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Fashion & Background Essay

Fashion refers to the styles and customs prevalent at a given time. In its most common usage, “fashion” exemplifies the appearances of clothing, but the term encompasses more. Many fashions are popular in many cultures at any given time. Important is the idea that the course of design and fashion will change more rapidly than the culture as a whole. Fashion designers create and produce clothing articles.


With the onset of the new era, a little bit of retrospection will reveal that the key moments in fashion were triggered by various socioeconimic movements during the 20th century. For what we know of the history of fashion until the end of the 19th century, it was mostly a fascinating footnote to the history of art. Much has changed and evolved in the history of fashion.

When the century dawned, fashion was an elite enterprise, the quest of the wealth. The lower tiers of the society settled for garments that were more often than not entirely family hand-made-downs or stitched at home. With time, networks of neighbourhood tailors began to evolve into a retail history and the boom followed by boutique selling. Today, garments are laser cut by computers and sourced from all over the world and can easily be bought sitting in the comfort of one’s home via the internet.

“In India, the fashion picture was in perplexity as it was a chaotic period of contradictory ideologies, when the awareness of an Indian national uniqueness was beginning to find political face and the struggle for Indian independence was getting momentum,” says fashion diva Ritu Kumar. Thus the fashion trends within high society, was strongly influenced by the British with the result that fashionable clothes became a status symbol.

The establishment of the Indian cinema also proved to be the strongest influence on the fashion and style.

In the decades of 40s, it was Christian Dior who changed the fashion culture and presented it with a new profile, with the bosom pushed up and out, a pinched waist and hips emphasised with short fluted jackets. It was also a decade marked by the Second World War and the ensuing independence for India with the result that women’s clothing was simple and functional.

“One of the most “revisited” and “retro” periods in the fashion, the ’70s is often called the ‘me decade’. Fashion became another form of self-expression and bold colours with flower prints were adapted in tunics, with shirts and bell-bottoms.

“The 70s also saw the export of traditional material with the result that export surplus was sold within the country itself and hence, international fashion came to India much before the MTV culture

In the ’80s the big money ruled. It was the era of self consciousness and American designers like Calvin Klein became household names.

The decades the followed gave a scope for bolder choices of apparels and more and more international brands forayed into the market in India and the Indian Designers thought of developing something unique and different for the Indian audience so that they get an indo-western mixture of apparels as per their choices. With the improvement on the designing front the need for more and more fashion designing schools increased. The revival of ethnicity and western clothing brought a craze amongst the youth which encouraged them to take up fashion as their profession. Where the fashion industry was flourishing in the western countries, India found her share of novices in young enterprising designers who dreamt of making big in the international fashion front.

Future of the Fashion industry:

The current fashion trend that we are following is perhaps the most undefined of all the decades of fashion. There were certain looks that characterizes each decade or era, yet in this present time we are constantly trying to reinvent the designs of the 60s or we are trying to take inspiration from the designs on the 20s.

There is little or not enough effort to create something defining and directional. The young designers need to deliver something that defines our time. It is pretty evident that the trend we followed in the past have made a significant mark on the minds of the people but now is the time to experiment and to bring about something unique in terms of design and presentation. It is very important to create something truly directional that will make a statement for this decade and serve as an inspiration for the designers in several other decades to come.

But this is easier said than done. It requires a lot of focus and creativity with proper learning, guidance and experimentation. There is a constant demand which the designers have to meet depending upon the season and they have to work on their collections. So they barely get time to think over directional items

There are many challenges faced by the students who pursue fashion designing as a career. Fashion designing being an unconventional choice of career draws a lot of criticism from the family in certain cases and this brings down the morale of the students. There are times when a lot of monetary inputs are essential to take up a course in fashion designing. This leads to a many drop outs from colleges and a very few students reach up to the level of showcasing their designs on the ramp. In many cases, improper guidance or lack of good guides leads to dismal performance of the students and enthusiasts. There needs to be a proper platform for showcasing the talent so that the people who take up a career in fashion designing get due recognition.

Indian Fashion Idol:

Fashion designing is one of the arenas where a lot is being done. A regular appreciation of the people who are taking up this career is very necessary. In order to bring out the best talent in the country, there should be competitions to help extract the maximum out of the aspirants in this field of career.

One of our initiatives to bring about the best in this field is an Indian Fashion Idol.

With the onset of various reality shows and competitions, the dark horses in the field of singing and dancing are getting a platform to exhibit their talent. Fashion is one career choice, which has a lot of competition but rarely there is a scope for recognition for the amateurs.

Indian fashion idol gave a platform to many people who wanted to display their talent and showcase their designs. Over 25000 participants participated in the preliminary round. The elimination of this round was based on the form that was filled by the contestants along with the designs submitted by them based on the given guidelines. After a tumultuous response by the participants and a tough scanning of the forms, 200 participants were selected for the second round.

The participants had to take a form worth £100 and they were judged on their creativity and aspirations which tested their commitment towards the profession.

The 200 participants that were selected for the second round were made to compete and were eliminated until 10 participants were left. These 10 participants then competed for the coveted title of “Indian Fashion Idol”. The main aim of this even was to bring about the best and the most creative brains in the fashion designing front so that the fashion industry gets a set of new and creative ideas to present to the society. This was a platform to the contestants to carve a niche for themselves and obtain a chance to present their work in front of the entire nation in the India Fashion Week.

The ten participants got a chance to exhibit their talent in front of an esteemed jury, the audience, and the entire nation. The event was also telecasted on some of the major cities all over the globe. The Winner of this competition got a cash prize of £10,000, a chance to showcase his/her creativity in the India Fashion Week and an internship with Dior, Paris.

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