Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bermudas and Kurtis

Birthday parties in those days meant wearing a frilly, lacy white or pink dress.
Tailored by my mum herself or the local tailor, who would put on his thick dark rimmed glasses, slip on the snakey worn out measuring tape around his shoulders , and thumb his way through dog earred pages of "foreign" magazines where beautiful blondes posed in chic suits and little cherubic angels posed in frilly white frocks.

That was as close to fashion as we could get.
The uniqueness lay in the dexterity of mums to select the right outfit that Shombu "darzi" could muster up on his Usha sewing machine.

Then there were the "readymades" in plusher stores- if we were lucky, we would get one or two during pujas.

My first pair of jeans was extremely formal party wear.  Teamed with yet another frilly pink blouse.
Till the jeans became a more familiar sight in and around us, got paired with casual t-shirts.

College was churidars and salwars. And of course, the occasional sarees and our traditional mekhela chador.

The more fashion adventurous ones wore jeans with kurtas. Then jeans with short tops. And jeans with t-shirts. Followed by capri jeans with sleeveless t-shirts till the strict Principal   put his foot down and listed out  what is "allowed" as college wear.

Work  started off with more churidars. Common black, red and white salwars or pyjamas, and a choice of cottons and semi cotton, full sleeves, half sleeves as kurtas.

That was the time when the "bermuda" shorts made their cheeky appearance on shelves. Suddenly, young girls were wearing bermudas and tshirts for evening walks or casually at home on Sundays. Bermudas were rarely worn outside of home or locality but gave the young girls their first whiff of fashion freedom.

The short kurta or "kurti" made its shy appearance maybe 5 or 6 years ago.
Giving the Indian fashion  a facelift. And women and girls permission to  dive into "western wear"- namely jeans and kurtis.
This is the height of fashion in small towns, especially for married women and mums who had quietly folded up their "unmarried" wardrobe in the recesses of the spare Godrej almirah.

The movement is still on- it is always a process.
The latest in line of Indo western fashion fusion are "tunics" with "tights".
Belted, laced, layered, halter necked- they come in all shapes and sizes.

Fashion in mass India is truly an indicator of a change in mindset.
A sign of a sense of freedom.
A symbol of equality in relationships.

And shows that as a nation, we do not blindly adopt but redefine what we have been used to.
Like they say "make adjustments"....