way I see Indian fashion in the global context is, maybe let’s say in the form of a bandhini print shirt. The perfect club to casual shirt would have enough sass and tradition to appeal both to an Indian and to let’s say an American.

Source: http://www.littleindia.com/life/

  • Ethnic wear are getting very much popularity in the west due to the type of work designers are doing and the fabrics they use. these days looking both the traditional and western culture more and more designs are being created to make the comfortable elegant look. And study says in UK itself there is a huge demand of omzara for both men and women.

Next Story

Stir Up Your Winter Wardrobe

The trend of turning a classic silk foulards into slinky dresses and tops has picked up really fast.

0
Sweater, winter
Winter outfits to stir your wardrobe. Pixabay

Make your wardrobe winter ready with some of the smart choices that will never go out of trend.

Ashima Sharma, owner of Ashima S Couture and Anushka Tugnait, Celebrity Stylist are sharing some tips on winter outfits to stir your wardrobe.

* Tucked in a sweater: This winter you can flaunt your fit and toned tummy even through sweaters. Keeping the fitness factor aside, this trend is quite adorable. The tucked-in and belted sweater style give a more modern and a clean look. You can tuck them into jeans, skirts, trousers or even under a skinny belt.

 

Sweater, winter
Few simple styles can be incorporated in our daily life. Pixabay

 

* Pagoda shoulders: Everybody knows that shoulder pads are making a huge comeback this year. But another trend brewing within is that of pagoda shoulders. This style had fallen out of fashion, but now they are making a resurgence. Pagoda Shoulder has a convex line with an elevated outer edge. We have seen them on sweaters, dresses, jackets and dresses, basically, everywhere.

* Leather on leather: After the success of denim on denim, now the fashion trends are all about leather on leather. Let go of pairing a leather jacket with jeans or a leather skirt with a satin top. This fall-winter fashion, wearing head-to-toe leather outfits will be in vogue. You can even mix colours, like pairing black with burgundy or brown.

Leather jacket, winter
You can simply layer a shirt or jacket.Pixabay

* Animal print: This winter there is no escaping from an animal-inspired pattern. The leopard print has always been the hero and hailed by many. The brown sporty patterns are considered to be very versatile. Those who want more of ‘wear it whole day piece’, then invest in a leopard print midi skirt and you will not regret it.

* Shades of brown: Despite being shunned by many for some years, this Fall-Winter season, Brown has become the most dominant shade. From trench coat to jumpsuit to zip coat, all styles have gone wild for brown in all its hues. You can simply layer a shirt or jacket over a fine black roll-neck and you’ve nailed.

Scarf, winter
This style had fallen out of fashion, but now they are making a resurgence. Pixabay

* New way of layering: There are some pretty interesting layering ideas going on in the fashion industry. Few simple styles can be incorporated in our daily life like a new way to fasten your old scarf and trench coat together. For a more elegant yet a chic look you can layer a wool coat on top of a denim jacket.

Also Read: Try Fusion Wear This Diwali

* Scarf prints: The trend of turning a classic silk foulards into slinky dresses and tops has picked up really fast. You no longer need to tie down a scarf to your neck, the trend is making its way to shirts, skirts and dress. Silky shirts will make a stylish addition to your style catalogue, while the versatile midi dress becomes a statement piece in scarf prints. (IANS)