I would be more than willing to bet that a fair chunk of women who live in the West, whether they spend most of their time at home, on the campus’ of large universities or on the streets of the busiest corporate sectors in their cities, yearn to be able to express themselves through Indian culture in an everyday “socially accepted” way.
Plenty of young women struggle to incorporate the beauty of exotic culture in their everyday wardrobes. If you’re one of those women, this article is just for you. Enjoy our advice that makes Indian fashion simple to embrace.
Three Ways to Inject Indian Culture into your Fashion
There are three main ways in which we can easily instill Indian culture into our accessories: 1) by looking at what patterns and designs govern Indian fashion; 2) by analyzing common traits in Indian jewelry; and 3) by becoming familiar with the colors that are commonly used and attributed to Indian culture.
Accessorizing the Indian Way
1. Through Patterns and Designs
Indian culture almost rarely uses simplicity in the patterns and designs that are used to beautify fabric, apparel and art. These designs are often attributed to henna or Mendhi. More specifically, you’ll often see variations of themes within Henna designs; whether they’re painted on the skin, or woven into a Pashmina scarf. Common recognizable elements are peacocks, which represent beauty, a Sahasrara, representing the uniting of the soul with the Divine, and the bud, the more commonly used element that represents new growth. These themes can be depicted through images in beautiful waysand are always attributed to Indian art and culture.
When accessorizing, scarves are the easiest way to integrate an abundance of culture through a bold statement amidst a simple outfit. Common scarves made with Indian patterns and fabrics are called Pashmina. These scarves can be found virtually anywhere – online, in markets and even in some retail stores. They are affordable, and whether or not they are made of genuine fabric, they scream traditional culture like nothing else. Find scarves with “Henna-like” designs and bold Indian colour and you’re set!
2. Utilizing the Right Colors
“Bold Indian Culture”- that may seem quite ambiguous but it’s easy. Think of those big Indian weddings that you see all the time. Think of the colors that the bride and groom are commonly adorned in. Think of the elegance of the décor but also the way in which the colors blend together to form a wholly rich and beautiful combination. It’s remarkable how we have found a way to combine these simple colors into such mesmerizing ways. This combination is what you want to look for when purchasing Pashmina scarves. Often, you’re safe when you stick with colors that are combined in themes; try to look at scarves that are adorned with many colors, colors of the same category work best.
For instance, a scarf with a royal blue base, adorned with greens and other blues is a great example starting point. Then, look for patterns that are emphasized with a black, or a different shade of green and blue, topped with embellishments in gold or silver. This organizes the way you are able to then match the scarf to the rest of your outfit and accessories while simultaneously depicting the boldness of colour in Indian culture. Another thing to look for is flavor within the colour. Look for royal blues, blood reds, bold greens and vibrant oranges. Never settle for monotonous colour.
3. The Power of Jewelry
Jewelry, in any circumstance, is undoubtedly an incredibly simple way to express oneself. With Indian culture, we look specifically at intricate detail and commonly used bells. These bells, also called ‘ghungroo’, have deep roots in Indian art history, as they are used as an instrument. If you’ve ever seen an Indian anklet or bracelet with bells, this concept originates from large anklet-like accessories that dancers commonly wore, and wear, in order to add rhythm to their classical dance. Trust me, this idea is amazingly feminine and looks remarkable.
But Where do I find The Bohemian Look?
When looking for Indian jewelry, look for bohemian inspired, intricate designs and ghungroo-like bells. The easiest place to find these items is in markets – and no, not only in India. Markets in Canada carry many ethnic items; more often than not, you can find unique jewelry that represents much of Indian culture. If you know what you’re looking for, many of these items can be found in common retail stores for affordable prices. The jewelry does not need to come from India in order to represent the same culture.
As Mindthis has explored before, our beliefs and practices are overlapping and moving beyond borders; it is easy to find items inspired by cultures that seem to be far away, right in Canada.