Slow Down – The Future of Indian Fashion

The difference between slow fashion and fast fashion is that of a ‘slo-mo’ video and a ‘boomerang’ video! A slo-mo shows you intricacies, details and beauty even in the most mundane things such as your hair flying in the wind or the crease on your skirt while you twirl! A boomerang video on the other hand, looks fun, but captures nothing of consequence!

That’s the exact difference between slow fashion and fast fashion. Fast fashion brands create clothes in bulk… they have a short production cycle, churn our millions of clothes every few weeks, are on-trend and basically keep you excited and on your toes (and counting your notes)! Slow fashion on the other hand is usually handmade… crafted with a lot of thought, individual care, attention to detail, and with a lot of time spent on each piece. More often than not, no two pieces are exactly alike! There’s attention to detail on things as mundane as the kind and quality of fabric, respect for the skill of the weaver, goodness of materials used on skin, individual product design and most of all, on how it affects the environment.

Oh but have no doubts… I LOVE my fast fashion and street-wear… but just to know that what you’re wearing is more than just a piece of garment mass-manufactured in a factory, is so much more satisfying!

Until a few years back, designer-wear pretty much meant expensive and un-wearable. Normal people like you and me, possibly wouldn’t think of wearing designer-wear unless it was for a very special occasion – mostly, our own weddings.

In the last couple of years however, we’ve seen the definition of designer wear take a U-turn! There has been a huge surge in the number of quality sustainable and ethical fashion brands. Young designers, who are creative and want to explore their roots! They’re using traditional, earth friendly fabrics, bringing back old, lost art and are using their skills to innovate on them to revolutionize and sexy-ize them, and turn them into high street designer-wear that’s not only cutting-edge, but also quite affordable.

Last week I attended the Elle Graduates 2017 which is a program organized by the Elle magazine to showcase and celebrate young talent that they believe is the future of the fashion industry. Designers who were showcased here were P.E.L.L.A., Antar Agni, Doodlage, Kaleekal and Vineet & Rahul, among others. And do you know the one theme that ran common through all their brand values… ‘Sustainability’ and a strong ‘Purpose’.

Every piece of clothing has a story to tell. Earth-friendly fabrics, revival of old craft and blending of genders, seemed to be the strong message that the future of Indian fashion seems to be sending out.

I especially love brands that work with handloom… where the beauty of the fabric itself is made the main focus. Collections by designers like Raw Mango, Anavila, Khara Kapas and Kalol Dutta 1955 are testament to the fact that innovation and sexy design doesn’t always have to be super complicated and flashy! It can be very simple, humble and rooted as well.

The rise in slow fashion and a sense of bringing back traditions stems from a larger socio-cultural wave sweeping over India currently.

Aren’t we all so sick and tired of this fast paced, crazy life that we lead… Have you noticed how everyone around is trying so desperately hard to slow down? The rise in wellness…. In meditation and yoga… in spa visits and in going for vipasana or to Jindal’s… it’s all a trend indicative of the fact that while speed and pace is a way of life, it is no longer what people desire.

The young no longer wanna be in a rat race… they don’t need nor do they want to lead crazy, workaholic lives… they love to do things at their pace… savouring and enjoying every moment. That’s one thing about the millinial generation that I’ve seen… they, by nature, are a generation that isn’t unnecessarily ambitious… their ambitions, are made of their passions!

It shows in not just the kind of career choices they make but also in the kind change in the fashion scene. The younger generation of designers and consumers, both appreciate and are curious about old arts and crafts, handmade as a concept and earth-friendly in fabrics.

Fast fashion seems to be taking the backseat in the hierarchy of desire in our minds. Not saying that the young will stop buying it… we love it. It satiates our inherent need to flirt and change our minds! But it’s slow fashion, that’s more desirable! Slow fashion – fashion made, crafted, delicately embellished and created slowly… ethically, by hand… in its own sweet time! Machines that replaced man have been replaced back… the human touch and care in these pieces is far more valuable and intimate than machine made, mass produced fashion.

Wearing this gorgeous dress form Ek Katha… handmade from fabric that is handwoven, from organic cotton, somewhere in Katcch! 🙂






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About Me

Sonal is a Post Graduate in Luxury Brand Management from Polimoda Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing, Florence (Italy) and has over 9 years of experience as a Brand Strategist working in the advertising industry.

She has also been a Consumer Insights Miner specializing in fashion and luxury brands.