fashion

Rant on “IndoWestern” Fashion

I usually don’t like categorizing things as a rant. However, today’s post is going to be exactly that: a rant.

There is this horrible disease going around, mostly among Indians, but also sometimes among hippie-bohemian people of the white variety who like to appropriate things. It is called “IndoWestern” fashion.

I don’t know which idiot thought these two things could be combined to still look beautiful. I think Indian fashion on its own has an elegance that is rarely paralleled. Western fashion can be cryptic, but it also has its perks as it is usually more utilitarian. But why, WHY would you put these two things together??

Examples of how bad Indowestern fashion sucks: fusion outfits. First off, I feel like fusion has always been the bottom of the barrel in terms of Indian dance teams, though perhaps that’s not their fault. Bhangra, garba, and raas teams showcase dances and outfits that are specific to a region and are usually narrowly defined. Fusion, on the other hand, can be everything and anything–usually confined to Hindi pop (though I’d love to see teams challenge that norm).

The first mistake they usually make is to take 8 songs and turn them into one mix like it’s cute (hint: it’s not. Stick to like 2 songs per mix, okay, y’all?). Also, instead of trying to find folks who have the potential for leadership and organization, fusion teams usually just attract people who are already friends of people on the team, leading to a clusterfuck that loosely resembles a sorority (except sororities actually have a point sometimes). I will spare these folks the embarrassment of being sourced.

fusionoutfitno

Scarves tied around butts are always so attractive.

fusionoutfitno2

This one is called the Victoria’s Secret-wannabe-sportswear look.

fusionoutfitno3

Can’t be an Indian fusion team unless you’re wearing over-the-top, fluffy pink pants, a belly dancing belt, and a top that doesn’t cover your midriff.

(The exception to this rule is Gator Adaa from the years of 2011-2013. That team had everything: leadership, organization, and class. Shoutout to you women. Y’all were fierce.)

adaa height

Source: Gator Adaa: Fusion Dance Team Facebook Page

To be self-critical, I understand that on first glance, it might seem like I’m slut-shaming. Look, maybe I am, but here’s the thing, right? I’ve seen classy hoes, okay? Remember Rani Mukherjee in Saawariya (2007)?

rani saawariya

Source: India-forums.com

I’d love to see a fusion team showcase a look that is about having fun as a woman in whatever role she is performing, not the “WE HAVE TO LOOK BROWN AND EXOTIC BECAUSE WE ARE DANCERS” look. Other examples of truly heinous Indowestern things:

truly heinous

Source: utsavfashion.com, Clockwise from top left: a green that even your visually impaired grandmother would not wear, royal blue mummu with pink trim for when you want to look like a fish??, a thing trying to be both a dress and a top, WHY WOULD YOU PUT LIME GREEN AND CORAL TOGETHER IN THE SAME OUTFIT THEY ARE SO BEAUTIFUL SEPARATELY, what is this cut, what is this print.

no2

Source: utsavfashion.com, Clockwise from top left: Dafuq is this print, actually kinda cute but I could get from Forever21 for 6 bucks, assflap?, what is THIS print?, for the 7-year-old in you, mushroom-high-psychedelic print.

Right. So what did we learn today, y’all? Indowestern “fashion” is NOT FASHION. Brown women, I suppose you are the ultimate arbiter of what you put on your body. But I do feel like the amount of grace I find (at least in ready-to-wear shit) in the mixing of these styles is little and far between.

indian1

YES! Source: utsavfashion.com. 

indian2

YES! Source: utsavfashion.com

western 1

YES! Source: Target.com

western 2

YES! Source: pinterest search “pants”

noindowesternnoindowesternnoindowestern

Top 12 Fiercest Bollywood Actress’s Outfits, According to Me

Well folks, if you don’t know it yet, I fucking love Bollywood. Love is not a strong enough word. Of course, I usually keep this under wraps because let’s be real, of someone as Desi and hyper-femme as me, it is totally the most predictable thing in the world to be obsessed with. Hindi films will probably never achieve the status of “high art,” but that’s what makes Bollywood so radical: it is accessible to the masses.

That being said, here are, in ascending order, the fiercest Bollywood actress’s outfits (from songs) that I think are damn fierce. Admittedly, I definitely used stills of Youtube videos. #thatlowdefinitiongrind

12. Aishwarya Rai, Hai Mera Dil, Josh (2000)

blue dress

I’m so thrilled that maxi dresses are a thing now (they weren’t in the year 2000) because I can wear something like this in the middle of the day. Aishwarya Rai in this midnight blue, understated fit-and-flare dress is stunning, and I’ve wanted a dress like it ever since I first saw this song.

11. Rani Mukherjee, Dhadak Dhadak, Bunty aur Babli (2005)

blue and pink

Rani Mukherjee looks so glamorous in this blue and pink ghagra. I love the long, full skirt and the mirror embellishments. It made such an impression.

10. Alia Bhatt, Radha, Student of the Year (2012)

pink

Admittedly, I’m not the biggest Alia Bhatt fan. For some reason, she always looks like a teenager to me. I actually like this outfit because she looks a little grown up. I love the silver-pink colorblock. I especially like the cut of the blouse, and the way it ties up at the back. It’s a flirty, fierce little outfit.

9. Kareena Kapoor, It’s Rocking, Kya Love Story Hai (2007)

silver

One of the things I love about Kareena Kapoor is that she always looks like she’s having so much fun. I like the huge slit in this shiny, silver number, and the way it billows in the wind. It reminds me of Marilyn Monroe in The Seven-Year Itch.

8. Karisma Kapoor, Mayya Yashoda, Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999)

hsshorange

This orange and gold ghagra that Karisma Kapoor wears in Mayya Yashoda stole my heart. Karisma Kapoor looks like a queen with all that gold jewelry. I want this outfit…for my wedding day. Haha!

7. Aishwarya Rai, Nimbooda Nimbooda, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)

nimbooda

Whoever did Aishwarya Rai’s hair and makeup for this song deserves a medal. And this ghagra, dear god! I love the contrast of the peacock blue against all the warm, pastel colors, the calf-length skirt, and the sheer dupatta. Beautiful costuming decisions.

6. Deepika Padukone, Lovely, Happy New Year (2014)

deepslovely

Deeps does this number so much justice. It was actually really hard for me to pick just one outfit from this song because all of them are pretty fierce, but this black blouse with the plunging neckline is so sleek. And so is Deepika’s pole dancing!

5. Kareena Kapoor, Halkat Jawani, Heroine (2012)

kareenayellow

First off, who doesn’t love when men worship women the way they are supposed to? Furthermore, Kareena Kapoor looks so good in this highlighter-yellow ghagra. The mesh blouse is so pretty, as are all the sequins and those magenta bangles she accessorized with it.

4. Urmila Matondkar, Rangeela Re, Rangeela (1995)

urmilam

Urmila Matondkar was the OG of badass in Bollywood. I love a number of the outfits from this song, but especially this tomboyish ensemble of parachute pants, a crop top, and a vest. I definitely see the influence of 90’s American hip-hop.

3. Aishwarya Rai, Achche Lagte Ho, Kuch Na Kaho (2003)

cowgirl

There’s a reason why Aishwarya Rai is on this list three times. She is always styled to perfection. I love her flowing curls in this song, and you can’t tell from this still, but her eye shadow is on point. With that cropped jacket and blue-and-leopard-print ascot, she has a fierce coyness about her.

2. Rani Mukherjee, Nach Baliye, Bunty aur Babli (2005)

Ranibnb

This song proves Rani Mukherjee is one of the fiercest bitches of all time. She’s tiny and curvy, and in Nach Baliye, she throws down like a boss. I love her in this sparkly blue bandeau, flared jeans, and high-heeled sandals. So hot.

1. Deepika Padukone, Love Mera Hit Hit, Billu Barber (2009)

deepsbikini

There will never be a time when Deepika Padukone, in this rainbow bikini, is not sexy as hell. This outfit was the one time when the whole shredded-fabric aesthetic actually worked. Folks have tried it in other songs (Anushka Sharma in Thug Le), but none compare to this gorgeous ensemble. I feel like there are two things that make this outfit my absolute favorite. First, it’s colorful. Like, they really went bananas with this entire song, and I love it. But also, whoever thought to put long, flowy pants on Deepika’s long legs is a fucking genius. They perfectly complement her figure.