Whenever you see some new fashion just think carefully about how new it really is. What you might be seeing for the first time might not be a discovery in the true sense but could have evolved from something that existed in the past. Take the case of dhotis, which have been the traditional dress for Indian males for ages but have now emerged into the fashion scene in a new look.
The humble and modest looking single piece clothing that we all knew has now transformed into a stylish fashion wear for men as well as women. It is really praiseworthy for fashion designers to go back to the roots of Indian culture and resurrect the modest clothing to present it in a glamorous outfit that is completely contemporary. The everyday clothing is now finding a place in the wardrobes of some of the leading names of the fashion world today, cutting across gender lines.
It has many names
The dhoti is quite similar to its female counterpart, the saree, in its form and structure. Both clothing are made from a single piece of fabric usually 5 yards in length but the similarity ends there only. While the male dress is meant for covering the lower part of the body, the saree can be draped across the entire body. While the saree is quintessentially known by a single name there are many names given to the male dress. The names are related to specific regions of India – in Punjab it is known as Laacha, the Tamils of South India calls it veshti. In Kerala it is familiar as mundu and In Andhra Pradesh it is called pancha. The same clothing is called dhotar in Maharashtra and dhuti is well known in West Bengal.
Unlike the kurta which is popular across the sub continent and is worn in Pakistan and Bangladesh as well, dhotis belong exclusively to the Indian males. The dress has been prevalent since the 14th century and despite losing its popularity among the masses, it still enjoys enough patronage among rural folks, for whom it still remains a daily wear. The urban population still has an inclination for this dress that is worn on special occasions like festivities and weddings.
Breaking the gender barrier
Indian fashion designers have started exploring the traditional dress in a new way and have actually re-invented the clothing by breaking its gender barrier. While the modest white fabric has been replaced by colorful designs to give it modern and contemporary looks, in a new twist, the traditional male dress has now been developed for women too. Thus, the modest village wear, as it was known earlier has now made its way to fashion ramps where beautiful female models and celebrities adore it with pride.
The Indian fashion scene is abuzz with the new dress that intends to uphold the Indian cultural heritage which was about to be lost amid the wide popularity of western dresses. However, for ease of wearing, the draping methods of the new creation have been modified to make it as convenient as wearing trousers.