Indian fashion scene has evolved
over centuries. Its evolution has been aided by various influences and
invasions of India foreign traders, Greek and Islamic invasion
and then Western colonialism. However, Indian fashion industry has the
unique characteristic of absorbing and transforming foreign influences
into something that is so Indian that it is tough to recognize its
origin. In the present times, our fashion industry is mainly influenced
by customer choices and globalisation of Indian economy.
The different reasons for the Western influence and its adoption by our
apparel and costume industry are:
Tolerant ethos with cultural diversities:
India is a
nation of multilingual and multi ethnic groups. Each group has its own
style and type of dresses and jewelry. Our country is known for
absorbing these diverse fashions and making them our own with a distinct
Indian look about them.
Indians winning beauty pageants:
The recent successes
of Indian women and men in international beauty pageants has also
influenced our dressing sense. The dresses worn by such winners are a
combination of Indian and Western clothes. Ordinary Indians imitate
these role models and this impacts the general fashion and apparel
industry making it more westernized.
Influence of Indian movies:
Indian movies have always
influenced the Indian social mindset and their normal everyday lives.
People adapt whatever their idols on screen are wearing or
doing. Thus, the movies that followed futuristic dressing styles as
influenced by the West were imitated by the ordinary Indian folks.
Globalisation and Liberalization:
With the opening of
Indian markets to imports from the West, it became easier to adapt the
lifestyle and clothing sense enjoyed by the Western men and women.
Indian fashion industry has started attracting western buyers. Thus, the
fashion fraternity has also adopted Western designs to create outfits
suitable for Indian and Western sensibilities. Moreover, liberalization
also led to the beaming of western soaps and sitcoms that revolved
around a Western style of living. The Indian populace watches such
programmes and has adapted the social and cultural changes and Western
lifestyles as well.
Education and employment opportunities:
The concept of
going to Western Universities to get higher degrees has brought about a
change in the fashion and lifestyle of young Indians. Indians emulate
the western style of dressing and living so as to get integrated in the
Western society once they go there for their education. Employment
opportunities have opened up and Indian men and women going abroad to
work, change their fashion style to suit the Western sensibilities.
Wear and throw concept:
The concept of street wear has
been directly adopted from the West and it involves inexpensive clothes
that can be worn a couple of times and then discarded. Street wear is
also cheaper to buy than the traditional Indian clothes made of fine
cotton, silk, etc. Street wear is manufactured in bulk quantities and
sold at throwaway prices.
Thus, the Indian fashion scene is totally influenced by differing
cultures of the West. The concepts and designs of western wear have been
successfully adopted and integrated into the Indian fashion industry.