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Fashion gets spiritual

Move over slogan T-shirts. Spirituality is now the last word in urban cool. From Radha-Krishna to Buddha, sporting spiritual symbols is the latest trend on the city’s streets.

fashion and trends Updated: Nov 30, 2010 16:51 IST
Rochelle Pinto

Move over slogan T-shirts. Spirituality is now the last word in urban cool. From mega stores like Globus to smaller neighbourhood nooks like Loose Ends, Bandra, Indian mythological characters are taking over T-shirts, bags and cushions. Delhi’s Play clan, that recently opened on Bandra’s Hill Road, has a running leitmotif using cutesy versions of Indian gods and goddesses like Kali, Durga, Krishna and Hanuman on the various knick-knacks available in their store. “Raavan was on one of our T-shirts and the style got popular. Among men’s shirts, Shiva is the most popular deity,” says Poonam Salva, proprietor. “Expats love T-shirts with Indian gods on them. We also get a lot of Indians between 27-45 years of age, who pick them up.”



Free expression


Salva admits that they’ve never received any flak for using religious imagery, adding, “Clients from other religions don’t mind sporting these tees. It’s something that’s quintessentially Indian.” In fact, one of the comments on Play clan’s Facebook page, featuring an image of Krishna, reads “God wants us to be a little less serious and more playful. Think Krishna likes the new setting!”



Shilpee Sharma, director, design at Globus, which offers a range of brightly coloured T-shirts for men, offers another reason why the gods are taking over fashion. “After the recent economic recession, people started getting more religious. Some took the traditional route, while others embrace spirituality,” he says, adding, “Fashion, being so accessible, was one of the means. It also stems from the revival of the ’70s culture – the

Hare Ram Hare Krishna

movement. People want to feel good about themselves and fashion helps you do that.”



Holy couture


If you’re worried about offending people’s feelings, take heart. Insisting that the issue is only raked up for political gain, co-founder of online T-shirt brand Inkfruit, Kashyap Dalal says, “We have a number of t-shirts which feature conventional religious symbols in a slightly retro presentation. Indians are very accommodating and don’t mind expressing themselves. As long as it’s not obscene, nobody gets offended.”