Why "India Outside India"?

Since I came to NY I have been trying to capture for the benefit of my international friends what is ‘India’ or ‘Indianness’. We have discussed various facets of Indian people, culture, ways of meaning making and what it means to live as an Indian. It was also interesting when my international friends shared what they thought being Indian was/must be like for me. I have been capturing visuals that I thought express non-Indians’ perceptions about India and also the expressions/visuals shared by the Indian community in US that must be shaping this perception. After a year of gathering images and talking in my head about it I thought why not put it all down in a blog.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Selling Indian

In summer NY comes alive with street bands, block fairs and fun things happening everywhere. The following 3 photos are taken in such fairs. Indian seems to be the buzzword in the fashion industry here at present. Not just in NY but down south as well. When I visited Charlotte, NC The Old Navy outlet there had a lot of merchandise with Indian fabric, designs and cuts in the ‘new trends’ section. The Chappals and sandals like those you would get in the Kolhapuri chappal stores were everywhere in NY as well as Charlotte.

This photo is from a stall of a British lady. I have seen her in most of the fairs in and around Upper West side and midtown. I found the ‘Gaon ki Gauri’ handbag in her stall quite hilarious. She was selling it at a premium price cashing in on NewYorkers’ ‘exotic east’ syndrome. She took offence when I clicked a photo as if it was her patented design. lol :). I think I should have asked royalty on behalf of all the Gaon Ki Gori’s and all the Bollywood movies featuring them.


This lady also sells curtains which are actually saris cut in two with holders for a curtain hanger. Should have captured that too. That was also a hilarious site, Belgaum polyester, cotton-silk and other colorful saris with plastic Zari, hanging there on the road, being sold for a bomb. They were quite a lovely site I must admit and were attracting a lot of NY Goris. Seems like I am not the only weirdo who wanted to make curtains out of a Dharwad sari with Karnataki Kashida.

The other two photos are of stalls from Kashmiri guys selling Kaalin and clothing which can be best termed as fusion.

You don't need to go to a fashion designing school to know how to cash in on a trend.

1 comment:

marinamode said...

Hi. Your blog is great ! I leave in France and I love fashion. If you enjoy shoes, take a look on my shoes
Marina (from France)