26 October, 2020

But The Sari Goes On For Ever...

From the Royal '50s, Casual '60s, Hippie '70s, Gypsy '80s, Designer '90s to the Toned 2000s, it has been a long catwalk home for Indian fashion.

T. S. Satyan
But The Sari Goes On For Ever...
In 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru, in his immaculate achkan, churidars, topi and red rose, represented one end of the Indian fashion spectrum, while Jinnah, in double-breasted Savile Row suit, spats, cane and hat, typified the other. Gandhi and Vallabhbhai Patel, dhoti-clad, stoutly straddled the middle ground—supremely indifferent to what was considered "trendy". Women too, were divided into traditional and westernised. The latter were thought smarter (our brain-washed colonial minds!), but it did not mean western attire—simply, flowered French chiffons rather than Kanjeevarams, pearls and not a mangalsutra, short marcel-waves instead of a joora, accompanied by bright red lipstick and nail polish. Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur and Rani Sita Devi of Kapurthala, both featured among Vogue's most beautiful women, epitomised this Look. Indian royals perpetuate that look till today—stylish then, now an anachronism.

Amrita Sher-Gil died in 1941; always ahead of her times, she typified the fashionable post-Independence Indian woman—neither...


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