The quest for exclusivity in fashion will insulate Indian fashion from the global competition.
Blending Indian folk elements is an area critical to deep development of an Indian ethos to fashion. The lady that is leading this movement, Archana Kochhar shares her thoughts.

India’s rich heritage and ostentatious culture has been a major source of influence in the fashion industry. Showcasing ethnicity emphasized in the intricacies of our tribal heritage and infusing it with a modern twist, folk art can very well be blended into modern art to uplift and incept the birth of something new.

Our country has been fortunate to have been exposed to a surfeit of cultures and diversities that have cumulated over time and developed a unique identity for themselves. Hidden behind the modernity of the urban societies are the rural and tribal populations that have rendered new meaning to the ethnicity of our country. Their indigenous designs and exclusive artistry have been well preserved and have seen light through their slow introduction into the modern markets.

One of the most popular translations of tribal culture into the modern world has been seen in the Banjara tribes ranging across the North of our country. Their traditional hand embroidery and mirror work has been revered over decades while their use of vibrant colours and bold designs has been an inspiration for designers across the globe. What makes these trends a standout even in today’s time is the veritable display of the bygone era; but at the same time, they stand a major drawback in being repetitive. Over the years, the details and designs have been similarly created coming down the generations, without any drastic change in development despite the changes in technology and the colossal surge in globalization.

A decorous osmosis between the urban and rural communities is essential to being in a revolutionary change in the world of fashion. Baby steps are being taken in the direction with the evolution of the Warli culture in the fashion industry. Boho inspired clothes, jewels and home-ware are the latest adaptation of the Banjara culture in modern haute couture. It is essential to maintain the balance of the traditionalist approach while integrating modernity to further develop the art that has articulately spread all across the country. It is often seen that the urban trends tend to overshadow the rural mores, patronizing the other; hence it is ideal to create a working model that stems out of mutual respect and independence given to both dimensions while upholding the integrity of their individuality.

This proposed model can be brought to light only when we designers take an initiative to work with the tribal folk and infuse their tradition with our technology. Providing a platform to showcase their talents becomes our personal responsibility as we have the adequate resources necessary to promote and encourage the roots of our nation. It is high time we take the extra step forward and help enhance the tribal population of our country to highlight what has been hidden under years of tradition masked behind the facade of being archaic.

Not only do we understand the need of the hour, but also how tribes need to evolve to incorporate new motifs on new silhouettes. The realization that we are no longer a clan of salwar kameez wearing personages who weave ethos only in our sarees has helped us step up beyond the bounds of our 9 yards and become global in our approach. Today’s generation believes in “out with the old and in with the new” which is quite visibly ostensible in their attires of daily use. Incorporating palazzos, jackets, skirts and pants fused with Indian wear has taken the recent markets by storm, reflecting the open mindedness of our cohort and willingness to adapt to the changing trends in global fashion. The escalation of Indo-western wear has been on the rise ever since its inception and shows promising advancement in the near future as well.

The magnificence of a tradition has infallibly been uplifted by the elegance of modernity, and fashionistas now devote their attention to an equally creative wardrobe as they do to keep up with the latest fads in fashion. The growth of modern technology in today’s world has led to modifications and inspirations from trends around the globe, giving a new twist to the traditional outfit. Gone are the days of your catalogued repetitive designs, where you didn’t have the option of choosing an exceptional design tailored to your personality. Today with an advent in technology, one is not restricted. to the same old clichéd patterns but can range from readymade to custom tailor made outfits to suit your personal sense of fashion while upholding the integrity of tradition.

As pioneers of the fashion industry, it now becomes our responsibility to shoulder this growth in the right direction. Recreating iconic vintage designs with a modern twist, we can uplift folk-art into modern art assimilating their experience and our knowledge to incept the birth of something new. Awareness of the latest trends and the luxuries of shopping from the comforts of your home have made the world a smaller place to live in, making the latest trends in fashion available at your fingertips. Sourcing for the right product in all its authenticity has since become important as we all stand answerable not only to our peers in the industry but also to the vast clientele who now stand knowledgeable of every detail of couture they intend to invest in. It is hence our obligation to deliver nothing but the best, always!

Boho InSpIReD ClotheS, JewelS anD hoMe-waRe aRe the lateSt aDaptatIon of the BanJaRa CUltURe In MoDeRn haUte CoUtURe. It IS eSSentIal to MaIntaIn the BalanCe of the tRaDItIonalISt appRoaCh whIle IntegRatIng MoDeRnItY

That being said, every fashion brand in India has to realize the necessity for evolution and embrace the changing choices of the masses. Trend calendars and colour cycles in accordance to the seasons no longer define the boundaries of what to wear and what not to wear. Everyone now steps beyond the confines of sticking to the conventional and experiments with new colours, patterns, designs and combinations.

Bold mattes, bright neons, shimmery metallics or muted pastels- the Indian markets have welcomed the diversities in trends with open arms, gambling with the unknown. The uninhibited enthusiasm with which the world of fashion has revolutionized in the last few decades has been unparalleled and helped our fraternity grow into new magnitudes with leaps and bounds. Today, Indian brands offer the same plethora of options that international markets do, and people incorporate the best of both worlds in creating for them a collection uniquely collaborated to suit their persona.

A fashionable consumer mixes, matches and creates with great care a wardrobe that makes them stand out from the rest. As designers, the ability to craft the right product blending culture with curiosity would hand us the opportunity to stand out and create new dimension in the world of fashion. The precise knowledge applied at the right time, disseminated at the right place can give the fashion industry a new face like never before.

Tapping the right markets is an ability that comes with experience and familiarity with the current changing scenarios. Once you have a fair understanding of the works of those around you, showcasing your innovations to the correct audiences is a matter of time. The evolution of fashion has offered opportunities to our fraternity to go out there and showcase the best of our potential, as we have been gifted with the most receptive and accommodating masses who don’t shy away from experimenting with the unusual. It has been rightly said, if you have the right products to offer, the world is your oyster!

As the trend cycle continues to spin, it is clear that tribal/ rural fashion isn’t about looking behind into the ruins of the old but furthering it as a stepping stone to recreate the magic of something timeless, and priceless through any era.

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