Blouses are present in the women’s dress ensembles for cultures all across the globe. The Indian blouse has been complementary to the traditional Indian saree for as long as the world remembers. The emancipation of the country allowed the rest of the world to focus on the other subtler aspects of the Indian lifestyle, for instance, the dressing etiquettes and styles followed there.
The Indian blouse was a discovery which has accompanied the saree in every style and tradition from all parts of India. Any form of the drape is matched with a blouse that bears some uniqueness in design and appearance. The evolution of the Indian blouse through the ages has been through experimentation and a knack for incorporating styles that are opposites in demeanour. Indian women for their part are eschewing what little-preconceived notion of how the blouse should be traditionally worn, to look chic and trendy. Few distributors have an assorted blouses collection in UK, that is any throwback to the original traditional Indian blouse. For the past few seasons, designers have thrown caution to the wind by coupling the conventional Indian sarees with anything and everything under the sky, that they could get their hands on- Denim jackets, flannel shirts, formal shirts, and even crop-top t-shirts.
Needless to say, while some of the couplings have been restricted to the ramps for being a tad bit too experimental, but some have gone on to become a runaway hit. Forward-thinking fashion concepts like the backless, sleeveless variants of the Indian blouse with the buttoned-up ‘bandh-gala’ template, have found favour among fashionistas in the United Kingdom. Skin revelation was not an attribute associated with the traditional Indian blouses. They were the manifestation of the elegance of the Indian woman, complete with closed, high-necks, long-sleeves and minimal frill-work at the cuffs, bearing a resemblance to the Victorian style blouses worn by women in the late 1800’s. In the old days, the Indian society vouched for less show of skin as it was considered to be a symbol of liberalism, as opposed to conservative tradition.
Fashion designers offer the most elegant and most heterogenous blouses collection in UK. These designer blouses come as complementary piece along with the saree, or are sold separately. Most of these blouses are a hybrid of different traditional motifs in Indian blouses or neo-classical takes on the same. The fashion-conscious lady usually goes for the ones which do not compromise on the comfort provided by the fabric. Stone embellishments and sequins are optional, depending on the occasion. Minimal, primary colours with faint geometric patterns were a hit till the last season. The ladies are preferring the flamboyant colours with ‘jaali’ or netted work on the back or just plain backless. Factoring in the draping style of the saree, ladies are recommended to have different blouse styles in the wardrobe that complement each of the former.