Evolution of Indian Fashion Over The Years
Indian fashion has changed relentlessly with every passing era. The Indian fashion industry is a major force and every few months or so, one sees new trends making their mark on the industry. The fact that India is a fast rising economic power has to play a role as well.
There are a lot of people in India with money to burn, and the Indian middle class is as big the U.S. population – almost 350 million. This means there is no shortage of money in the Indian fashion industry, which has made haute couture accessible to even ordinary, middle class Indians.
With higher living standards in the country, the potential for growth for the fashion industry is immense. Also, men and women in India are no longer particular about wearing traditional clothes; they have moved on and are today global citizens. This means fashion in India is pretty much global and every global fashion trend eventually makes its way to India, much faster than in the years gone by.
So, how has Indian fashion evolved over the years? Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the Indian fashion scene was quite exciting, even in the days of black & white TV. Fashion back them was stylish, elegant and graceful, much like the popular Bollywood stars of that period, such as Nargis and Sadhna.
Fashion Trends In 1950's And 1960's:
In the 1950’s and 60’s, fashion designers, models and design labels were relatively unknown. The value of a garment depended on the quality of the fabric, not on who designed it. The fashion industry was pretty much in its nascent stages. In the late 1960’s, women liked wearing tight kurtas, high coiffures and churidars.
Fashion Trends In 1970's:
The 1970’s saw bolder trends in Indian fashion. Those were the days when coated polyester fabrics first made their presence felt in the Indian fashion scene. 1970’s were also the days of bell-bottoms and bold colors for men, that were made popular by the Bollywood superstars Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan.
The disco culture was quite popular back then, heavily inspired by Hollywood movies such as Grease and Saturday Night Fever, and the clothes reflected that.
Fashion Trends In 1980's:
The 1980’s was when the Indian fashion industry made some sort of a mark, with many fashion stores opening in Mumbai. 1980’s saw the earliest signs of economic growth in India, and at least the rich adopted fashion trends directly from the west, looking up to designers such as Calvin Klein.
Fashion Trends In 1990's:
It was in the 1990’s when the Indian fashion industry truly came into its own. Those were heady days for the Indian economy as the self-imposed shackles of socialism were finally lifted.
With beauties such as Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai winning international beauty pageants, the Indian fashion finally had something to cheer about.
Fashion Trends In Current Era:
Since then, the Indian fashion industry has been on a trajectory of rapid, relentless growth. Almost all top international fashion brands have entered the Indian market. In fact the potential of the Indian fashion industry does seem limitless.
Fashion shows such as Lakme India Fashion Week and Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week have offered a terrific platform for new designers to showcase their talent. Top Indian designers such as Manish Malhotra, Neeta Lulla, Tarun Tahiliani, Rohit Khosla, Ritu Beri have since massed great fame and fortune.
Today, thousands of Indian students go abroad to learn fashion from the very best, get degrees from the top fashion institutes around the world and come back home to lend a global perspective to Indian fashion. Indian fashion is taken seriously by the west as well. Indian designs are worn by top global celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Gisele Bundchen, Madonna, Lady Gaga and others. Truly, Indian fashion has arrived on the global stage, and how!