My Style check ….

Standard

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….

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6 responses »

  1. ok! first time here..not sure how i landed here!

    but am so with u! u have one more person here in this world who HATES synthetics…come see my wardrobe and u will understand! i love cottons! indian cottons..ok for me it was much more than fashion…for me comfort comes first! i sweat like a buffalo! 🙂 and synthetic in chennai is not the right option for such person! isnt it?;)

    but i love love cotton! and anything indian,woven fabrics! am also not much in to Kancheevaram pattu sarees !

    A warm welcome and come hop on, join the bandwagon ….cotton is the thing for us….but I do have a weakness for kanchpuram light zari sarees (only during winters)…..though managing them is quuite a task…

  2. Good on you for sticking to what you like!!! That’s the way to go. But I must say, from the sounds of it – you seem to be an expert in fabric and textile. (This is a compliment 🙂 ) I am not familiar with the different types of Indian garments,…. thus am glad that I now know someone who does 🙂

    hey, Spillay, Thats a big compliment…..you are a real sweet heart…thankyou…I just love textile and natural fabrics…and let me know if I can be of any help anytime…

  3. i used to look like a hippie in my college days and used to be bullied..buthey! who cares! I am hippie at heart and Indian cotton is the cool style statement! so why worry?:)

    yeah, who cares.. 🙂 .. Hippies and cotton are cool..and thats the way to be…you rock..

  4. Nice post. I loved shopping at the state run handloom shops in Bangalore. Love Fab India and its likes. Sungudi cotton is another I like. Reminds me of gmom.

    Thanks Laksh 🙂 few more similarities …. Sungudi cotton, this is new to me…need to check out more

  5. Oh yeah – the different varieties of clothes in India – I love them all, just as you mentioned. I would love to add zardosi to my collection of sarees 🙂

    On a related note, I will be visiting Hyderabad early July – can you recommend some good places to shop for clothes?

    Oh yeah, my pleasure….will send a mail to you 🙂

  6. I run a blog called indian yarn all about the Hand-Loom and the traditional indian galore. Mostly pictures. But many parts of your story echoes how aptly you pull the elements of style confidently into the otherwise convential mode of styling with polyster, nylon etc etc..

    I would like to feature this. I do not see an email hence this comment.

    Thank You
    anrosh

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