Fashion Yesterday and Today

We are living in a world surrounded by numerous things that are either related to the technology, the latest gadgets or the latest fashion. And Fashion today has made its significance felt in almost all sectors of life. Fashion can be termed into two groups: One group which follows fashion trends and adopts them and the other group who create fashion and style statements for the others to follow them. It can also be extended to another set of people who rarely have anything to do with fashion trends but yet follow their own style to create their own unique personality; adding one more style to the fashion world.

Fashion is not just about cosmetics and make up or the hair-do. It is a sense of creating the charisma of looking good in anything you wear and this magic is created with the right kind of accessories going along with the foot wear and the clothes, making up a pleasant picture to view. Many a times, people who do not afford to buy expensive clothes look their best in their casual wear, just by presenting themselves in that manner of sophistication and creating an aura around them with the confidence of looking good.

There are myriad forms of fashion, and trends keep on changing with the seasons. From the early 60s and 70s to the present millennium, there has been an immense change in the forms, looks and thoughts about fashion trends.

In India, much of fashion has been influenced by the Hindi Film Industry, popularly called Bollywood. The trends that have changed through time can be fairly seen in the movies made during the 60s and 70s and how they have evolved in various forms bringing about a style that can be followed by the general public. People have aped the west from very early times and this was no exception. The clothes made in the 60s and 70s were very much influenced by the western countries and given a traditional touch. The Bell Bottoms, scarves and the hair style was very much prevalent in those days as an icon of style. Later in the 80s and 90s, Fashion world sizzled like never before. There was a craving by the people to look different, stylish and modern and this could be seen in their outlook towards their outfit, new styles of hair, makeup, accessories like purses, earrings, necklaces, matching footwear etc.

People were conscious about each and every new thing that was marketed and they copied the styles from their Bollywood idols. Bollywood started as a platform for theatre artistes and went on to become a commercial entry to the youths and aspirants for a career in the film and fashion industry. This gave the youth of today to emphasize on the fashion world. Art and music have become an inseparable thing of the past and so it is deeply rooted in the present as well with more features and facilities.

Today fashion, art, music, designers, dance etc all have a place in the industry and people can choose to take up anything related to this industry as their profession too. Art and music have long been implemented in the school co-curricular activities and the Higher colleges are now offering various courses for better professionalism in these areas. There are also various acting schools and the small screen i.e., the television has opened up avenues in bringing out the talent in the young minds through numerous platforms of music and dance. This is the innovation of the millennium in creating jobs and work in the fashion industry. The trends that we see are brought about by the fashion houses that have regular seasons to showcase their invention, many of which are popularized in FTV, Zee Trendz and TLC channels. We can also get a glimpse of the stylish outfits through these shows that the models present. Today, Modelling is also one of the platforms for an entry into the world of fashion.

In the yester years, fashion was constrained only to the actors in the film or those that were bold enough to carry themselves in the public that they were considered fashionable. Others just wooed them behind close doors. Slowly when times began changing, we could see the women showing off their styles in the traditional saree with an embroidered blouse and a different neck style. Then we saw the saree being draped in various styles like the Bengali style or the Gujarati style etc. The women were liberating their choice of freedom and it could be seen in their appearances with a high heeled slipper or the handbag she carried or the way she held her saree or the hair and the makeup she wore. All these changes brought about the invention of churidhars and then the salwar kameez and finally the fashion of dresses was out in the open. Women accepted to the fact that there was nothing wrong in looking good and the men of course, loved to see the attractive side of women and fantasized the idea over their spouses.

This change in attitude of the public was very well taken by the fashionistas and a huge market was created to meet the demands of the public. Today fashion creates a new look with distinct style for a particular person and keeps oneself updated with the latest trends seen in the market. This industry is popular for its glamour as well as the mixture of Indian tradition and culture put into the designer wear that the models showcase.

People love to experiment different textures of materials used in the outfits and so the designers give them a wide collection of dresses using all kinds of clothes. There is the traditional Khadi and silk combination that is presently creating waves seen in both men’s and women’s wear. Then we have the embroidery work in zardosi, swarovski studded tops and lehangas and multi stoned work in bridal collection sarees etc. Then the most sought materials like cotton, polyster, chiffon, crush materials used in varied iconoclastic designs and styles.

Always there is a hope for the designers that the youth want a change in the fashion and are glad to keep up the trend with a fusion of Indian and western mix of fashionable wear. Also the youth of today are very practical in their sense of styling for a particular occasion. Be it a party or for a marriage or the casual look, they want the best and they believe in looking the best. And to achieve this, people go one step ahead in ensuring that they have everything in their wardrobe for any kind of occasion.

Apart from the stylish clothes and fashion that is currently popular people want to try something that goes along with their outlook. So the market started towards the very own friend of a woman- The Hand Bag or the Purse. The Fresh look of a purse with magnificent colours and its stylish features like the chain handle or the jazzy zips with numerous pockets in different shapes attracted the public like never before. And with the increasing demand of the prices of branded purses, it became a must for every woman to complete her shopping. So did the other accessories line up by creating a place for themselves in the market. Just a few to quote, the earring and necklaces, the various Belts, hand bracelets and brooch, the stiletto and its wonderful embroidered, party wear slippers along with its brotherly high rugged shoes giving a perfect cowboy look etc.

Fashion has always been a very interesting topic for all women and now the trend has even challenged the men to compete for a more appealing look for a remarkable future in the world of Fashion to make it a full fledged acceptable thing for all genre of people.

Kiriti C Chavadi

Bangalore

Art Equals Peace

It is actually very sad, and at the same time funny to be presenting papers, or conducting workshops on Peacebuilding through the Arts because Arts is really about peace-it has one and the same meaning, only the spelling is different. Yet, time and again, we have to convince other people, especially funding bodies that what we do is essentially peacemaking.

An example of how Art equals Peace is this experience I had when I attended the Flying Circus Project 2000 in Singapore. The 21-day workshop-interaction organized by Theatreworks, Ltd. based in Singapore gathered 75 dance, theatre, music, traditional, visual, and film artists all over Asia, many of who did not speak English. Of course there were translators. All the time, we were sitting on the floor in circles or semi-circles. There were sessions where we would listen to an artist resource person who would share his/her work. We would watch live performances, video shows, and slideshow presentations of these artists’ works, after which, we would talk endlessly about the presentation, where we argued a lot. Some discussions became heated or boring enough for some of us to leave these sessions. The only time that we laughed together and felt our kinship and solidarity was when we performed together. These were the moments of pure peace and contentment. In the end, some of us who have become real friends agreed in one of our over-lunch teté-a-tetés that whenever we opened our mouths to talk about an idea and try to convince the others about this idea, an argument ensues. But all philosophical and pedagogical differences are wiped out when we break into song or dance.

ART AS A RELATIONSHIP

Art is about reflecting your life, another person’s life, or another creature’s life on stage, on canvass, and in verses, the difference being an entire life is captured in a few moments of performance (theatre) and exposure (film), a few strokes (painting), or a few words (poetry).

But art as a mirror requires: 1) knowledge and understanding of the subject, and 2) communication. When you try to paint a stone, you are actually trying to understand what a stone feels like, where its curves lie, why it’s chipped on one side. When a performer portrays the role of a devil or a dictator, s/he tries to put him/herself on that creature’s shoes and tries to feel what that creature is feeling.

Art is about communication. When you paint a picture and hang it on the wall, people are bound to look at it and even try to analyze it. They may or may not get what you’re trying to say, but the fact that people actually stop and look and try, if desperately, to understand that piece of work, is the beginning of real communication.

A lot of conflicts are the result of the lack of communication.

Artists project onto the canvas, or paper, or onstage their feelings and thoughts and philosophies about certain subject matters. When a child draws on paper what seems to be senseless, vigorous strokes of scratches and lines and endless circles, the child may be trying to say I am disturbed, I am angry, I am hopeless. An ordinary person seeing this piece of confused work is actually seeing a piece of art drawn by a child trying to say that his/her life is, indeed, confused.

ART AS A BLIND PERSON’S JOURNEY

Art is about magnifying or detailing certain things about life. Artists notice lots of things around us that “non-artists” don’t. A blind person carries with him/her sensibilities and sensitivities akin to that of an artist. Because a blind person does not have visual references which to hang on to, all his/her other senses compensate for a visual disability by working double time, and twice over. So do artists. They are very keen at observing little things, mostly things that we take for granted, like cracks on walls, and a blade of grass bent in another direction.

As a non-blind person doing a blind person’s journey, you are actually afraid to take a step forward because you are thrown in a different perspective, presented with a different point of view. A lot of biases and conflicts arise from very set beliefs, opinions, cultural patterns, and political frameworks borne out of years of social conditioning in the homes, in schools, on TV, in movies, etc. So when another point of view is presented to you-one that you have not experienced, the immediate reaction is resistance, a refusal to take that crucial first step forward and embrace that new space, that new dimension, in order to understand more comprehensively the world and how it works.

It is common to think of artists as free spirits, good-only-for-entertainment human beings. I was once invited to sing in a women’s conference and I was introduced as an artist with no political stand or affiliations but they invited me because I was a woman and I knew a few women’s songs. We have common mis-perceptions of artists as having no political backbone, when in fact many of our artistic creations-whether they are paintings of a fish or stars or flowers-are political. The images that we show are our political statements. “Nature is beautiful” is as much political as the statement “stop the war.”

And with art, everything is beautiful. Even your anger, when expressed on a piece of paper, is a beautiful thing. In this sense, artists are, indeed, blind.

ART AS A TOOL FOR HEALING AND PEACEMAKING

In the olden days in some indigenous communities, two people expressed their anger for each other by chanting or playing the flute or some other instrument. Imagine a world where arguments are settled through song.

When we’re really stressed out, angry, or depressed, we go out and watch a movie (film arts), we gormandize on food (culinary arts), we splurge on new clothes (fashion arts), we listen to classical or rock music (music arts).

Art is everywhere-it is as basic as food, without which we’d all be killing each other, which is what is happening now, because there isn’t enough art to serve 70 million Filipinos, for example. To calm ourselves and make this world a “peaceful” place to live in, we kill those who make us angry. We kill over parking space. We kill over an uncooked dinner.

Because art has become inaccessible. You need money to watch a movie. You need money to buy food. You need money to buy clothes. You need money to buy a cd playern or an ipod. You need money to buy costumes and make-up and paint and canvasses and stage props. Poverty and inequity has reduced art into an activity available only to a select few. And those who have so much produce entertainment shows and other pseudo-art that reinforces poverty and inequity. And the cycle goes on.

PEOPLE AS PRODUCERS, RATHER THAN CONSUMERS OF ART

Herein lies the difference, the gap, and the greatest challenge for us all as peacemakers and peacebuilders. More often than not, we are consumers, rather than producers of art. But do you notice how children-especially poor children-are the best examples of art producers, yet little do we recognize their natural artistic talents? In the absence of money to buy toys, poor children create toys out of tin cans, stones, leaves, found objects-in adult terms, appropriate technology. This is their way of handling poverty. But this is not enough.

How we translate or elevate these natural talents into a conscious, institutionalized and programmatic art-making is the challenge for development workers and especially for government-so that art, which was once upon a time a language spoken by every member of the community, is reclaimed by every single human being as his/her own.

Imagine a world where every human being is an artist.

An Overview On Art Shoes

Nowadays shoes have turned out to be one of the most important fashion accessories. Fashion conscious men and women love wearing matching shoes that goes best with their outfits. Apart from offering protection from germs and dust, shoes have now gathered an important place in fashion. A dress looks incomplete without a matching pair of footwear. Art shoes have gained a prominent place in the shoe industry. These shoes are available in a lot of styles, patterns, colours and sizes. So, pamper your feet with this stylish footwear.

Men and women both have a fascination for these fashionable art shoes. You are sure to fall in love with your feet once you start wearing these shoes. They have become one of most popular shoe brands in the footwear industry offering high level of comfort to the feet.

Footwear were initially introduced in order to protect the feet from harmful dust and germs. The shoes manufacturers designed the shoes just for covering the feet. The designs were thus very simple. But nowadays since fashion plays an important role in the lives of most of the individuals, the fashion conscious people are no longer interested in wearing simple shoes. They prefer wearing shoes that are uniquely designed as well as comfortable and durable. This demand has led to the increasing demand of art footwear.

The main focus of art footwear manufacturers is to provide comfortable and stylish shoes for both the genders. A wide variety of art shoes are nowadays available in market. Men’s art footwear includes boots, smart footwear, casual shoes, slippers, designer shoes and others. Some of the popular women’s art footwear includes heeled boots, clog shoes, sandals, platform footwear and such others. The stylish designs and excellent quality material have made this shoe brand one of the most popular among shoe buffs in the world.

Art shoes are very colourful and look bright. You can wear them with any kinds of outfit. Varieties of colour are available. So, you are sure to find a pair of shoes that matches with the colour of your outfit. In fact, it is the unique design and colour of these shoes that sets them apart from other brands and makes them identifiable even from far away distant. These shoes have a hand finish. By wearing a pair of these shoes, you are sure to keep up with the latest trends of fashion.

One of most popular women’s art footwear is Art 0619 Oteiza boot. It offers fashion, style as well as high level of comfort. The pull grain leather upper and small mould natural rubber heel makes these boots give a unique look. The side buckle and zip up fasting adds a feminine touch to these boots.

Men love wearing Art Skyline Shoes. They are a stylish and uniquely designed pair of shoes from Art footwear. The trainer features 100% rubber sole and stitches running up the front.

So, if you want to look smart and trendy, buy a pair of shoes from Art footwear. There are many online shoe shops selling this footwear brand. Just browse through the net and get a pair of these footwear for yourself from a reputed and reliable online shoe store.