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nss fashion guide: India

Lotus India Fashion Week FW19

nss fashion guide: India Lotus India Fashion Week FW19

From March 13 to 17, the nss magazine will go to the discovery of India, or rather Lotus India Fashion Week, to understand how fashion is perceived in a country where Jeremy Scott's dresses would not be frowned upon and the androgynous experimentation of Maison Margiela would not be conceived. Sometimes people said that fashion speaks only one language, that cities and tastes influence each other through an increasingly dominant use of social networks, but this does not count for India. Here fashion is tradition and culture, it is religion and respect, it is that historicity of customs that does not seem to change because it is rooted in society and subjected to a "moral and spiritual law". Women in India appear as goddesses wrapped in precious fabrics and colored veils, unmistakable in their style, but that trend is not.

We present you the full guide of fashion Made in India to better understand how this country is moving in this sector and how fashion is conceived here.


Brief summary on Indian fashion

First it's important to understand what are the basic elements of Indian culture, clothes, fabrics and accessories that are rooted in the years Before Christ. Famous authors of the past described in their works the precious embroideries, the sought-after fabrics that characterized the clothes of this population. In Herodotus Herodotus (5th century BC) writes about fine cotton and clothes woven with rushes, while evidence from the second century tells how important the role of India was during the trade of silk between China and the Roman Empire.

Under the Anglo-Indian empire, the twentieth century, the clothing and crafts industry was abandoned to concentrate all the work and development on the new British sectors. It was precisely for this reason that Mahatma Gandhi, head of the Indian independence movement, inaugurated the use of khadi, handmade clothes, to reduce in this way the dependence of the Indian people to the British industrial things.

But what are the typical garments of this culture?

Sari: unique, very long, piece of cloth worn by Indian women in different ways depending on the region and style;

Pallu: draped fabric of the remaining garment that is placed on the left shoulder. It is the most beautiful part of the sari because it is often decorated with jewels, diamonds and stones.

Salwar Kameez: one of the most popular "shirt - trousers" combinations for today's ease of use and comfort. Complete that also allows you to indulge with the combinations of bright colors.

Salwar: it is the term used to indicate the trousers, generally wide both on the sides and on the legs. Recently, perhaps thanks to the western trof thend of the leggings, the churidar, tight pants from the knee, are almost more common. Above them, women are used to wear kameez, a long shirt, which perhaps we would call more a dress, often colored, with fantasies or monochromatic.


3 things to know

Just by looking at the fashion weeks organized in India, it's easy to notice the enormous gap between the Western concept of fashion week and theirs. We're not talking just about the collection, but also about how fashion is thought and staged. But first things first: 

1. The catwalks most of the time are completely bare, like the ones of beauty pageants. There are no decorations, just minimal runways (but not like the ones of The Row or Victoria Beckham), where the girls display the designers' creations; 

2. Forget the pouty expressions of Gucci models or the gangly walk of Maison Margiela models. In India, young girls walk slowly with their hands on the hips, with a big smile on their faces. 

3. The models perfectly mirror the Indian beauty standards. A bit like the Dolce & Gabbana of India, here designers embrace the curvy asthetics, they're not afraid of forms, hips and cellulitis are not an issue. Yes, the vast majority of items cover the women's bodies from head to toe, but often seen on the catwalk, besides the traditional sari, is the رقص شرقي outfit (belly dance), which leaves part of the belly and of the chest exposed (have you ever seen Charu Parashar performances?)


To discover: Manish Arora

A designer to keep an eye on. Born in Mumbai, he studied at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Manish Arora is one of the most interesting creative directors Made in India. In 2005 he had the chance to debut his collection at the London Fashion Week and to present a few of his works at the "Global Local" exhibition held at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Defined the "Indian John Galliano", the designer mixes art and fashion in an unexpected way, through the union of shapes and colors, designing headpieces and accessories as if they were real works of art.