The history of fashion has seen several decades of revolution, rebellion, and change. There have been the Elizabethan and Victorian eras of flowing gowns, skirts, and corsets; the ‘30s of dainty frocks, summer dresses, and feminine charm; and then the ‘70s of hippie skirts, tops, and harem pants. India, however, has seen less drastic changes. The legengas and sarees of yore were heavier, agreed, but they are still worn in pretty much the same fashion even today.
In the last five years or so, however, there is one aspect of Indian woman fashion that I believe has been path breaking – the concept of ‘kurti-slacks’… what a breakaway from the dreadful monotony of salwars, churidars, and patiyalas. This outfit has found a customer base in every economic stratum, every age group, and every sub-ethnic group.
It gives the thin woman’s body volume and the heavier, bustier women can hide their extra layers of fat. The young wear it in vibrant colours and patterns, the older wear it with sober undertones of hue. Dress it up with a heavy, embroidered, sequined dupatta in the evening while you wore the same outfit to work without one. In summers, these are cooler than jeans, in winters they are a snug fit.
Market segments ranging from Rs 100 to tens-of-thousands of rupees have churned out millions of patterns and shades in the kurti-slacks combination. Seldom have I seen any other attire so universally accepted. One may own 5 pair of leggings and if, for each, they have 4 matching tops, that’s 20 outfits!!! Whoever came up with this idea, I wonder!
Photo courtesy: Susanna… http://www.flickr.com/photos/teadaze/