Indian Fashion through the ages part I

27 Aug 2019  Tue

The most popular means of expression and impression in the world is ‘Fashion’. It is a universally expected language that is used and understood by all. Fashion followed by society dependence highly upon the social and economic status. If we evaluate fashion through history it is observed that it’s ever-changing. Nevertheless, it also varies within the society over time and is personalised according to age, occupation, location and social class.

In terms of India, the sense of fashion was present on this subcontinent since the 5th millennium BC in the Harappan valley civilization. According to archaeologist and historians, the first urbanisation of India was the first place to cultivate cotton. The trace and remnants of this bygone past are seen on the cloths of figures discovered on the site during excavations. The earliest evidence was the statue of the mother goddess wearing elaborated headgear supported by a pair of bands and a brooch tight-fitted tunic and skirt fastened with a broad waist-band using medallion like a clasp.

Other than mother goddess there are also ‘priest-King’ and other stone figure illustrating wearing a long robe over the left shoulder leaving right shoulder bare. It can be evaluated that cloths were worn according to the social standing, higher class wear cloth made of fine muslin garment and silk while the common class wore garments made of the local fabric.

The evidence of the changing fashion is next seen during the Mauryan period in India. In the indicia of Megasthenes observed and talk about social life in the Mauryan period. The most common attire in this period was antariya which was used to wear as a lower garment. It a cloth covered in lehnga style to form a tubular skirt. A long cloth wrapped around the waist pleated into antariya was called patka. The upper garment was Uttariya like a long scarf. The textile was dyed and printed, the resist dyeing and hand printing were mentioned in Indicia. Felting of fabric instead of weaving was generally used.

India Post has issued a stamp in 2018 depicting this above-explained attire from the period of Harrapan Civilization and Mauryan period also including the Janapada period. These two periods had a huge gap between them and saw the gradual rise of first and second urbanisation in the Indian subcontinent.

To know more about stamp Visit philamart to view and purchase variety of stamps from all over the world.

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