Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Women's magazines

While going through women's magazines (the English publications ) in India recently I noticed that the women featured in the articles are mostly dressed in western attire # . Very few articles or even photographs of celebrities show Indian attire * . Most of the dressing tips too tend to almost exclusively focus on western wear ( this sometimes doubles as humor e.g every city girl needs a Birkin bag . Really ? most city girls in India would draw a blank at the phrase 'Birkin Bag') . 
* exceptions being coverage of the Lakme Fashion week :)
# while writing this post I reviewed a recent issue of Femina . The 190 page issue had totally 6-7 photographs of women in kurtas / sarees. This included some PR type photos of some events ( excluding ads in which there was hardly any Indian wear anyway . Maybe brands are missing an opportunity here )

While I love my western attire I'm not certain that magazines turning geography and culture neutral is doing the readers any good . There's a treasure trove of elegant and exquisite Indian attire that deserves the spot light .A wide range of traditional , hand woven fabrics that are timeless and stunning . Silhouettes that are kind on the wearer .The sheer diversity and richness of India's textile heritage is breath taking . Many of the hand woven fabrics are visual poetry. This richness and diversity is not limited to clothing . Accessories like bags , jewelry inspired by India's textile heritage / which complement Indian attire can be showcased effectively in women's magazines . Showcased not as a flavor of the season or only around the festive season . Showcased in an ongoing way that acknowledges the cultural context and the textile heritage of the portion of the pale blue dot we are privileged to inhabit .

2 comments:

Neelakantan said...

The funny thing is that it is not neutral, but un-Indian. Our own magazines do not showcase our own rich heritage, pity.

RAHUL AITHAL said...

Absolutely. There is wider range in Indian collection than you can find anywhere else. And it looks classy...