As the new millennium dawns, all fashionistas must indulge in a bit of reflection, the important moments in women fashion, that was triggered by many socio-economic movements that washed the 20th century. Whatever is known about the history of fashion for women until the nineteenth century, it was majorly a charming annotation to the history of art.

Much has evolved and changed in the fashion history of women from the 1900’s. During the start of the century, fashion per se was an exclusive initiative, the quest of the wealth. The lower section of the society contented themselves with garments that were generally considered to be stitched at home or family hand-made-downs. As time passed, network of tailors sprouted across neighborhoods and the boom was later followed by high-end boutiques. In contemporary times the garments are cut by lasers that are operated by computers and it is sourced from across the world. Not only this, the stitched cloths can now be easily purchased from the comfort of your home through the internet.

Since then, every progressive decade ushered a greater progress in the fashion sense for women. During the early 1920’s, the greatest influences that was exerted on the dress code was the women liberalization movement- i.e. equal status for women in the society. Hence what developed was a new breed of business-like women that demanded a likewise dress.

Moreover in India the fashion scenario for women was in for a lot of confusion as the period was a turbulent time with various conflicting ideologies jockeying for influence. Thus fashion trends for women within the high society, was largely influences by the British experience that resulted in accentuating the western attires as a status symbol. The late 1930’s was the period of the dark forces such as fascism, communism and socialism and therefore the corresponding women fashion inclined more towards the conservative side.

The emergence of Indian cinema also provided great inspiration for the changing fashion scenario of the country. But nevertheless, the Indian women did not let go her traditional attire such as the Odhnis, Ghahgras, Kurtas and Peshwaz at ceremonial and religious festivals.
The 1940’s threw in a lot many surprises on the fashion front for women-courtesy to Christian Dior who completely revamped the way modern women would dress her henceforth. This decade was also marked by the self-determination of India and the disastrous Second World War, which led to severe hardships among the masses hence their attire were found to be mostly simple and functional.
The current era of 2011 fashion for women has got the ‘go back to ethnic’ appeal, fashion tops for women are made by a transfusion of different styles called as the ‘Indo-Western’ style.

But the decade also saw the revival of ethnicity with films too becoming more discreet and launching a "back to ethnic" look. While on the one hand the new drive for information technology popularised the corporate look, an ethno-cultural revival made people again go back to the traditional forms of art and crafts. States Baxi, "As it is Indian fashion is extremely alive and whatever the decade or the century, it is here to stay. For not only it is comfortable, practical and aesthetically beautiful but has changed with time with the result that it has, in the past century, and will in the coming one, remain contemporary," she sums up. This is why the start of the new century tempts us to dream and remember the past.

Author's Bio: 

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