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The Changing Trends In Luxury Fashion

Regarding influences, there are no hard and fast rules. Ethnic,indigenous and western influences are playing a role in Indian fashion

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Swinging between theatrical and conservative dressing, luxury fashion in India has evolved and come a long way since its inception.

Theatrical dressing is limited to mainly big ticket weddings or Bollywood dressing where the colours are sharp, the embroideries dramatic and the garments heavy and expensive. The effects are meant to be spectacularly exaggerated and hence the palette is bold, the designs graphic, often styled in an experimental way. The silhouettes range between gowns, saris, lehengas and shararas and a number of layered garments, making the entire outfit weigh a substantial amount. This ‘price is no object’   dressing is a part of a luxury trend in the country but only for the section of society that enjoys the feel of banquets and big events.

Another section of society spells luxury in a different way — underplayed, traditional and one that is timeless and is passed on through generations. This section appreciates the old craft cultures and the textiles it produces like the subtle hues of Chanderis, Benaras weaves, Kanchipuram weaves, Patolas and Paithanis along with Bandanas and Kalamkaris.

A third alternative to luxury is that of imported luxury goods. Fashion dictates that these international designer brands are popular with people for bags, shoes and sunglasses. People naturally opt for accessories that can be styled with a lot of looks over an outfit.

However, in recent years, we have seen a definite shift from couture to prêt where the client is mostly the millennial. The taste of consumers are changing, the younger professional is making a move to identify their corporate dressing which swings from dresses, jeans and in some case saris as well. People are moving away from logo centric fashion items and investing in quality products that are available at more affordable rates. The most popular fashion segment is the ‘ready to wear’ market that could either be expensive or great on the pocket. This fashion is fast, easily disposable and trendy which is why it is popular with the youth.
The advent of technology and the introduction to e-commerce has played a major role in shaping shopping trends. A lot of luxury brands are slowly moving toward the e-commerce business but at the same time there has been a massive boom in smaller online labels as well. Alternates to luxury products are easily available and often suggested while browsing products in an online store which does not happen in physical stores. The medium of Internet is accessible by everyone and attracts all, the brands as well as the consumers who find it effortless and economic.  

Regarding influences, there are no hard and fast rules, ethnic, indigenous and western influences are playing a role in Indian fashion. Luxury fashion has become more over-the-top and androgynous, hence appealing to all genders. Social media platforms like Instagram, fashion and lifestyle blogs, TV shows and fashion apps, are used by  people to take pointers ahead of completing a purchase.

Luxury items remain relevant as the brands provide an experience. The charm of owning a luxury product as opposed to a street wear holds more value and gives a sense of pride to the owner.  

The future of the Indian fashion segment is an open field where no one knows which direction it is moving in. Cupboards are getting heavier and options becoming endless in various price ranges and styles from both local and international designers. The Indian woman enjoys the finest in fashion today from the luxury of her home.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Ritu Kumar

The author is a fashion designer

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