Republic Day 2020: Tracing the style map of India
On the occasion of Republic Day, we try and get the pulse of street styles of India’s prominent cities. Each city style is unique and reflects our country’s diverse and pluralistic spirit. If Delhi’s toffee-nosed social set is partial to craft-based labels, then the average Delhiite loves picking one-of-a-kind finds from Shahpur Jat or Dilli Haat. Think power blowdrys, contoured makeup and logo dripping accessories and you’ve pretty much nailed the multi-layered taste of today’s Delhi, which is fashion-forward, values traditional artisanal techniques and clued into global runways.
Take a walk down the Khan market over the weekend and it’s not difficult to spot dressed-to-the-nines Dilliwallas in long statement coats, boots and sunglasses. Mumbai, on the other hand, loves an eclectic mix of high street and luxury.
Think summer shorts worn with comfy flip-flops, day kaftans paired with sneakers and belt bags. Of course, for a night out in Bandra or Juhu, the party set goes all out in sequinned separates teamed with ripped denims and high heels. Laidback, luxe and with a touch of ease - that’s Mumbai style.
On the other hand, cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai stand out for their love for tradition and marrying it with a sliver of modernity. So a handloom sari will have a conversation with a designer handbag from Italy or a vintage zardozi waistcoat will strike the right chord with a sporty T-shirt. These varying yet individualistic city styles make India the chic cauldron of design, art, crafts and ideas and on Republic Day, we salute that multi-layered and multi-cultural spirit.
Mumbai - Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla
Mumbai style is a unique and delicious mix. It’s about a love for tradition, technique, textiles, all of which combine with a heady spirit of personality to create a thoroughly contemporary and individualistic expression. Mumbai loves natural fabrics like cotton and khadi and has a passion for thread embroideries, especially resham and chikankari. It is a sensibility that celebrates beauty at its most subtle, recognising that simplicity is often the result of the complex and lavish use of craftsmanship at its finest. The city also has fabulous in capitals in its aesthetic DNA. Natural experimenters and twisters of rules, the city always writes its own fashion path and destiny.
Hyderabad - Archana Rao
Hyderabadi heritage has been a source of inspiration for most designers coming out of here, and what we bond over the most. We are constantly tweaking, transforming and redefining all that this city has to offer. Today, Hyderabad fashion is a contemporary take on our rich culture and heritage. With easy access to travel and global fashion, buyers are keen to pick up what comes naturally to them and make it a truly global attire. A vintage zardozi waistcoat worn over a T-shirt or restyling a khada dupatta to a cocktail party, everyone has found a unique personality.
Bengaluru - Paresh Lamba
Bengaluru is a melting pot of people who have moved into the city from all over the country and the world. This means that there are various influences on fashion quotient of the city. The current generation of Bangaloreans that we see every day are style conscious but never over the top. We can see the current generation actively putting an effort into dressing up appropriately for different occasions. I have personally seen a gradual shift in the people, to be more fashion conscious and fashionable. Bangaloreans are not afraid of experimenting with clothing anymore, and for me that is fashion forward. A collection I had created, as you can see below, consisted of bold stripes, and was accepted with a great deal of excitement by the people here.
Bhagalpur - Samant Chauhan
Bihar is known for Bhagalpur craft and most importantly Bhagalpuri silk or Tussar silk, which is a dying textile and needs revival. Since the inception of my label, I have focused on exploration and revival of the Bhagalpur silk. There are a number of weavers there, who excel in the craft and since generations have been taking over the craft from their ancestors. Back home, handwoven saris define the city’s style quotient. They are a wardrobe staple for a bevy of beauties across all age groups. Women prefer to be rooted to the traditional weaves and home-grown textiles.
Tirbin - Designer Jenjum Gadi
Like any other North East state, Arunachal fashion is hugely inspired by Kpop fashion. But with increased awareness in social media and other platforms about important of preserving one’s culture and heritage, a lot of young Arunachali generations start incorporating traditional attire with more contemporary outfits. Especially on special occasions and festivals, you will see a lot of fusion wear. For my recent collection, I took inspiration from different tribal motifs of Arunachal. I juxtapose them together and gave it more disco vibe.
Jaipur - Designer Rina Dhaka
Rajasthan is a smorgasbord of culture and tradition. A veil or a turban can actually define which part of the state you belong to. My formative years were spent in a haveli in Rajasthan and to me, my grandmother was the epitome of style. Back home, psychedelic Bandhini and embroidery along with mirror work always took centerstage. Even sustainable fashion was very crucial back then, borlas – a traditional headgear – were made out of old chappals. So I have taken these elements up in my collections and they have always been close to my heart.
Delhi – Nikhita Tandon
A Delhi girl’s style is a sign of her prerogative – glamourous, out-of-the-box and niche. The synergy of cinema and luxury brands really works; anything with a ‘Limited Edition’ tag gets instant vote of approval. It is high-gloss but just right for every occasion. I feel, feathers, glitter, Swarovski add that glam quotient to any look. My ideology has always been about creating contemporary styles with influences from across the world. So you can see fine and structured cuts, ruffles, feathers, cut-work and beads dominate my designs to amp up the visual appeal.
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