#LoveSimaaya After Liv Tyler was photographed wearing mehendi in a popular fashion magazine in the Americas, just about everything that was associated with Indian fashion became popular in the West. A sari became the epitome of grace, a bindi became a symbol of completeness for a woman, and adorning oneself with mehendi became the high point in indulging one in the sensualities of Indian fashion.
Traditional dresses of India have become a rage in the West with salwar kameez, saris, long flowing skirts disappearing off the shelves in a jiffy. Intricate designs, embroidery or rich vibrant colors, everything has helped Indian fashion in a big way in the west. The main reason for Indian clothes finding a good niche for themselves in the west is the ever growing Indian diaspora which tries to take their bit of India along with themselves.
After the Chinese community, the Indian community is the largest in the foreign countries. Since California and New York are the cities where the majority of the immmigrants make a beeline for and these cities being the fashion hubs in the West, the demand for Indian fashion in these cities and consequently the entire west was inevitable.
Indian fashion makes use of intricate thread work in zari which appeals to the Western crowd because of the sheer appeal the embroidery generates when done with gold threads. Block printing, cross stitching, kanth-work, mirrors, zari have been taken by designers and conveniently modified to suit to the sensibilities of the West. The result is saris with heavy thread work have set the stores of the likes of Macy’s, Kohl’s on fire with record sales of saris. Celebrities like Goldie Hawn and Naomi Campbell who have worn saris on special and social occasions have just added to the momentum the Indian fashion is gaining.
Its not only the west but the entire world that is finally coming to terms with the intricate craftsmanship. Traditional fabrics have been taken to new heights in the global fashion industry. Its the small scale operation though that has been more siginificant in the widespread demand for Indian Fashion. Abroad, in every state there is a Little India which stocks everything from groceries to spices to apparel etc to suit the needs of the Indian diaspora. These serve as cheap alternatives for anyone who is interested in Indian fashion. With these small stores flourishing in every state and province in the West, it also provides a stable platform for this fashion to spread. The big chains offer the customer personalized and customized clothing albeit at a substantially higher prices to suit the needs of the buyer. These stores however stock everything in general. The smaller stores however stock the essential “rage” material. Stoles, shawls, kurtis which are popular without being prohibitively expensive.
The way Indianisation of fashion is taking place, it is only a matter of time when traditional Indian dresses will become accepted as the accepted norm not only on the streets but also as a valid corporate attire.