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Rajasthani Traditional Dresses & It’s Influence on Contemporary Fashion
Published in Ethics on Aug 29, 2016
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Rajasthan has a rich and vibrant cultural heritage and their traditional clothing embodies this vibrancy. The traditional attires donned by both men and women of Rajasthan are not only fabulous but fascinating as well. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Rajasthani fabrics, prints, textiles, jewelry, and fabrics have managed to influence contemporary fashion. Traditional clothing worn by women in Rajasthan consists of ghagras, cholis, kurtis, odhni or chunars and lots of accessories, whereas the traditional clothing that’s worn by men mostly consists of bandhgalas, turbans, dhotis, kurtas and jootis. Contemporary fashion draws inspiration from traditional clothing and modifies it to fit the requirements of the present generation. 


Ghagras are long skirts that are narrow at the waist and then flared till the ankles. Different materials can be made use of for ghagras like chiffon, crepe, and georgette. Ghagras or lehengas have become synonymous with weddings in present times, for instance this lehenga would be the perfect bridal ensemble. Collections presented by contemporary Indian designers like Anita Dongre and Abraham and Thakore showcase Rajasthani influences. But the influence of Rajasthani traditional clothing isn’t restrained to Indian designers alone.


A choli or a blouse and odhni or chunar would complete the perfect bridal look. A choli is a short-sleeved bodice that is teamed up with a ghagra or a lehenga.  A chunar is a long scarf that’s worn by women. These are available in a variety of prints and fabrics. Elie Saab, in 2016 had showcased chunars at the Paris Fashion Week. 
KurtiKurti is similar to long tunics and have become the ideal casual wear for contemporary women. Valentino had also showcased contemporary clothing for women that were inspired by the traditional silhouettes of kurtis worn by women in Rajasthan.


Jootis are traditional footwear and can be worn by men and women, depending on the embellishments and work done. Jootis can be paired with kurtas/kurtis to create a casual look and can also be worn with lehengas and even bandhgalas. 


Jewelry plays an important part in Rajasthani fashion. Traditional pieces of jewelry like the nath (nose ring) and payal  have become famous accessories that can be made use of for enhancing the effect of ethic clothing  In 2011, Karl Lagerfeld presented a collection that showcased traditional Rajasthani fashion like mang tikas, kurtas and payals. 


Traditional Rajasthani outfits for men consist of bandhgalas that are perfect for weddings and simple dhotis and kurtas for casual occasions. Bandhgalas are similar to blazers and the rich fabric used to make it suitable for a special occasion. Jean Paul Gaultier had showcased bandhgalas; turbans and jodhpuris displayed the royal tradition of Rajasthan during a fashion week in Paris.

Rajasthani Prints

One of the major contributions of Rajasthani fabrics and textiles to contemporary fashion are the different prints like bagru prints and tie-and-dye prints and also their famous gota patti work. Let’s not forget the beautiful embroidery and mirror work that is made use of to embellish fabrics that would simply transform a plain-looking Kurti to a fashionable one that screams sophistication. Louis Vuitton in 2014 had presented a collection inspired by the famous Lahariya print of Rajasthan. Isabel Marant had also made use of Rajasthani textiles in her collections more than once. Marchesa had also presented a Spring-Summer collection that was showcased the gorgeous embroidery and mirror work that is often synonymous with Rajasthani culture.

These were just a few different ways in which Rajasthani designs and aesthetics have sneaked in and dominated in modern day fashion. Of course, there is a lot of mix and match you can do and mix traditional and contemporary designs. It’s all about using your style sensibilities and staying on top of your fashion game!

Komal Agrawal - About the Author:

Gives Updates on changing fashion,Trend of mixing western fashion with Indian ethnic wear and many more
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