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Fashion Trends Through The Decades – Indian Version

“Fashion is a part of the world and part of history. It’s not a meaningless swirl of meaningless clothes. They reflect the times”

Change brings about trends in fashion and evolution keeps it alive. Throughout history, trends have been witnessed to constantly waver. From Hobble skirts to Bias-Cut Gowns or miniskirts to minimalism, yesteryears have seen drastic transitions in fashion trends. Several Fashion designers like Dolly Ahluwalia, Lalit Dalmia, Ravi Deep, K H Hussain and so many more gave life to advancing trends in the 20th century market.

Charles Frederick Worth, widely considered to be the first fashion designer, set up a fashion design house in Paris – ‘The House of Worth’ in the later 1800s.In India, It was Rohit Khosla who became a pioneer in the fashion industry and co founded ‘Ensemble’ with Tarun Tahiliani. To discern the sundry of style during this century, let’s take a detailed look into each decade’s most popular fashion trends for women.

IN THE 1900s

While the elite women continued wearing their traditional sarees and ghagras, the trend of frilled skirts and embroidered gowns was slowly spreading its wings. New fabrics like lace, satin and chiffon were introduced alongside the already favourites- silk and cotton.

THE 1910s

Saw Indians wearing sarees with blouses more like cholis but with high necks and sleeves more modest than cholis. Beaded/ embroidered sarees were trending along with chiffon gowns. Women wore shorter hair to express their unique style.

THE 1920s

The ‘roaring 20s’ witnessed Indian women switching to more comfortable clothes like skirts and trousers. Eton cropped hairstyle was mainstream while the dresses- long sleeves and made out of lace, satin, cotton and silk. Sarees with mid-sleeve blouse and long sleeve also become quite famous.

THE 1930s

Saw the Post Wall Street Crash or the ‘Black Tuesday’ striked down the US market hard, marking the emergence of Bonnie and Clyde fashion look. It dominated the fashion trends in US, India and across the globe- with hemlines descended to mid calves and long collars, two-piece suits, and pinched waists.

THE 1940s

Saw Indian women rocking Salwar Kameez with hemlines above the knee, loose salwars and dupattas. It maintained the tradiotional silhouette and embellishments like zari, gota and sequins.

THE 1950s

Was the first era of India as an independent sovereign country. In light of the nationalist environment, handloom was more famous and widely bought. Other fabrics like silk, rayon, georgette and nylon became readily available. Instead of the regional difference, people wore the ‘indian look’ with six yard of saree drape, Indian hairstyles, bindis and gajras.

THE 1960s

Was an era of colours as bollywood and pop culture started spreading. It was all about glamour and flamboyance! Feminine curves were hailed to be the trending beauty standard and thus shaped sarees and salwars became popular. Movies influenced the people by majority thus shaping the fashion trends in India during this decade. Winged eyeliner and sadhana cut was in demand. Mumtaz sarees were hugely popular due to movies like ‘Bramhachary’. Polka dots were also quite popular.

THE 1970s

Witnessed drastic changes in fashion trends. From sequined disco outfits to flared pants to voluminous hair, 70s fashion India was ruled by bollywood movie trends. It was an experimentation period with bright bold colours, mini skirts, crop tops and colourful sarees. Bell sleeves and flared pants dominated the trends with front tying blouses and anarkalis as the second runners.

Yet another glamorous decade in fashion history of India, THE 1980s were commanded by women in bold colours and artsy prints. Glitter costumes were everywhere and hair accessories with double braids were again the trend due to movies like Tohfa and Khoobsurat.
Although questionable, THE 1990s had women wearing chiffon sarees, tiny sunglasses, halter necks, blown out hair and huge clips. Denims and front zipper dresses were the biggest trends. Pastel dungarees and high waist was also introduced in the Indian crowd. Atleisure, off shoulder tops and co ord outfits were trending thanks to the big screen actors.

Finally, THE 2000s was more or less like the second phase of 1990s fashion. With crop tops, low waist denims, skirts, shorts, halter necks, bandeaus, tropical prints, asymmetrical tops and maxi skirts were all trendy. It was truly the era of ‘less is more’.

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