Indian fashion is renowned for its grace, vibrant colors and rich heritage. Indian dresses highlight the intricacy and charm that they have acquired from our rich culture over the centuries. From ethnic outfits to Indo-Western ensembles, from stunning sarees, salwar suits, anarkalis, shararas, lehenga cholis to fusion jumpsuits, our fashion industry has evolved extraordinarily with time.
Impact of Ancient Culture
During the excavation of the Indus Valley, figurines of Goddesses were found. Those figurines wore simple garments around their waists and adorned jewelry such as necklaces and bangles. Men during this period used to wear a garment like a dhoti. This confirms that our ancient civilization had understanding about clothing.
The ancient Vedic scriptures mention the presence of clothing produced from trees. Later, women used to wear saree like garment. People in those times also gained knowledge about making and dying cloth. With time, more styles developed, and women started wearing long flowy skirts, something like lehengas.
During the rule of the Muslim dynasties, the quality of tailored clothes in India improved and new styles emerged. During this period, women wore embellished and embroidered Anarkali suits with churidars, shararas and gararas.
During the British Rule
The British rule in India resulted in the usage of the clothing made by them. In order to minimize the usage of British industrial goods, Mahatma Gandhi started the Swadeshi movement and propagated the production of the hand-woven fabric known as Khadi.
In the history of fashion, the next era was inspired by international trends. Women in this era were fashion conscious and started wearing skirts and pants.
The glittering gowns inspired by Hollywood movies came into fashion. Long-sleeved gowns were created using various fabrics such as satin and silk. The usage of lace was also seen during this time.
During the period of 1970s, 80s and 90s, Bollywood inspired fashion came into existence. Three-piece outfits were popular during the 70s. Fashion trends including stylish collars, flared pants and leather jackets were preferred. Women started teaming designer blouses with Bollywood inspired sarees. Stylish salwar suits became popular among girls. Different types of necklines such as halter, sweetheart and high necklines were on trend. Women also adopted western culture's trends like denim jeans, floral and polka-dot clothing.
Modernization of Indian fashion took place around the 80s. Some fashion brands have established themselves in India and with the adoption of Western culture, fusion outfits came into existence. Actors and actresses became the style icons of the younger generation. The influence of Bollywood movies and cable TV grew, and the fashion market flourished.
Like the 80s, Bollywood's top actors and actresses helped to define fashion in the 90s. During this time, Indian ethnic dresses, such as designer sarees and salwar suits were preferred by women. Full length skirts and jeans were also on trend. Floral prints and bold accessories like sunglasses became popular too. According to fashion experts, Indians embraced western styles throughout the decades that followed the 1990s, and the outfits became bold and stylish.
The 21st Century Fashion
The 21st century heralded a shift in fashion styles. Women in metropolitan areas can be seen dressed up in contemporary outfits made by renowned Indian fashion houses. For festivals, wedding ceremonies and other special occasions, women still like to flaunt traditional Indian sarees like Benarasi silk, embellished anarkalis, salwar suits and lehenga cholis. Fashionistas today, pick Indian wedding dresses very carefully, ensuring they complement their personality.
In the realm of fashion, Indian styles are making a name for themselves. Today, Indian fashion combines cultural heritage with influences from throughout the world. Fashion savvy women are currently obsessed with Indo-Western outfits, traditional sarees, sequin embellished lehenga cholis, stylish shararas and embroidered salwar suits.