Indian Contribution To Global Fashion


Did you know that most of the 70s trends that were an instant hit on global runways in 2015, have their roots in India?


When it comes to fashion, we look to the West for inspiration, by default. It is commonly believed that the Western world is the trendsetter and the rest of the world is a follower. However, not many of us know that many trends that have taken the fashion world by storm have originated in India -  remember, Dolce and Gabbana’s Silk Rendition a couple of years back? Not only that, India’s cultural heritage is so rich that when it comes talking about fashion at a global level, India has had so much to offer.


Talking of the ancient times, a lot of western fashion took influence from India’s culture and history. Not many of us are aware but a lot of Bohemian fashion has its roots in India. Stepping further,  one trend that has been doing rounds on International Runways since a while - Jodhpuri pants, were popularized by an Indian Polo Player during his visit to Europe. These pants became instantly popular; making waves in top-most fashion magazines.


Not only are we highlighting fashion in terms of apparels. But if we look back, then we’ll realize that clothes, jewelry, shoes, ink on the body were first born in India and then travelled West.


If we talk about men Global fashion in particular, there is a lot that India has given to global fashion. Find the list of the most sought after trends of men’s fashion in today’s time; conveying India and its contribution to fashion


  • Jodhpurs (popularly known as the breeches):  As the name affirms, Jodhpurs have come from land of Rajasthan. These were the modern versions of pants that are called churidars, which are meant to be flared style from the waist to the knee and slinky from the knee to the ankle. Ancient Maharajas of Jodhpurs have flaunted this popular style of pants that we commonly witness on the catwalks of Fashion Weeks. The Jodhpurs have been mostly seen complemented with knee-high boots while the elite class splurged in activities like riding. This fashion did travel to the West and we have seen big fashion labels like Ralph Lauren incorporate the same.


  • Cummerbunds: The image of a chic dinner jacket is inconceivable without the cummerbund. Yes, you read that right. Began in India 1850, Cummerbunds which we commonly picturize as the pleated waist bands that are worn inside formal tuxedos have originated from the land of India. This wide waste- band originates from the colonial times in India where it was commonly worn by  British military. Cummerbands were imported to England by Britishers serving in India. And slowly it travelled further to other fashion capitals making its way back to India. Both the French and Pakistani military have made these astonishing waist bands a part of their military uniform.


  • Nehru jackets:  Named after India’s first Prime Minister, Nehru jackets have become a global rage. These jackets are defined by their mandarin collar, custom fit and most repeatedly worn with sherwanis and achkans in India and as waist-coats under well tailored suits abroad. Nehru jackets have by far been the biggest trends that the men’s fashion world has banked on and made men look like a million bucks.


  • Block printing on fabrics: As a fashion trend, block printing is one of the oldest mechanisms that medieval India witnessed. With small wooden blocks, printing of meticulous designs was done on fabrics like linen, cotton and the like to make the cloth stand out. And now the block printing has been showcased on global platforms by some of the biggest names in the international fashion world.


  • Tattoos: Honestly, this shouldn’t really come as a shock to any of you reading this. Yes, tattoos have had their presence way back in the India custom but it still cannot be said with surety how it originated. They were a form of body art and a lot of this art used to be done with henna back then. And this trend of flaunting an ink on a body part that we see our favorite Hollywood celebrities has been a major part of customs and traditions of India.


  • Linen and khadi: India is a textile rich country and this comes as no surprise that fabrics like khadi and linen were first spotted on Indian skins. These fabrics have been globally recognized for making the biggest statements on streets and runways of the most fashionable cities of Milan and Paris. However, these fabrics were manufactured in India and the most fashionable names in the luxury menswear business have capitalized on this trend and brought it out phenomenally and how.


  • Kurta shirts: Kurta shirts were first seen on the men of Punjab, which we now commonly seen in slight modifications in premium and luxury labels globally. The Kurta shirts are known for their chinese collar style and commodious silhouette. And with minor alterations, Kurta shirts have been seen on men internationally. They have been commonly observed being worn with comfort fit pants and oxford shoes and we cannot agree more that this India trend has done exceptionally well on the international front as well.


  • Jootis (Punjabi style shoes): It may sound weird but how Jootis have made a global presence is a rather interesting thing to learn. Jootis for both men and women have lent their style and influence to one of the biggest trends in the shoe world, which is known as loafers. Their shape, functionality and design are taken from what we have commonly seen on men and women wear with traditional Indian outfits.


    We can safely conclude by saying that India has contributed much more to global fashion that what we can actually think of. Ranging from clothes to accessories to jewelry to tattoos, India is the trailblazer everywhere. And now that we see these trends on global platforms, we realize how significant and indispensable India’s culture and history has been in terms of making bestowing fads for years to come. So now when you see your best-loved international A-lister flaunt something royal and opulent, don’t be afraid to admit that it could have emerged from India.

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