Sunday, October 4, 2015
In which I talk about incorporating more traditional wear into everyday looks
In these photos I've worn one of my tiered block print kurtas belted to form this billowing shape. It was too hot to wear pants and to be honest pants have never been my thing so I mostly wear my kurtas with shorts. This post is for my fellow brown girls, desis who've been othered so much that it has become a second nature to blend in and hide how stunning we are. It took movements like 'Reclaim the Bindi' and talking to other WoC for me to figure out that not very many desi girls are able to express their fabulous selves in traditional finery especially out of South Asian events.
I have always faced a different problem, I've always worn traditional clothes with my own little twist and the puritans have always rolled their eyes at me. I think being brought up surrounded by people who have loved handloomed textiles and traditional weaves has given me a life long obsession with the rich textile heritage of my Motherland. Both my parents have great taste, my grandmother loved all things sarees and my uncle knows an immense amount about traditional textiles and fabrics. My sister and I can spend hours caressing mulmuls, silks, cashmere and getting our tailor to stitch our sketches into clothes. We have both imbibed our reverence for traditional handlooms from them. Some of my most treasured photos are of my grandmother travelling in her saree and trench travelling through Europe, my Mother in colourful silks with almost knee length cascading locks sailing around the world and my Dad wearing Kurtas working across the globe. It never occurred to my sister and I that we need to blend in with the grey blobs around us.
The fact that I love traditional Indian cottons, silks and wool is quite obvious on this blog but what is not obvious is they are something I wear to work, play and to go out. I've worn kurtas from work to going dancing and sarees on dates and to pubs. I genuinely think it's not what one wears but how one wears it. I love DIYs and have embroidered traditional Rabari and Ahir motifs on more denims than I can keep track of. I've decided to share more photos of me incorporating traditional clothing into my everyday wear. Every single one of these looks have been worn either to work or while I was out and about and none of them have been worn as a part of a desi get-together or event. With Durga Puja, Navaratri and Diwali coming up I hope we will all find it easy to celebrate in our spectacular threads while going to work, uni or even just to the beach or to go out dancing.
I would love if you guys would share pictures of you wearing kurtas, anaarkalis, churidaars and sarees in your everyday lives. And remember to keep track of and tag your pictures to the 'Reclaim the Bindi' week coming up for Diwali.
To be honest I don't find most mainstream fashion magazines and blogs interesting in the least. I have my own sort of preference in terms of the cuts and proportions I like, they've changed a bit over the years but my deep abiding love for all things hand crafted has remained steadfast. In my opinion never taking any fashion magazine or style advice seriously has helped me be much more comfortable with myself. I still peruse through glossies and admire style spreads, I just never apply any of their suggestions to myself. Also I am not at all a believer in the dress for your shape nonsense. I dress to make myself happy and smile at my reflection when I pass mirrored glass.