Tradition in clothes

One of the definite casualties of the sameness world we are creating, is the traditional garment. Almost a decade ago, on a trip to London, I was standing in front of Charing Cross station gazing at an unending stream of black wool with the occasional light blue, when suddenly I was struck by this huge burst of colour. I turned to find an elegant African lady resplendent in the most colourful (traditional african) dress I have ever seen. Made me a convert to the idea that the world needs to desperately cling on to its traditional clothes.

Whether it is the Cheongsam in East Asia, the Saree in the Indian sub-continent or the Thobe in Arabia, all of them impart that element of ethnic cultural elegance that no import can ever do. It seems to me that we must do everything to ensure that these clothes remain used as practical daily-wear.

And it was with this thought that I bravely bought a traditional chinese shirt/jacket on my last trip to Singapore. I wanted to get this wonderful, wine red creation, but in the face of strong opposition settled for a blue one. Love it.

While on the subject of clothes, here is a video of a Chinese fashion show in Shanghai. Not that this video has much to do with the subject of this post. But the women look nice, the colours bright and the Bund in Shanghai is where I plan to go to write my book. So…

(Incidentally, for all those following the huge controversy over setting up Special Economic Zones in India, did you know that the Bund in Shanghai was probably the world’s first SEZ).

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One thought on “Tradition in clothes

  1. Hi,
    It’s a question that has puzzled me for long. Why do Europeans dress in such drab colours on most occasions? Is it because they are too formal? They believe in the understated? Do the muted colours of temperate climes affect their mindset? I don’t know.

    But all travellers from the West comment on the fact that they love to see the vivid colours of India – even in the dust bowls. Specifically, they love the colourful traditional dresses we wear.

    I suppose colourful clothes may just suit the less than “white” skin colour of Asians and Africans, or may be it’s just a culture thing!

    We like whites and blacks, but grays are never going to be a favourite with us.

    Best,

    Aditi Mukherjee
    http://handloom.wordpress.com/

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