Although known as a land where culture is worn, of late there has been a decline in the fervor for Traditional wear, why? Well, there are many a possibilities to this change. Primarily, because labor force is replaced by machine. Meaning the value of skill is less valued. Traditional wear now is seen as a luxury and not with tradition itself. Hence they are now reserved for auspicious events such as marriages. Because the price of machine work comes much cheaper than the intensive labor, the craftsmanship, or the attention to details paid.
And although the textile industry is seen as the biggest in the world with the biggest employing sector traditional wear continues to dwindle. Another reason has also to do with change itself. With the growth in female employment, education tradition is sometimes seen as a restrain to such change. Not to mention people choosing comfort over tradition. Without causing further disarray to the style of clothing one chooses to wear, western wear are favoured by the majority over traditional wear. The influence of foreign influence to the Indian clothing is massive. Stores are opened, styles and fashion are introduced.
There is also this growing concern of traditional wear as associated to the Indian tradition itself. Because when we look at the accepted traditional wear such as salwar-kurta, lehenga, it has its roots elsewhere. And the elsewhere comes from foreign rulers such as the Mughals.
Hence, the question of traditional wear is a misplaced one. And we are not to be blamed for it. Because this tradition has been handed down, practiced, imbibe generations after generations as part of our tradition.
TRADITIONAL FASHION DESIGNERS
Keeping alive the accepted traditional wear are designers such as Ritu Kumar, Robit Bal keeping alive the accepted tradition. The former fashion designer is known for her revivalist fashion. She draws upon museology and art history background to create stunning richness, elegance and intricacy of embroidery. The latter on the other hand uses Khadi to create spectacular traditional works. Given his traditional works Mr Bal is chosen by Khadi Gram Udyog, the largest hand-loom textile operation in India.
There is hence ray of hope for survival for traditional wear and we hope it continues to do so.
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