India, the country of colors, lights, and patterns, all bursting with culture and flavor, has one of the most legendary fashion histories in the world, and continues to evolve with each passing minute. Although fashion is a newer industry, it is the traditional indian clothing with regional variations that has been around since ancient times. Whether it be ghagra choli from Gujarat, the lungi from Kerala, or salwar kameez from Punjab, the fabrics, prints, and colors of indian traditional clothing remain timeless.
Being a first-generation immigrant to Canada, and later the United States, it was very difficult for me to find the right balance between my two cultures. Being raised in a Hindu-Punjabi household on one hand, and also assimilating into western culture on the other was a task in and of itself. Unfortunately, I began to lose sight of my roots along the way and it got to a point where I became embarrassed of my heritage.
I really connected with my culture and background when I was a senior in high school. I began to see the the true art and legendary history that India holds. I became fascinated by my parents’ childhood stories growing up there and began to delve deeper into my roots.
This is when I fell in with fashion.
The beauty of Indian clothing and sparkling jewelry that never goes out of style instantly drew me in. But I wanted to do more with it. I wanted to blend both cultures in a way that is unique and still true to myself. This is when I began sketching my ideas and turning them into a reality.
This is the first sketch I did, inspired by royal theme. I took elements from indian culture such as the dupatta on the head, jewelry, and nose ring, and combined it with western culture with the modern necklace and casual highwaisted pants! This was the result when I recreated it!
The second look I envisioned was inspired by punjabi culture mixed with street style. I paired distressed boyfriend jeans and Nike Roshes with a punjabi suit or kurti and a traditional phulkari dupatta.
When I envisioned this look and combination, I also pictured the exact jewelry (big hoops and silver coin necklace), hair (short, messy curls), and the makeup (smokey blue liner to accent the phulkari dupatta) that would go with it. This was the result!
As immigrants living in a foreign country, it can often be easy to lose sight of your roots because it is so easy to become engulfed in western culture. But the feeling of connecting to your background and culture, in any way, is a feeling unlike any other ❤