As is the case with a number of things, Westernization has had its impact on Indian clothing as well. A significant part of the Indian population has turned to Western garments such as jeans, trousers, skirts, T-shirts, suits and shirts, and prefers them over traditional clothing such as sarees and dhotis. There is, however, a certain section of the population that prefers to stick to traditional Indian clothing. Interestingly in the last decade, a beautiful amalgamation of Indian and Western clothing has become popular, which has come to be known as ‘Indo-Western’ garments or ‘Indo-Western fusion’ garments.
Indo-Western fusion garments are being largely preferred by Indian consumers males, females and children alike and have now become ‘the in thing’. These garments are gaining acceptance in the Indian mindset, and are becoming the choice of apparel at formal and informal events, as well as for work wear. There are several designers who have taken to the designing of Indo-Western fusion garments. Consequently, there are several such pieces of apparel available in the market.
Indo-Western fusion garments are usually a combination of Western-style patterns and Indian designs. Usually, in Indo-Western style salwar kameez, decorative stoles are used as an accessory for added effect. Another way of fusion commonly found in today’s times is the use of ethnic embroidery styles from different parts of India – such as Phulkari from Punjab and mirror work from Rajasthan – on dresses with Westernized patterns. Sometimes, more elaborate embroidery styles such as Meenakari, Kundan, Resham and Zardozi work are also used. Denim jackets and pants with Indian-style embroidery and other embellishments on them are all the rage in India today. A shorter version of the kurta, called ‘kurti’, paired with denim pants or trousers is also quite popular, both among males and females. Another piece of Indo-Western fashion wear that is highly preferred in India is a kurti paired with a straight-cut pant-style salwar and a dupatta. With the passage of time, newer fusion styles are being developed such as short dupattas, pants with slits and sphagetti-style tops in case of salwar kameez. Patiala-style salwars worn with short shirts is yet another example of Indo-Western fusion wear largely preferred by youngsters in India.
This trend of Indo-Western fusion wear has also gradually spread to bridal wear. Sarees are being draped in the Grecian style, and saree blouses are becoming more and more westernized in pattern. Lehengas worn with halter tops is another example of Indo-Western fusion fashion that is being accepted as wedding wear.
This amalgamation of elements from the Indian and Western cultures is found in accessories as well, especially in case of jewellery. Usually, a light Western touch is added to Indian traditional jewellery, so as to make it suitable for wearing with fusion wear. Apart from this, large, dangling earrings, beads, and fancy bracelets are also in vogue with fusion garments.
Coming to the reasons as to why Indo-Western fusion fashion has become so popular in India, several can be cited. Indo-Western garments have an elegant and trendy appearance, without losing the touch of Indian culture, making them suitable for wearing at all kinds of occasions. They are the perfect blend of elements from both Indian and Western cultures, balancing both, i.e. neither too Americanized nor too ethnically Indian. It is, thus, suitable for wear by almost all age groups, and is all the rage among the youngsters in India today. Indo-Western fusion garments are available in different styles, from daring ones to modest ones. They suit the Indian body type rather well. Fusion wear is more comfortable to wear, as against the cumbersome traditional Indian dresses, which is why it is being largely preferred by the working class.
So, the next time you are out shopping for something trendy but comfortable to wear, don’t forget to stop for a few pieces of Indo-Western fusion wear.
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