The northern region of India is known for its varied fashion trends and India’s indigenous fashion. From traditional ‘pherans’ with Kashmiri art to western and Indo western outfits, all these can be spotted in the northern Indian region. Fashion in India is mostly influenced by its culture and the region’s climatic conditions. The weavers of India and the craftsmen leave no stone unturned to infuse the fashion practices being passed on from one generation to another in the fabrics and dresses.
The Northern states of India are known for their scenic beauty, metropolitan lifestyle, and unity in diversity. They mostly consist of Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. Each of these states has a defined men’s fashion and women’s fashion structure. The interesting aspect is the influence these states have on each other. The latest fashion trends in India might not be the same as that of the rest of the world. Many still prefer to amalgamate traditional outfits like saris, pherans, lungi, and Dhoti with westerns culture dresses in everyday wear.
Fashion Tourism in the northern states of India would be colorful with embroidery work and weaving techniques.
The crown jewel of India, Jammu & Kashmir to a great extent defines the elite fashion in India. Ruled by the Persians, Greeks, and Aryans, this region has exclusive fashion sensibilities. The region is known for its Kashmiri art embroidery, Pashmina Shawl, Pherans, and globally known for its Cashmere wool products.
Weavers & Artisans In Kashmir
As per the government data, there are about 50,000 weavers in Kashmir with more than 10,000 in the organized sector. The pure wool Tweed products are famous for winter coats, blazers, caps, suits, etc. The carpet weaving technique in pure wool and silk makes Kashmir famous globally.
The crown jewel of India is famous for the twill tapestry weaving technique of Kani Shawls. Made with the finest material these shawls represent luxury, style, and taste.
The Pashmina shawls are made out of Goat’s wool and are sold across the globe.
Kashmir is well known for its Kasida embroidery technique. Mostly available in floral structures, these can be found done on suits, stoles, shawls, pherans, jackets, and much more. The embroidery is mostly carried out by the women in Kashmir.
Fashion In Kashmir
Kashmir has a colorful fashion mostly inspired by nature and built to combat the cold weather of the valley. The women of Kashmir wear long and loose pherans in bright colors with embroidery work. A piece that covers up to their feet, the fashion in this region has zari and embroidery to enhance the garment. They generally pair it up with a ‘Taranga’ a headdress that narrows towards the heels.
Men in Kashmir also wear a pheran paired with a churidar or loose pants. The pherans are plain in earthy colors or woven in a check pattern. Kashmiri men cover their heads with a skull cap.
Kashmiri women adorn themselves with jewelry. Necklaces, bangles, anklets, and gold chains or silk threads are commonly seen across the valley. Kashmiri women would also wear Jiggni and Tikka, the forehead jewelry pieces.
Kashmiri Pandit women wear Atta Hor, an earpiece specific to their culture. The married Kashmiri Pandit women wear Deji- Hor. These are long-chained earrings.
Walking through the bazaars of Kashmir, beautifully embroidered tan colors shoes can be spotted. The Khussa shoes also made by hand are bright-colored, embroidered, and embellished. These shoes in the style of a Mojari are also available in leather for men, women, and children.
Adjoining Jammu & Kashmir lays Punjab on the map of India. Punjab is well known for its fashion, bright outfits, and food. The fashion in India is to a great extend inspired by the outfits of Punjab.
This state is also known for its industrial setups of cotton, wool, and silk textiles. Punjab is the second-largest producer of cotton and blended yarn with four textile parks. The city of Ludhiana in Punjab is known as the highest manufacturing sector of textile in Northern India. The state is fertile and rich in crops and fashion. This state has a flourishing dyeing industry set up too. As per recent updates by Tribune India, Punjab ranks at number eight in exports of textile and garment in India.
Apart from the industrial developments in Punjab, It is known for its traditional weaving techniques and embroidery techniques.
Weavers In Punjab
The weavers in India (Punjab) are known for the weaving of ‘khes’ which is a thick cloth material wrap around to fight against the harsh winds. It is a craft popular amongst the women of the rural villages in Punjab. Generally made on a handloom, it is a traditional textile art of the state. It is made of coarse yarn in a checkered pattern.
Embroidery represents fashion in India. Punjab is known for the needle embroidery called ‘Phulkari’ the women of the villages embroider flowers and patterns on the dupattas, stoles, and suits. The traditional ‘phulkari’ embroidery is mostly done on a coarse cotton fabric that is handspun and naturally dyed.
Earlier done mostly on cotton, this artwork gained popularity and is now embroidered on all sorts of fabric materials. The hand embroidery technique is also done on sarees and western dress materials. The mention of this beautiful art embroidery is also heard in the stories of Heer Raanjha by Waris Shah.
Fashion in Punjab
The traditional dress of this state includes Patiala Salwaar (believed to have its origin from the city of Patiala in Punjab) the fashion in India and many Indian fashion designers incorporate this style in their ethnic collections. This is paired with a Kurti (tunic) on the top and ‘dupatta or 'chunni’.
Another popular outfit worn by the women of Punjab is the Punjabi Ghaghra (flared long skirt). This is paired with a long kurta and dupatta.
Men would be seen adorning embroidery work kurta and loose pants. Men also wear a lungi (A long piece of cloth wrapped around the waist) along with a long kurta and jacket.
Jewelry or Accessories
Punjabi women wear all sorts of accessories like necklaces, big earrings, bangles, and tikka on the forehead. The one accessory that Punjab is famous for is called a ‘Parandi’. Parandis in the western world can be talked about as artificial hair extensions. Women during the older days used to weave threads together, integrating them in the hair plaits to make their hair look longer and thicker.
Today ‘parandis’ come in different sizes and colors paired with jewelry to attain the desired look.
The Sikh religion men in Punjab adorn a ‘pagri', It is a turban that is a long piece of cloth wrapped around the head and worn as headwear. This is a part of their culture and religion.
The Punjabi Jutti is famous for its exquisite look. Originally made of leather, the Punjabi juttis come in all colors with embroidery and embellishments. They are comfortable and can be worn with casual and traditional outfits.
The northern states of India have varied fashion cultures. The fashion tour across these two mentioned states would take the tourists and fashion enthusiasts through two very different experiences and journeys. Fashion tourism in India has much to offer from India's indigenous fashion to Indo-western fashion trends.