Weaving Tradition Through The Modern Age
Our fashion industry is one such dynamic sector that cannot remain the same as it evolves and grows tremendously every day. The deep rooted history of our Indian textile and fashion has been known throughout the world for its immense value that it holds. The ancient traces of weaving have been treasured and considered as a symbol of culture and heritage in the present time. The culture of weaving has been one of a kind for the amount of hard work and dedication it involves and this reflects in the passion of all the unsung weavers who have continued to keep the tradition of weaving intact and alive. The art of Indian weaving is no longer confined to its boundaries, but it has crossed borders to earn recognition at a global level. The age-old techniques of weaving remain unmatched due to its cultural and historic essence which one cannot replace. These exquisite traditional forms of weaving are woven stories of passion and art the artists have practiced for centuries together. Over the years, every form of traditional practice has been through a transition due to the industrial revolution and technical advancements, but the art of weaving has been irreplaceable. When we say irreplaceable, what do we mean by that?
In today’s scenario, the choice of fashion has diversified due to the demand and preferences of the audience that every fashion brand needs to keep up with. While we talk about how the fashion industry has been evolving over the time, this also gives us a glimpse of the competitive market the brands have to survive in. This again poses a serious challenge for the brands to have a strong USP for the brand. As per ancient literary references, weaving initially began in Mohenjo Daro when the weavers started with the practice of weaving cotton and since then, the art of weaving has been having a vibrant and strong hold on the fashion industry. The contemporary fashion game has taken over the traditional style in a big way. The preference and choice of clothing of the audience has undergone a switch as modern fashion has made its place in the heart of the audience. The liking for a particular style develops out of the comfort clothing provides and brands have been working towards delivering best comfort with style. Our hand loom and weaving industry is one of the most profitable and a celebrated sector of the Indian economy and it resonates with the diverse culture which India has. The 21st century has given the fashion fraternity a gateway to revive and reinvent fashion in a big way. Currently, every fashion brand is looking forwards to adopting a more sustainable pattern of fashion and style which will be an opportunity for the brand to experiment with something unique and create a masterpiece. Reviving traditional techniques is a vast idea and one can choose his distinct way of doing it. While some fashion designers are inclined towards adopting a certain style of weaving, others have chosen to handcraft ethnic and traditional weaves on modern silhouettes. The path chosen by every fashion designer might be different, but the main aim of preserving and protecting our rich culture remains unchanged. Residing in a country like India is a daily reminder in itself about the bounty of India’s vibrant hand loom and fashion industry. As we travel to each region of India, we learn about the different patterns and style of weaving that each region specialises in.
A sustainable form of fashion takes time to come to life and become an acceptable fashion statement. International designers have been revolutionising the face of the fashion industry and expressing their love and gratitude towards Indian art of weaving through their works. This amalgamation of contemporary designs with India’s timeless techniques and fabrics has earned acclaim across the world. As we are emphasizing on how the combination of traditional weaves and modern silhouettes have resulted in giving fashion a new outlook, Project Renaissance by Vogue deserves a special mention.
In 2012, VOGUE introduced 20 top fashion labels to India’s most exquisite textiles and the outcome was unimaginable. To make this project a successful reality, the team toured across the country to explore and find ancient styles of weaving and handcrafted textiles which were later given a modern twist by the International labels. These creations were a tribute to the Indian heritage and culture.
This dress has been one classic outcome of Project Renaissance. New York based designer, Prabal Gurung was highly inspired by the incredible essence of Banarasi silk and brocade work, chose to give an iconic twist to his design by fusing this traditional fabric with a modern style. With this classic creation, he reminisced about the time he had spent in India. Banarasi silk sarees have a legacy since the Mughal era and therefore their designs have been inspired by its ancient architecture and bear a resemblance to the designs of the ancient temples of Banaras. Banarasi sarees are famous for their gold and silver zari work which gives it a royal and enticing look. Similarly, the brocade pattern is also done using a traditional technique of thrusting the needle between the thread patterns. Today, the brocade patterns have been replaced with jacquard work. Well, such marvellous outcomes highlight how our traditional styles have travelled across horizons and become one of a kind. Though these outfits have become a symbol of heritage to the world, yet the weaves will continue to remain attached to its roots of origin.