Today fashion has penetrated every level of class in the country. Fashion in India has a rich, vibrant and varied heritage, with each area having its own traditional attire and style. While traditional clothes are still worn in rural India, urban India has been changing its fashion trends lately. International fashion trends have a huge influence in the clothes worn by youngsters in urban India.
Readymade garments is a flourishing industry with international events such as the India Fashion Week where celebrated designers showcase their works for the upcoming season. The victory of a number of Indian beauty queens in international beauty pagents, such as the Miss World and Miss Universe has also promoted fashion in India. Fashion designers such as Ritu Kumar, Ritu Beri, Rohit Bal, Rina Dhaka, Satya Paul, Tarun Tahiliani, and Manish Malhotra are some of the well known fashion designers from India.
Fashion designing covers a wide range of clothing from heavy clothes designed for weddings to prêt lines, sportswear and casual wear. Traditional Indian techniques of embroidery such as chikhan, kantha work and zardosi have been used, improvised and experimented with on numerous fabrics for ages by Indian designers to create Indo-western clothing which is often sought after in the urban market.
Traditional costumes in India vary widely depending on the climate and the fabrics found in a region. In Jammu and Kashmir, natives wear a thick loose shirt called a phiran to keep their bodies warm. In the tropical warmth of South India men wear a sarong like garment called the mundu, while women gracefully drape six meters of cloth around their bodies which is called a saree. Sarees are woven in silk, cotton or artificial fibres. Kanjivaram, Mysore, Paithani, Pochampalli, Jamdani, Balucheri, Benarasi, Sambalpuri, Bandhini are some popular varieties of beautiful sarees from different regions of India.
In the warm regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat men generally wrap and twist a length of cloth in the form of a dhoti around their lower body and team it up with a shirt-like kurta. Colorful turbans go with this traditional kurta, dhoti attire. People from the north-eastern regions especially the tribal communities like the Khasis, Nagas, Mizos, Manipuris and Arunachalis wear colorful woven sarong-like clothes with woven shawls that represent the unique identity of each tribal group.
In urban India variations of the salwar kameez are commonly worn by women and the saree is worn on formal occasions and festivals. Men generally wear kurtas and pyjamas or sherwanis for festive occasions. Western wear such as shirts and trousers are commonly worn by men and women across India. Casual wear includes jeans,T-shirts, capris and bermudas.
Despite urban India being so vibrant and popular most Indians acknowledge that it is the traditional Indian fashion and clothing is superior.