The Regional Cinema Post

For very many reasons Bollywood is Indian cinema.  Now and then regional cinema makes a splash – especially at the National Awards – but for the most part the audiences are local.  You could however argue that all the interesting stuff happens in regional cinema, this was true even back in the day (I really miss the Sunday afternoon hour on DD2 which was regional cinema time). So here’s a little sampler – ideally I would have preferred to feature something other than a Tamil film from the South but here we go. 2 1Kumki (Tamil) and its heroine, Lakshmi Menon, are absolutely beautiful to look at. And I am a sucker for that weed flower jewellery. In the pics: goat weed ring and aster weed earrings. Captures from Onnum Puriyala, Kumki.

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Postcard (Marathi) seems an interesting film but I can’t find very much on it and am completely uncertain about the decade it is set in. Note that the trailer seems to indicate a 1960s postmark. But the puff sleeves – and Radhika Apte seems to basically wear just these blouses outside of her dance costume – evokes the late 30s/40s.

Warm pink, orange and red. Dupattas and the salwar kameez. Its the 80s in Punjab. Sonam Bajwa and Diljit Dosanjh in stills of Punjab 1984 (Punjabi).  I like the warm palette of this movie.

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Leipaklei (Manipur) is from the director of Imagi Ningthem. The first is based on a play, the latter is based on a novel. The innaphi (wrapper) of Manipuri dress is usually diaphanous. Here the wrap is more like a chador or shawl. I am probably biased because I love the Manipuri aesthetic but I love the muted colours here, especially the off white, checked innaphi. Stills from [X, X, X].

The North-East Post

This doesn’t cover all the North Eastern states of India neither is it chronological or thematic. Rather it’s a North East sampler that includes a fair bit of dance forms in the North-East.

1The components of the Manipuri dance costume include a) kumin (the bright skirt) b) pasuan (gauzy overskirt) c) khwangyet (cloth belt) 4) meikhumbi (veil) and 5) koktumbi (tapering cap). Collectively the costume is called potloi.

While the stiffened skirt and frilled overskirt are now seen as characteristic of Manipuri costume and is also the bridal dress (though the overskirt is not frilled here), it’s history is fairly recent. See for e.g. manipurtalks and minai’s post. The kumin is a variant of  the phanek and seems to have acquired a cylindrical form for most of the 20th century. Though the simpler version is around for awhile as in this 1954 pic.

For more Manipuri costumes in paintings see here.

[X]

2 Monks from the old Kamalabari sattra impersonating gopis in Chali Nritya at the first All India dance seminar at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, 1958. Pic source: Sangeet Natak Academy in X.

Traditionally Sattriya nritya was performed by monastic communities and female parts were performed by men as in this photograph (click for larger view). Now it is performed by men and women and outside the sattras or monasteries..

Per Mallika Kandali every Sattriya dance has its own dress code which is strictly followed in the sattras. But on the contemporary stage “ek-aharya” (single costume) prevails. Even here there is some difference from costumes of the 50s but a contemporary costume would include a ghuri (ghaghra) of pat silk, a riha (upper wrap) placed on both sides on the chest and a blouse. A belt with strips (kanci) completes the dress.

I did spot the velvet embroidered jacket in one contemporary costume but it is also a bit of its time given the popularity of embroidered velvet in the early 20th century.

Present day Majuli.

Given that States/Union Territories participate in the cultural part of the Republic Day parade in rotation, it appears that the North-East was well represented in 1956. In today’s photoset from photodivision, the folk dancers are from Sikkim,  Assam (Jaintia*), Manipur and NEFA**. Not many happy faces apart from cheerful Sikkim girl wearing a wristwatch:)

Some beautiful textiles and jewellery in there. These are not representative of the entire state given that there are a number of tribal communities in North-East India.

Other states: Nagaland (1960), Tripura (2011), Mizoram (2011).

*Now Meghalaya.
**NEFA, now Arunachal Pradesh.

Naga Girls-1956 and contemporary.

I am fairly sure the necklace of carnelian beads and silver flutes is indicative of the Ao Naga though probably not restricted to the Ao Naga – e.g the Tetseo sisters [X] wear it quite often.

Most folk will no doubt be aware of wearabout; it showcases some really cool northeast fashion.

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Chalk and crayon sketch, Naga girl, 1955 by Lily Eversdijk-Smulders . She looks quite lovely and stylish.

I can’t quite identify the naga group based on contemporary  portraits, also wondering if  the ear ornament is rhododendron blossoms.

The Islamic Dress Post

When you think of Muslim influenced fashion in India you think of anarkalis, gauzy dupattas, tight churidars, a North Indian style that has a tremendous grip on the popular imagination not least because of Hindi movies. While the Mughals with their jama/paijama/dupatta ensembles did influence the courts of India, in reality there is a good amount of diversity with local influences intermingling with northern as well as middle eastern influences depending upon faith and denomination. Often across communities the commonality is only in head covering.

Let’s start with the Bohras and their distinctive “quami libas” (loosely community dress).

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Scenes from a Bohra Wedding, 1940s.

Bohra* Muslim clothing is quite distinctive and rich in colour and decoration, the latter of which is varied and includes laces, trimmings, zari, embroidery etc. I have been meaning to do a post forever on them but never found the right images.  Then a friend – Sakina Pittalwala – posted these photographs of her parents wedding in the 1940s on facebook which are quite wonderful and detailed.  Many thanks for her go ahead to post the photographs on this blog!

And now for the clothes. In Sakina’s words, “The dress in question is the ‘ghaghra badan’, a combination of a long flowing skirt, a blouse and an ornately decorated (on the borders) dupatta.  This is the traditional attire among Bohras.  It is also referred to as the ‘jori’, literally meaning a combination of the 3 garments. The dupatta is usually adorned by ‘koran’ which can take a variety of forms – hand tatted lace, brocade, a combination of painting and sequins and in the case of those worn for weddings, gold and silver threads. These can be extremely expensive and often outlast the garments; they then get recycled.  When clearing my mother’s things recently, we came across some koran which must have been at least 50 years old; each one was valued at about Rs. 60,000! The koran is usually created to fit in with the colours and designs of the ghaghra and badan.  These two garments are usually made of the same fabric (though certain sub-communities among Bohras may wear a plain blouse along with a printed ghaghra).  These two may be adorned with additional lace/painting etc. – though this is usually only for those worn by brides or those in the immediate family for a wedding.“

That’s just a little sampler, if you dive into the photographs there is a lot of detail, the most distinctive of which is the bride’s tiara and matha patti.

Notes: In pic 4 the older standing girl has a paijama under her frock – you can see something similar on the girls in this personal album from Karachi. More images of costumes at the site here.

The equivalent of the burqa or hijab for Bohras is the rida, this includes the upper garment (pardi) covering the head which comes down to the waist (some examples here). The rida is a garment which is worn outside the house and like all Bohra clothing has rich colours and decoration.

The girls in today’s photograph set are in frocks (fairly common in India in the 1940s) but here is a little charmer in HK wearing a jabla-izar (tunic-pants) and decorated topi.

Please do keep in mind that these are images from a personal album and do not misuse!

*See also X, X, X.

Atiya’s relatives have an unusual approach to women’s veiling, travel, and seclusion. Rather than ‘going native’ and adopting Western dress, Atiya wears a family version of the veil, the Fyzee charshaf, which is a Turkish women’s floor-length cloak worn with a head-covering and gloves. Instead of the ‘oppressive’ veil that is such a Western obsession to this day, it is a liberating garment that can be adapted to its context, as Atiya shows by teaming it with “good walking shoes” and thickening it to keep out the cold. This modest dress enables Atiya to travel where and with whom she wants.[X]

 

Atiya Fyzee (pic 1) and her sister Nazli with the Nawab of Janjira (Pic 2).

Atiya Fyzee’s parents were Sulaymani Bohra (her uncle was Badruddin Tyabji). Given that the Fyzee girls preferred to be unveiled and were amongst the first Muslim women to study aboard, it appears that their costumes include a number of modifications (much like Jnanadanandini)-here they seem to feature a full skirt, lace blouse and a half-saree like drape (this drape as can be seen is worn in a particular way). Like Parsi, Bohra and Khoja costumes in Western India, the garments make ample use of trimmings, lace and embroidery (please note however that the costumes here are different from the Bohra ghaghra-badan above – dress codes amongst the Sulaimani Bohras were different from the Dawoodi Bohras and often very flexible mixing a number of elements, there is no equivalent of qaumi libas).

Atiya Fyzee is now pretty much a forgotten author though she was well known in her time. Apart from her travelogue she wrote several books on music, including Indian music, which also features illustrations by her husband. She is also the subject of a recent book, on the cover of which you can see the Fyzee sisters costumes.

Here are Memon and Khoja women in shirt and trousers (“kurta” and “izzar”) of green and gold or pink or yellow, with dark blue sheets used as veils, wandering along with their children dressed in all the hues of the rainbow. By-Ways of Bombay by S. M. Edwardes.

MV Dhurandhar illustrations of Memon and Khoja costumes in Western India.  Pics 1 and 2 are of Khoja ladies. Lots of trimmings. The wide paijama harks back to the early 19th century in Northern India. Pic 3 is of a Memon lady, you can see the paijama beneath but hard to say if its a sari or two pieces of cloth. There was no specific dress code for Khoja and Memon women so there is an intermingling of elements, further it is likely the above costumes are no longer the norm.

z1In some parts the sari or a version of it can be seen as in this photograph of a Muslim Lady and Child,  in Ongole, Andhra Pradesh. (1921, Maynard Owen Williams).  A lot of heavy jewellery (silver?) including an armband over a full sleeved blouse. I think the lady is wearing a sari. The child’s silk tunic is of a kind common at the time.

See also X, X.

Wife of Muslim NoblemanThe head jewellery in the above portrait seems to indicate that the lady is from the South of India, most likely the Deccan. There is a good deal of layering in the costume – I reckon this is a 19th century print. And curiously a bodice-common in South India for saris-over the open fronted tunic or jama.  Kind of indicates how the basic jama/paijama/dupatta was worn differently and accessorised differently in Islamic cultures in 18th and 19th century India.  [X].

See also Hyderabadi dress and Moplah dress.

This list is kind of incomplete, Eastern India is omitted. For one the sari is quite common. Plus not enough good images.

The Love Post

l1l2imageedit_13_9934187136MADANA, a name of Kama, the hindu god of love. In the hindu religion, festivals are held on the 13th and 14th of the month Cheyth*, in honour of Kama, the god of love. Madana, he who intoxicates, with desire, Kama are both the epithets of the god of love. [X]

I have this morning sent Madhava too, having roused his curiosity, to the Makaranda garden where the festival in honour of Madana has commenced. I hear that Malati is to go there, so that the two lovers might see each other. [X]

If I am correct, the 13th day of the brighter half of Chaitra fell on April 2 or 3, 2015.  The day was once dedicated to Kama, the God of Love and known as Madanotsav or Kamotsav (Festival of Madana/Kama aka Festival of Love).  The festival – which usually took place in a grove on the outskirts of a town – occurs quite often in Sanskrit plays. In Mṛcchakaṭika and Maltimadhava it is the day on which the lovers first meet, both texts describe the festival. It is also mentioned in records of Akbar’s time and there is mention of the festival in Udaipur in the 19th century.  The festival was also celebrated in the South of India as Kaman Vilavu.  Despite its seemingly widespread nature, fairly early on in the country’s history it was largely replaced by Holi as the significant spring festival. Along with this a shift from the worship of Kama and Vasant (spring, Kama’s companion) to Krishna also took place, there are in fact no surviving Kama temples.

Given the spring association, Kama is usually represented with a sugarcane bow, a bowstring of bees and arrows tipped with flowers.

In the pics:
1: Cover of Yavana Rani
2: Krishna and Radha
3 & 4:  Vibhasa, a dawn ragini, where the man is usually represented as Kama. 5: Modern Kalighat by Bhaskar Chitrakar.
6: My cousin’s sketch entitled “Love Day”:)

*Chaitra

The Food Post

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The iconography of Annapurna is given in the Agamas as a youthful goddess of red complexion having a face round like moon, three eyes, high breasts; the left hand carrying a vessel set with rubies and containing honey, and the right hand spread, holding ladle. [X]

Let’s begin with the goddess of food, Annapurna. Pic Source. More S Rajam paintings here.  Another Annapurna painting, more illustrative of the quote, here. The vessel is usually filled with rice (anna) in many illustrations.

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When he was bathed and had rubbed himself with oil and myrobalan, she laid a plank on a part of the floor well swept and levelled, on which he sat down: she then placed before him on a well trimmed plantain leaf two platters.  Having given him some water to drink, she served him with two spoonfuls of rice, to which she added ghee and sauce, the rest of the rice he ate with spices, curds, butter, milk and rice gruel. She finally brought him water to drink pure, cool, and fragrant in a new jug, perfumed with agallochum.  From the section on Mitragupta in the दशकुमारचरित (7th cent. CE)

And move on to a 7th century tale. You know its an Indian story when a rich 18 year old from Kanchi disguises himself as a poor fortune seller to find a bride who will agree to cook rice for him. The orphan girl who agrees to do so does a mighty fine job of it too from sending off the rice bran to the goldsmith (to clean jewels), scenting the rice water from her cooking for a bath for her guest and finally serving up the rice with various little preparations.  A most accomplished girl.

Still from Vaagai Sooda Vaa.

Another kind of Ghiyath Shahi’s samosas: take well cooked mince with the same amount of minced onion and flavour it with dried ginger (zanjabīl). Having ground a quarter of that with half a tūlcha of garlic, mix them all together.  Grind three tūlchas of saffron in rosewater and mix it with the mince.  Remove the pulp from aubergines and having mixed it with the mince, stuff the samosas and fry them with ghee.  They can be either of thin dry bread or fine flour bread or of uncooked dough. Cook each of the three kinds of samosas, they are delicious and good.

Another recipe for bhrat (mash or stuffing): fry aubergines on hot embers, add onions, fresh ginger, salt, pepper and much relish. Flavour it well. Add aniseed, then cook chapati and eat the bhrat with it. Extracts from the Ni’matnama Manuscript of the Sultans of Mandu.

The Ni’matnama is a late 15th century illustrated cookbook completed in 1500 which contains the recipes of the Sultan of Malwa, Ghiyas-ud-Din Shah (the moustache man of the pictures). Apart from the exhaustive recipes (some of which are still around like samosas and baigan bharta in the extracts), the book is also important as it provides the first indications of the Indianisation of miniature painting as well as the Persian language.

And of course there are the costumes. Some are Turkish and Persian costumes (long layered robes, belts and headgear like a wimple or a turban). There are some Indian elements like the addition of a bindi (pic 1 and 4). Then there are Indian costumes as in pic 2 and 3 which are like ghagra cholis with a diaphanous dupatta and coiffures with elaborate ornaments. Some illustrations have costumes that combine both elements (e.g. an exposed midriff which is Indian combined with foreign headgear).

See also X, the illustrations on the whole have beautifully patterned cholis and skirts. Note that female attendants sometimes wore male clothing in some courts in this period.  Further the courts were a bit of a melting pot – the Ni’matnama for e.g. refers to Abyssinians and they also feature in a number of illustrations.

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A typical meal at the court consisted of dozens of dishes of vegetables, grains, rice and meat including lamb, goat, chicken, waterfowl and venison.  A popular way of preparing meat was to put it in skewers and roast it over a fire or in an oven.  This dish, known as kebabs (which means “without water” in Persian), probably originated with the Mughals’ Mongol and Turkic nomadic ancestors, since it was easy to make over a campfire. Food Culture in India, Colleen Taylor Singh. 

Mughal influenced cuisines are probably the most written about and well travelled of all Indian cuisines. Given this it is a little surprising that almost all the dynasty’s Emperors were personally not very interested in food.  The late 16th and early 17th century were probably the most decisive in shaping Mughal culture and its cuisine but Akbar had frugal eating habits (tending to Sufiyana or vegetarian according to the Ain-e-Akbari) while Jahangir was more fond of wine.

This late 18th century repast in today’s pic is also decidedly simpler given it is outdoors. The figure cooking the kebabs is a yogini – many a miniature painting shows yoginis in forest settings visited by royalty. The ankle length jamas (tunics) of the prince, his companion and the attendant are are very much late Mughal period, note that the prince has riding boots.

Hope the attendant and grooms got fed!

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In several texts written in medieval Bengal, cooking was done by women but they were not specifically seen as inhabiting the domestic space.  In other texts, specifically in Vaishnava literature, even if men did not directly cook for Chaitanya, the way they served him food symbolised acts of devotion to the preacher…….The aesthetics of cooking has been reflected to some extent in the Vaishnava texts as a form of devotional exercise. [X]

Food as devotion – detail from Radha in the kitchen, ~1810.

Ankle length jama/anarkali worn with a dupatta. Interesting colour scheme, the pink jama has a small green edging which is also picked up by the orange dupatta. Armbands with tassels appear to have a long history – you can see it even now in dance costumes.

One can also know from Pak pranali that cabbage seeds were brought into India every year from abroad. A detailed discussion on how to choose and clean a cabbage precedes the recipes in the first volume of Pak pranali, the periodical; this discussion became imperative since cabbage was a new vegetable. In the periodical, as well as the cookbook, so-called Bengali recipes happily co-exist with “new” recipes, which ranged from British to Italian to French cuisines. [X]

The first recorded recipe (as the King of Oude’s omelette) appears in Eliza Acton’s Modern cookery (published in 1845). This included onion, chilli, fresh mint, cloves and leeks. As time went on the cloves and leeks were eliminated and replaced with tomatoes and fresh coriander (a touch borrowed from the Raj loving Parsis of Bombay). [X]

With the arrival of Europeans in India came a whole host of new ingredients due to the Columbian exchange. Staples of Indian cooking like the chilli (one ingredient Indians took to fairly quickly), potato and tomato date from the European presence in India.

The influence of these cultures on Indian cooking itself was not as extensive though more than a few Goan, Parsi, Anglo-Indian dishes are a result of the mixing of traditions. However, though the cooking manuals of the 19th century are dominated by Indian influences on the British kitchen and club, there is some incorporation of new elements into Indian cooking or the Indianisation of these recipes – e.g. tea drinking, biscuits and cakes, cutlets, masala omelette and double roti or pao. Given that Bengal was amongst the first places to adopt new trends, they also seem to appear in early Bengali cookbooks.

At least some of the adapted recipes must be due to the cooks of the British (and perhaps royalty) in India. The bawarchi or cook (along with the khansamah – somewhat akin to a butler) earned about Rs 12 in the early 19th century which was the highest for household staff. A helper earned Rs 4. Bawarchis – like the maharaj of Indian households – were generally men. They duly appear in portraits of the time.

The costume of the cook in 1880 (pic 1, probably in Bihar/Bengal) is not very different from the Lucknow khansama  circa 1825-1830 (pic 3).  The jama or tunic is very voluminous in the 19th century and the patka or sash equally expansive.  The paijama or trouser was very wide in the early to mid 19th century but is a bit toned down by 1880. The circular headgear is common for the time.

The cook at the Government House in 1914 wears a veshti with a shirt/coat, the turban is Northern and the kind of safa that was popular in many parts of India at this time.

It wasn’t uncommon for cooks in Indian houses to wear just a lower dhoti as in this 1840 pic (pic 2). Perhaps due to the heat in the kitchen as well as a number of purity and pollution taboos regarding cooking amongst Hindus.

VeeraswamyThe first Indian “curry house” in the UK was Sake Dean Mohammed’s Hindostanee Coffee House.

Veeraswamy which has been around since 1926 bills itself as the oldest Indian restaurant in the UK, probably because its a fine dining place and is still around.

Today’s pic (click to see the large pic) is from 1928.  The flash probably resulted in a few closed eyes.  Lots of 1920s elements – slightly high sari, the drape over the head, Mary-Janes. shoulder brooch, thin zari borders on a few saris.

Raj cookbooks are in plenty [just two examples – X, X] and Veeraswamy’s cookbook, published in 1947, is still available.

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Though cookbooks often refer to Indian food, it is a bit of a misnomer.  The country has a number of culinary traditions of which a few now constitute Indian cuisine in restaurants. Many cuisines remain local, it’s probably easier to spot a Thai eatery than an Assamese one in many major cities. So I intended to do a post on early/mid 20th century culinary books from as many Indian states as possible but this turned out to be difficult. While the education of women in the early 20th century and the rise of periodicals meant that there were books on food, perhaps quite often recipes were orally transmitted and not written down. Or maybe books are not online. Listed here are a few, chosen because of the covers.

Pic 1 is a 1915 Parsi cookbook, Vividh Vani. The cook’s long lacy blouse and the hair net make it both Parsi and early 20th century.

Pic 2 is a 1954 “expat” cookbook, Savitri Chowdhury’s Indian Cooking. The style of wearing the sari and the blouse makes it very United Provinces.

Pic 3 is the English version of the Saraswat cookbook Rasachandrika. This book was first published in 1943 in Marathi, in 1958 in Hindi and in 1988 in English. The cover painting by P.G. Sirur is of a 1940s Saraswat kitchen (the standing lady’s blouse and sari is very characteristic of the decade, you can also see a scalloped petticoat).

Pic 4 is Vanttalu – Pindi Vanttalu by Malathi Chunder, a Telugu cookbook probably written around the 1950s. Its cover is like representations of Indian women in the 1960s and 1970s.

Other examples are the Bengali Amish o niramish ahar by Prajnasundari Devi, Samaithu Paar by Meenakshiammal, Ruchira by Kamlabai Ogle and Mrs KM Mathews cookbooks. By the 1970s middle class women were more likely to read English periodicals and books but I won’t go into these books here.

See also X, X (Bengal), X (Punjab), X (UP),  X (Indian Jewish cooking), X (South Africa).

picnicMahendra proposed, ‘Let’s go on a picnic to the orchard at Dumdum this Sunday.’

He greeted the ladies and made them sit on a platform. Soon he served each with a hot cup of tea and a plateful of sweets.  Binodini remarked again and again, “Thank God that Bihari Babu had the foresight to come so well equipped. What would Mahendra Babu have done without tea?”

The day advanced but the servants coach did not arrive.  Bihari opened his box and out came the provisions for a full fledged lunch – rice, dal, vegetables, and finely ground spices in small bottles. Bnodini stared in amazement and exclaimed, “Bihari Babu, you put us women to shame. You’ve no one at home – where did you learn all this?”. Bihari smiled. “Necessity is my teacher. Having no one to look after me, I have to look after myself.”

Picnics are common in Indian movies and literature. As expected memsaab has a picnic songs list. And I am all praise for the Satyajit Ray socially awkward picnic drinking game. But it is uncommon to have a man in charge of the refreshments as in the above passage from Chokher Bali. Pity the movie omits this but lets make do with another picnic in which Madhabi Mukherjee and Soumitra Chatterjee exude 60s cool.
mukul dey sushilsenThe paintings: 1)  Getting Ready for the Meals, Mukul Dey (1916) and 2) Untitled, Sushil Sen, 1940s.  List of Indian names for the cutting instrument here.

Awhile back I had a conversation on tumblr regarding starched vs non–starched saris and how we preferred the latter. The two saris here only confirm that view.

rahuldasnsharshaAnd last up how we eat. 1) Illustration by Rahul Das for My Grandmother’s Table and 2) Detail from N.S. Harsha’s We Come, We Eat, We Sleep. Click for bigger view.

120_11My personal view on food-though not on clothes! But hope you enjoyed the somewhat chronological food and fashion in India post.

The Forest Post

Pic 1: Nandalal Bose, Evening, 1941.
Pic 2: Girl in  a Forest, Allah Bux, 1963.  [X]

Pic 1: Girl from Chotanagpur (1956)
Pic 2: One of a series taken of a Santhal festival in Santiniketan. Via Shibaditya Ray.

The original and best mori girls :).

Chotanagpur has dry, deciduous forests (though a lot of forest cover has now been lost) and is home to, amongst others, the Santhals, Oraons, Ho, Mundas and Kharias.

You can see the costume of pic 1 (as well as those worn by the accompanying dancers with this girl) here.  These look a little similar to Kotpad textiles. While the local handlooms as well as the silver jewellery remain, it is also common to see Southern Indian handlooms and modern costume jewellery as in pic 2.wp5

Looking around for contemporary Indian fashion with a forest theme I found very little. A little surprising given our long history with forests from the epics to musical traditions to “tree courtship” and dances on film.  The closest I suppose is all those labels and shoots that feature tribal textiles or motifs but “ethnic chic” in India is usually a mix of village, nomadic and tribal influences rather than specifically evoking forests.

Bar Anavila’s range based on Santhal culture (pic 1, stunning) and The Secret Life of the Forest (pic 2, X).

And there are clothes that evoke organic forms rather than drawing on myths or forest cultures. E.g. Padmaja Krishnan (pic 3).

Or labels like Injiri (pic 4) or Pero (pic 5).  Though they use Indian textiles their layering and cool palette is a very Japanese sensibility imo.

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Forest Essentials. Very few ingredients are Indian forest produce (though I think grown locally) and their advertisement is very little forest and a lot of Raja Ravi Varma I think:) But posting for their lovely house models!

Phryne Fisher Costumes

I saw the new season stills circulating on tumblr (stills from here) and Phryne and clothes look amazing as usual so I felt compelled to take an Indian fashion break!

With bonus Jack and Dot.

The exhibition is coming to Melbourne – the stills are from here. Now to plan the trip and wait for S3 to start!