Coexistence of Styles

Patricia Malec

Looking into a crowd here in India is incredibly colorful and almost a little overwhelming. Now, if we just focused on the clothing aspect of it (this is, after all, Fashion Industry in India), it becomes fascinating.

Just about everywhere I’ve been in the world is dominated by westernized clothing. In the States, if a friend of yours shows up in something traditional like lederhosen, you’re going to wonder if they lost a bet or something. In Mexico, the only people I ever see wearing traditional clothing are mariachi band members and tourists in sombreros. And in Poland, only the folk dancers wear traditional garb and classic prints. Westernized is really all I know.

But India. Oh man, India is something else entirely. Sure there are western styled clothing options here, but somehow, those styles manage to coexist with traditional clothing, prints, and colors. It could have been assumed that maybe older people would dress in Indian fashions to hold on to traditions, but I’ve seen grandmothers in jeans and a sweatshirt while their granddaughters are in saris and vice versa. And there have been friend groups where both styles were present and they were all just hanging out. Now, there are a lot of variables that could be the cause of this coexistence and I think that they all work together instead of just standing alone; income, profession, attachment to tradition, and personal preference are some that come to mind.

Here we have two different stores in the Emporium in Delhi. Two stores, one mall.

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