Clothes : Naturalfabrics and Handloom stuff
Jewellery : Traditional when its gold and silver, and also lots of junk….
Shoes : kolhapuri’s, Mojri’s
Make-up :lipgloss , kohl( Its another story that I could never apply it right or smudge it the way I want)
Just in case you are wondering why on earth am I writing these purposeless facts about my personal style,its just because I had a very hard time coming to terms with fashion police during all my growing up years.I was perenially perplexed when people around me poked fun at my preferences….but that was way back then….with every passing year I became less stranger to myself and also realised that there are many similar people out there (thought few) who shared my fondness….and now I have this I-dont-care a damn attitude when somebody starts lecturing why I should dress with more bling and color….I give them this “whatever” look and move on….
I do love bling and color…every woman does…but its just that my idea of bling and color is different….its not polyester and heavy machine embroidery with garish coloring…instead its pure cottons with natural-dyed hues……Being comfortabe is stylish 🙂 Ain’t it ?
But this self-realisation didn’t come easy…I guess it took its own sweet time for it to dawn upon me…..My first stint was when my grandmom visited us and I loved her handloom sarees with wonderful woven borders…I secretly admired them and also shamelessly asked for one as a gift while she was leaving….I didn’t know what was it made of or where is it woven…I just loved it…only later after a lot many years did I get to know that its the famous Venkatagiri cotton saree of Andhrapradesh…this love affair continued…I always seemed to like handmade and natural fabrics ….so much so that everyone around me thought I stupid ( this way way back in late 80’s and early 90’s when anything flowing and synthetic was the in-thing and cotton was for old and poor people)….many of them made open comments saying that I have a boring and granny type taste…and there were many days when I felt very bad and hurt ….all this while I was around 9 years or so…at that time I didn’t have as much clarity on my choices as I do now…..but I didn’t wither and succumb, instead embraced it with a vengeance (well, I was in my teens by then) and am glad I did.
My parents never objected to my preferences…they just let me be and also encouraged it…so from the day I started chosing my clothes the fabric was always cotton, linen, jute, crepe etc….and I loved it…the range and variety out there is mind-bloggling….the mangalgiris, handpainted, blockprinted cottons, Chikan, chettinad’s, bandhini’s,kalamkari’s,Ikkat’s and lot lot more…India is a treasure trove and I celebrate it to the full extent….
Of course my nagging relatives always whined about it and also bestowed unwanted advice upon my mom..how she should not let me be the way I am….since everyone around will think we are not doing well in life…..I never understood the relation till date…..to dress to appear affluent… I dress in a certain way because I identify myself with that….what if it appears simple and boring to others…..its not my problem….
I feel much prettier and confident in a natural fabric kalamkari outfit with complimenting silver jewellery rather than an expensive badly made heavy zardosi one with modern jewellery……Zardosi is such a beautiful art which is viciously and badly churned out in huge quantities these days….I come from Hyderabad, the land of zardosi and can vouch for that…the authentic ones are bewitching and are a real treat for the eye…
Also I heart kanchipuram’s/banarasi’s…not the mass produced ones…but the aesthetic stuff…and love antique simple gold jewellery with that….now when I dress this way people say I dress like an old woman ( since the in-thing for a newly married woman is to wear shiny clothes and all the bling she owns) Yuck….Isn’t a kanchipuram or a banarasi shiny enough for them…..
Its sad how they get caught with this in-thing business….style is something which is innate and fashion changes by season….I want to be identified with my style..and refuse to be a clone…and I strongly believe in the adages “Less is more” and “Simplicity is natures first step, and the last of art”.
And India is the birth place for arts and crafts…it sure deserves more respect and appreciation from us fellow Indians….it hurts very very deeply when I read of a weaver/artisan leaving his profession because there are no patrons …..and something inside me dies each time when an artist gives up his/her life since he/she is not able to make both ends meet…..all this for being extremely skilled and talented…when we all know how everybody abroad(my boss, colleagues and friends abroad loved them crazy) is higly appreciative of Indian arts and crafts ….then friends, “where is the link missing ?”
I do my own teeny-weeny bit by buying at weaver exhibitions and co-operative fairs and would one day want to do something more serious like reviving an art form or similar thing….well, these are dreams…and are very close to my heart….