Fashion rules our lives or it did at some point. We have gone out of our way to be ‘fashionable’. Be it clothes, shoes, handbags or mannerisms, we were quick to follow and adopt the latest trends. Sometimes it was more peer pressure, more about ‘fitting in’ or ‘scoring over’ your friends and acquaintances. I am sure most of us have felt the ‘burden of fashion’ at some time in our lives. We have followed the fashion magazines closely to know about the upcoming trends, colours of the seasons etc. and built our wardrobes accordingly.
For instance, I was quite fashion conscious during my college days and early years of my working life. That was the time when I finally broke free from the vigils of my mother and took complete control over my wardrobe. Unlike now, our moms had a say on what should and shouldn’t be worn till we were in our late teens. Fortunately for me, my mom had a great sense of style and ensured that her daughters were well-dressed. Of course, I didn’t realize it that then and would endlessly fight with her to dress my way.
Those were the days of denims and knotted shirts, dhoti pants and parallels. We saw anarkalis come and go. First, there were pencil heels, then there were platforms. Big junky earrings were very in. We were naïve enough to think that fashion as we see it has been created just for us. I would stare at my mother in disbelief whenever she would say that she had worn a similar shirt or kurtas during her college days. “Fashion repeats itself,” my mother would say. “Don’t be so quick to change your wardrobe. You should dress as per your taste and style,” she would add. It took me years to understand those words.
One day, short tight kurtas that ruled in the sixties, with Asha Parekh and her ilk making them fashionable, suddenly became the most aspired outfit. I had just started working then. I remember rushing to buy a few of those after getting my salary. “The sixties are back,” smiled my mother. The short tight kurtas ruled for a while before they gave in again to the long kurtas. I have seen many a come backs since then. For instance, the dhoti pants and parallels that were such a rage during our college days are back with a bang. Anarkalis have been back and ruling for a while. I almost regret discarding my outfits moment they went out of fashion. If I had my parallels and dhoti pants now, I could just rehash them!
After a while, of course, I started following fashion at my own pace. It’s more about comfort and convenience now, about what appeals to me. But I do curiously watch the ever-changing fashion. It is interesting to see how fashion moves forward and backward, of Retro making a comeback, ethnic and traditional wear going up the chart. For me, tradition never goes out of fashion, I prefer to spend on traditional sarees rather than a new style that may rule for just for the season, before making a come back after decades. I feel so much more comfortable making an appearance in a saree, or in a traditional attire, rather than fretting over the ever-transient fashion!