Shades of ethnicity

Proud heritage

Shades of ethnicity

There are certain memories connected with Republic Day that pop up in nostalgia-tinged frames every year — flag-hoisting, inspiring speeches, the invariable patriotism-inspiring movie on television and so on.

     A common sight during this day are the sartorial choices designed to invoke or display our love for the country — saris, kurtis and other traditional ensembles in the colours of the flag, bands on the arms, small flags pinned to the chest, graphic tees and everything else.

However, with ‘fashion’ and ‘style’ becoming oft-used words in our daily vocabulary, people are looking for ways to stand out while still sticking to the norms.

Says Ishdeep Kaur, student of Army College, “With fashion trends changing rapidly, kurtas and saris are no more the style staple for ethnic days. While Indo-Western outfits have been the rage since last year, one can add their own little twist to such ensembles and still create a statement.”

“For an occasion like Republic day, crop tops with khadi pants and off-shoulders with palazzos are the best bet. Team up the whole look with a linen ‘dupatta’ (maybe in one of the colours of the Indian flag colour) and wrap it around your neck to complete the look for the day. At last, wear small ‘jhumkas’ to up the ethnic appeal,” she adds.

Designer Reena Phophaliya, of the label ‘Alpa & Reena’, talks about how ethnic clothes continue to be favourites during special days and recommends going all out with embellishments, bold prints and quirky themes.

    “This is the perfect time to dig into your mother’s wardrobe and grab those Banarasi saris and ‘dupattas’. It is fun to transform Indian traditional weaves into something contemporary and new.  An anarkali, be it frock-length or floor-length, draped in different styles is also a good choice.”

However, let not your love of the traditional keep you from experimenting with newer silhouettes and unusual colours, she says.

    “Opt for the comfort of a skirt and the convenience of a pant with dhoti pants, dhoti skirts or dhoti saris. You can team it up with a crop top or a kurta. Layering is popular and this season, don’t hesitate to pair up jackets with a sari, embroidered palazzos and skirts. Add a touch of desi  to your look with an embroidered gown or pair a bright, layered ‘lehenga’ or sari with a crop top in bold prints.”

As the phrase goes, ‘clothes make the man’ so men too can pick up a trick or two and step out in their fashionable best this season.

“It is not necessary to follow a certain style while dressing up this Republic day but it is advisable to be effortless. A loose, long khadi kurta teamed with dhoti pants or with a loose cotton trouser should be an apt look,” says Shiv Rattan Goyal, managing director of Richlook.

Since fashion is synonymous with short-duration trends and desirability, other factors usually take a backseat in this realm. But Deepti Kshirsagar strikes a positive note and talks about how a wave of sustainable fashion has swept quietly across the industry. “Today, handmade exclusive products made of organic cotton, hemp cotton and linen are much in demand, especially in the urban areas. Saris with  ‘daboo’ print in chanderi silk, ghicha silk, khadi cotton and linen as well as silk kanthawork, khadi and banarasi dupattas can create a unique style statement this Republic Day. ”

Swapnil Kshirsagar adds, “Fast synthetic fashion not only leads to various ecological hazards due to chemical wastes generated during the processing and dyeing of the fabrics but also consumes lot of energy and water resources. People should be able to understand and appreciate the passion and patience that goes into creating a fine woven piece of pure linen with its organic colours and earthy feel.”

Other than clothes, there are numerous accessories like tricoloured accessories or tote bags that one can use to show off their patriotism with elan.  

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