Concept & Styling: Dhwani Kathotia
Photography & Post Production: Eba Marie
It is common philosophy that we humans fail to appreciate anything that’s easily available to us; worthless is the thing that’s right in front of you. Sad but true. Seeing this in light of fashion in India, the unfortunate truth remains that the clothing techniques, fabrics, crafts and all our native art forms simply go unnoticed. But on the approval and popularisation of the very same techniques by the west, our “fashion superiors”, these trend are promptly accepted with open arms. I’d like to think that the industry is churning a system that sells the indigenous arts back to the natives, calling it their own. And the natives? Obviously falling prey to this without judgement. To us, the grass is greener on the other side. The highly glamorized ways of fast fashion (and the competitive prices) draw a dark veil over the ruthless process of production. So in reality, the grass on the other side is nothing but murky and unethical.
To take a leap over to the brighter side (yes there is one), there are brands whose focus go back to the roots. Individuals and teams that are bred to understand how equally crucial the process of creating the clothing is to simply buying it off a rack.
I often (read always) tend to form an emotional connect with my clothes. The feeling of wearing something that has a story behind it is unparalleled. Call me sappy but it’s not just about throwing something on but more about an experience. I’d be sure to say that Indigene does not fail to offer that. The rich black fabric of this dress, the pleat detailing and impeccable finishing had me whirling around in glory. The versatility of a piece from being styled in an ethnic way along with so many other ways, shed light upon not only the conscious production but also encouraged conscious consumption. A denim jacket from 8 years ago and some go-to staples later, the look was transformed. A fresh take on styling for a new and modern outlook.
Coming back to my initial thoughts, it’s true that we’re all part of this complex web spun by the fast fashion industry. We cannot deny the common tendency of something indigenous automatically being categorized as passe. But isn’t it time we break free from that? The road to sustainability & appreciating what’s ours seems long and tough. But the awareness and conscious effort is taking me one step closer.