History of Streetwear
Streetwear has had its origins in human history. The origin of the term “Sunday’s Best” implied the presence of other clothes, meant for daily use. These clothes are the historic origin of streetwear. Essentially; clothes other than the Sunday best meant for daily use, which provided the wearer with comfortable clothing, which were simultaneously aesthetically appealing. Streetwear is an ever-evolving expression of the wearer’s identity.
The true “diversity explosion” of streetwear occurred in the Edwardian and Victorian era. Apparel back then was extremely flamboyant, with the presence of extremely hard to maintain dresses accompanied with accessories such as parasols. The working class were therefore limited to their much more affordable clothing which was made/produced to look appealing, while also offering other benefits, such as unrestricted movement, easy to wear and being comfortable to wear. Some aspects of modern streetwear trace their origin to such necessities, such as the Modern Jeans being designed to be worn by miners during the California Gold Rush
(Fun Fact: Levi Strauss claims that a pair of Jeans need to be washed only once every three months, and an experiment conducted showed that there is no microbiological difference between brand new jeans and jeans worn for one year without washing).
Streetwear in India
India has a deep and diverse history in fashion. Indian fashion exists in multiple layers, seeping and mixing with each other. The history of streetwear in India has an abstract origin, with much of Indian based streetwear being a derivative of traditional garments. Traditional garments were no longer viable for the common working man, and outfits like the “Shalwar Kameez” and “Sari” being replaced by much more comfortable western garments, like shirts and pants. Innovation has led to the creation of several garments such as the Kurti which has allowed women to also be a part of the working force, with the same clothing freedom as their contemporaries.
Increased globalisation has allowed for the transport of ideas across continents and apparel was one of them. Attires such as pants, shirts, and T shirts became increasingly prevalent amongst the people. Streetwear in India has grown with the diverse and vast Indian culture, whilst simultaneously deriving from foreign ideas. Many brands and companies have emerged, each with their own take on modern streetwear. With Indian Brands using their heritage to create unique streetwear pieces that are now being recognised globally is sign of a very prominent foothold of India in the global streetwear game.
Plair and Indian Streetwear
We at Plair have noticed how Indian streetwear has grown by leaps and bounds and we aim to encourage that growth. Working with the existing ecosystem, we aim to expand the horizons of Indian streetwear and encourage its growth. Taking a rather different path towards Streetwear by using modern design with Indian craftsmanship and leaving the traditional wear untouched in the hands of our local artisans doing what they do best, rest assured this fusion has a charm of its own.
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