The Indian Fashion world is not just a blend of taste and trend but a fusion of culture, heritage, occasion, and preference. The definition of fashion or the creativity that dictated the industry was not the same even a century ago in India. The influence of the West played a prominent role in altering the scenario of Indian fashion dynamics.
The evidence of evicts from Mohenjodaro and Harappa prompts that Indians were stylish and maintained a high standard of aesthetics, right from that era. The use of Kajol was already in vogue and women did fancy hair-dos to look fashionable. But fashion trends have considerably changed since then.
Globalization has ushered in newer changes: there has been constant addition and elimination.
The fashion industry in India has experienced a paradigm shift over the past decade. Earlier, women’s fashion not only depended on what women wore but also closely integrated with what jewelry they wore. Heavier the jewelry, the better the look. But now, the dependency on ornaments to enhance the look has been reduced. Jewelry has evolved as a completely separate segment and one is not inherently dependent on the other.
The credibility of fashion trends depends on their acceptance and adoption by the audience. Fashion accepted by consumers influences their behavior in several ways. Sellers appeal to the buying instincts of the buyer either through advertisements and promotions or through celebrity endorsements.
We can observe marked changes in ethnic wear and traditional dress for women. The concepts behind designing such dresses have evolved and varying styles can now be observed.
Change in Women’s Ethnic Wear and Indian Traditional Dress
Over the past few decades, several changes have been noted in the Indian fashion industry. The prominence of global brands in the Indian territory along with the emergence of new home-grown boutiques and brands has added to the curve of a shift in fashion trends.
Furthermore, advancement has also occurred with respect to traditional Indian clothing and Indian wear for women. The sense and sensibility of Indian Fashion are equally merged and fused with International aspects of style and design to produce the Indian ethnic wear for women.
Moreover, this is a unique combination and has become a great hit in the Indian fashion market.
Such changes can be termed as more of a lifestyle shift rather than just a simple alteration in fashion trends.
However, On the contrary, many market analysts felt that the preference of the evolved middle-class switched to Western outfits with the widespread exposure to the International market. According to them, this switch has caused a decline in traditional Indian clothing and Indian ethnic wear. But statistics prove that the assumption is far from being true.
For instance, Statista states that the market size for Indian ethnic wear( which includes stylish Kurtis, Saree, Salwar, Indo-Western gowns, Kurta-pyjamas for men, and designer dupattas) in India was around Rs.925 billion in 2018. By 2023. the expectation is to exponentially reach Rs. 1.7 trillion
Therefore, Siddharth Bindra, the Managing Director of Biba, in an interview with ‘Apparel Resources’ says that ethnic wear is the most preferred outfit among women between the age group of 16 - 50 years. Consumers nowadays already have a fixed preference in their minds and it has become crucial for the brands to cater distinctively to the consumer’s choices.
Indian Outfits and Indian Clothing
Earlier, women used to buy pieces for stylish Kurtis, blouses, and salwar. The local tailor is the only designer and stylist for such Indian dresses. With the surge in online businesses, the demand for enhancement and innovation in Indian ethnic wear increased. Through online and social media platforms, ready-made traditional wear is easily available. Additionally, this reduces the sole dependency on the local Masterji. And the consumers get an opportunity to be exposed to a larger variety of clothing options. This has transformed the market immensely and beyond imagination. With the help of social media, the information people get in hand becomes impossible to compete.
Youngsters have become brand-conscious and trend-oriented. This has opened unthinkable opportunities for Brands and Retailers, in this space. The preference has flowed toward the fusion of traditional clothing: a mix and match of different styles and designs. Fusion wear can range anything from a stylish Kurti worn over jeans to a gorgeous saree paired with a crop top, lehengas worn with shirts and T-shirts, and a simple salwar matched with a heavy-worked dupatta.
Moreover, Indian ethnic wear accounts for the largest share of the apparel industry, comprising about 74%. Interestingly, about 75% of the total 74% share is unorganized due to differences in preferences.
Focusing on Kurtis, the high- low Kurti is a unique style that gives the present-day look. You can wear this for several occasions like special events, offices, and weddings. To add more glam, one can wear a long coat or a collar-necked coat over the Kurti. Kurti styled shirt is a totally new test in Kurtis. Long high neck Kurtis is perfect for the formal look. For instance, you can flaunt the Kurti at any corporate meeting. Look unconventional, you can style your high neck Kurti with retro prints or geometrical motifs.
Lastly, we can say that the scope for an ethnic dress for women and men has increased considerably. In addition, the market and demand are expanding and are expected to increase further. On-going research is being carried on for the development of this sector and segment. Newer trends will dominate the Indian fashion market further and greater experiments with styling will be done by individuals.