Monday, October 12, 2015

How Indian fashion influenced by Bollywood styles from independence to 21st century

India is an ancient country whose clothing traditions go back thousands of years. The culture of this country was inspired since the earliest days by the beliefs and practices of Hindu religion and it also shaped up the trends of clothing that were worn by the men and women who were a part of this culture. However, while it is true that the clothing practices of this country goes back to thousands of years, the fashion industry of India is relatively new and dates back to only a few decades. Over the years, Indian fashion and Bollywood sense of style has grown hand in hand, with each intimately influencing the other.

Ever since the earliest times, India had a rich handloom textile industry that shaped up the clothing trends of this country. The textiles of India are appropriate for the country’s tropical climate. The artisans of this country have played a major role in developing the different types of distinct clothing styles that have their roots in the various regions of India. For the longest time, Indian fashion referred to the handloom industry and the products that were developed by the artisans who worked in different parts of India. However, an organized fashion industry has now developed in India thanks to the tireless efforts of many independent-minded fashion designers who have helped to develop a signature identity of Indian fashion.

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Looking back to the early post independence days, one can find that the mainstay of Indian fashion was the traditional garments such as dhoti, sari, ghagra choli and salwar kameez. During this time, India still didn’t have any distinct fashion identity, except that the clothing items were still heavily influenced by the work of traditional artisans and lacked individual interpretation as is the norm with the current fashion garments. A distinct aspect of traditional Indian fashion was embroidery works that adorned many garments and enhanced their value tremendously. It was during the 60s when certain fashion designers in India started to work with the traditional artwork and embroidery styles and started to redefine them in their own way in their designs while at the same time maintaining their original beauty.

A new form of Indian fashion inspired by the design elements of the west came into vogue during this time. Some fashion designers started to focus specifically on these western elements while designing their collections. There were also those who developed their unique styles by combining both eastern and western elements, and fusion fashion came into being. Ethnic inspired fashion, on the other hand, began to gain prominence on the runways. With time, the rising fashion designers in India started to design clothing specifically for the Bollywood industry. The movies that are made in Bollywood have always been known to explore a wide range of themes. Consequently, the clothes worn by the characters in the movies help them to create the appropriate image for their roles. Fashion designers in India designed mainly three forms of clothing items for Bollywood films; one form focuses particularly on western outfits, the second form is primarily ethnic and the third form is a fusion of the two.

Over the years, Indian fashion has been intimately related to the Bollywood film industry, so much so that most men and women in this country prefer buying clothing items that are worn by their screen idols. This has significantly influenced fashion trends in this country and the way the people in India think about clothing. As the fashion industry in India grows further, we can expect much more intimate collaboration between the two and new trends developing through it.           

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