BENGALURU: There is far more to fashion than just tassels, beads or pearls. Fashion is a movement that symbolises the history of a country and its political and economic situations. All forms of art have been a medium of expression, passing on stories for generations. The weaves and prints reflect the culture and mindset of a generation that was, as much as words, poems and stories do.
The other day I was digging into my mom’s wardrobe when I noticed drapes in geometrical prints. I instantly remembered watching the iconic Freddie Mercury’s movie The Bohemian Rhapsody. It gave me such a peek into pop culture and fashion and how close knit they are.
I still remember my mother’s enthusiasm about stitching clothes for my dolls as well as using her sarees to make lehengas for me when there was a wedding in the family. Today, we call it upcycling...I now plan to upcycle the geometric-printed saree into a skirt.
There was something amazing about our grandmothers who would ration everything in the kitchen, reuse old fabrics, refurbish the old charpoy without letting them go. Today, we call it ‘sustainable living’, while back then, people used to reduce these acts to being miserly.
Sustainability in lifestyle is a virtue that has been part of Indian culture, but it is our generation that moved away in the quest of becoming somebody else, the ‘FOMO’ of not being present somewhere or chasing the mirage. But how does that make us unique then? We speak about absolving from colour and gender biases... my tween daughter could write about how inadequate this generation of kids is made to feel.
This year Afro fashion that has hardly enjoyed its moment, with it being brief and fleeting despite its versatility and uniqueness, will soak in its glory. The much-anticipated sequel of the Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther would surely catapult the Afro weaves, prints and flamboyance to the world stage. We have all loved the box braids, the wild brilliant hairstyles and bright and bold fashion of Africa. So be prepared to spice up your look with some headwraps and innovative Ankara jewellery.
Men can up their style with pencil pantsuits in Afro-Pop culture prints. African fashion will redefine this decade of style as it resonates with the growing sentiment of ‘slow fashion’.
Recycled jewellery, fabrics sourced from artisans, Ankara printed bags and more. All we need are inspirational figures like Michelle Obama to embark on this trendy journey and we will soon be following.
This year I wish all of us luck to realise who we are and what our calling is and rejoice in this glory. Let there be light in all our lives, including the artisans. If their work goes extinct, it would be the end of a chapter of history, design and authentic identity of every culture.