Rajasthani traditional dresses and their influence on contemporary fashion

Rajasthan has a rich and vibrant cultural heritage and their traditional clothing embodies this vitality. The traditional attire worn by both men and women in Rajasthan is not only exquisite but gorgeous as well. Therefore, it is not surprising that Rajasthani fabrics, prints, tapestries, jewellery, and fabrics have managed to influence contemporary fashion. The traditional attire worn by women in Rajasthan consists of ghagras, cholis, kurtis, udini or chunar and a lot of accessories, while the traditional attire worn by men mostly consists of pandals, turbans, dhotis, kartas and jotis. Contemporary fashion is inspired by traditional clothing and modified to suit the requirements of the current generation.

Gypsies are long skirts that narrow at the waist and then flare up to the ankle. Different materials can be used for the gypsies such as chiffon, crepe and georgette. Gypsies or lehenga have become synonymous with weddings in current times, for example this lehenga would be the perfect bridal set. Collections presented by contemporary Indian designers such as Anita Dongre, Abraham and Thakore showcase Rajasthani influences. But the influence of traditional Rajasthani clothing is not limited to Indian designers alone.

Choli or blouse and odhni or chunar will complete the perfect bridal look. The choli is a short sleeve bodice teamed with a ghagra or lehenga. Chunar is a long scarf worn by women. These are available in a variety of prints and fabrics. Elie Saab, in 2016 has shown chunars at Paris Fashion Week.

Kurti is similar to long tunics and has become the perfect casual wear for the modern woman. Valentino also showcased modern wear for women inspired by the traditional silhouettes of kurtis worn by women in Rajasthan.

Jootis are traditional shoes and can be worn by both men and women, depending on the decoration and work done. Jootis can be paired with kurtas/kurtis for a casual look and can also be worn with lehengas and even Bandhgalas.

Jewelery plays an important role in Rajasthani fashion. Traditional pieces of jewelry such as nath (nose ring) and payal have become popular accessories that can be utilized to enhance the impact of ethical attire.

Rajasthani traditional wear for men consists of bandhagalas ideal for weddings and dhotis and kurtas for casual occasions. Bandhgalas are similar to tunics and the rich fabric used to make them suitable for a special occasion. Presentation of Jean Paul Gaultier bandhgalas. Turbans and jodhpurs showcased the royal traditions of Rajasthan during Paris Fashion Week.

Rajasthan Publications
One of the major contributions of Rajasthani fabrics and textiles to contemporary fashion are the various prints like Bagru prints, tie-dye prints and also the famous Gotta Patti work. Let us not forget the beautiful embroidery and mirror work that is used to adorn the fabrics which would simply transform a simple looking kurti into a modern look that screams sophistication. In 2014, Louis Vuitton presented a collection inspired by the famous Lahariya print of Rajasthan. Isabel Marant has also used Rajasthani textiles in her collections more than once. Marchesa also presented a spring-summer collection showcasing the exquisite embroidery and mirror work so often synonymous with Rajasthani culture.

These were just a few of the different ways in which Rajasthani designs and aesthetics have infiltrated and dominated modern fashion. Of course, there is a lot of mixing and matching that you can do and mix and match traditional and contemporary designs. It’s all about using your style sensibilities and staying on top of your fashion game!

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