Styles of India fashion wearing saris and salwar-kameez have changed. The look has become more of metro. India fashion designers have experimented a lot with India fashion clothes like the neck designs and the cuts of
Everyone seems to have had enough of the exotic Indian look. Young designers are cheerfully trading Swarovski-studded tops for chic khadi, discovers Ritusmita Biswas.
Fashion does not need to mean “exotic” with a capital E anymore. Designers are taking a break from the usual fare of jewel-studded lehengas and Swarovski-embedded halter tops. They are getting creative with khadi or ethnic Indian silk instead.
Sujata Sarawagi, who prefers to be known as a textile designer rather than a fashion designer, says: “The exotic look is immensely popular in the bridal market, but it simply does not fit my sense of design and fashion. I would never be wearing such clothes, so why create something which I will never wear?”
“Many of the garments from so-called fashion designers are so tacky that they look like they’ve come straight out of wardrobes from those K serials! In fact, the embellished sarees, the open hair, the large bindis and the heavy jewelry were essentially a look promoted by saas-bahu soap operas. With this craze fading, the demand for such a look is also waning,” says advertising executive Ranjabati Sarkar.
Her friend Nimisha agrees, observing that “such clothes are definitely not for the common people!”
Designer Jaya Misra, who specializes in bridal-wear, disagrees. “There is — and will always be — a demand for such dresses especially as part of a trousseau. At weddings, people want to depict the rich, exotic look. So, these dresses are in demand,” she insists. “As a designer, I am known for my rich bridal designs but at times even I need to take a break from my usual work. I recently sought to capture the simplicity of Indian designs by making optimal use of Indian fibers like khadi,” she adds.
Whatever be the mode of expression of the designer, each garment should have a sense of purpose and only then it can meet the expectations of the buyer, according to designer Rahul Mishra, who is hailed as the next Sabyasachi Mukherjee on the Indian fashion circuit.
“India has a rich repertoire of unique fabrics and patterns which are yet to be discovered. As a designer, it is my duty to find them and give a new meaning to these traditional forms so that they are accepted by the young, trend-conscious buyer,” he says.
“Why do patterns need to be the same clichéd ones,” asks Fahd Hussein of brand Onseed, which has a growing client base among urban youth who are fascinated by its iconoclastic designs. “Indian fashion today is intensely boring! The same designs are being replicated time and again. Why does a traditional Indian pattern need to be an image of Krishna, Radha or a peacock? Even offbeat motifs, like posters of B grade Ramsay movies or political pamphlets, can create images which are intrinsically Indian,” says Hussein.
The brand Onseed which is run by an artists’ collective believes that among urban youth, traditional designer-wear is losing relevance. Designer Rina Dhaka begs to differ. “The Indian consumer is reluctant to experiment; when buying designer-wear, they are eager to replicate patterns seen in films or on television. The concept ‘less is more’ is yet to catch on,” she says.
Rahul says, “It is the designer’s responsibility to deviate from the norm and educate his clientele about alternatives.”