July 16, 2024


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Year Ender 2023: Top 6 ethnic fashion trends of the year that redefined style | Fashion Trends

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Fashion trends are constantly changing and the year 2023 was full of style statements, whether it’s Y2K fashion or the rise of Barbiecore. Looking back at the vibrant canvas of 2023, the realm of ethnic fashion in India unfolds with a tapestry woven from tradition, historical trade routes and cultural fusion. The year marked an escapist and indulgent mindset, where multicultural traditions and dreamy explorations were rendered on modern sensibilities. From Priyanka Chopra’s reimagined banarasi saree at the NMAAC to Sara Ali Khan’s regal lehenga look at Cannes, ethnic fashion showed the perfect blend of tradition and modernity at various national and global events. As we gear up for the New Year, let’s take a look back at some of the most popular ethnic trends of the year. (Also read: World Saree Day 2023: From pastel sequins to bold neon, 5 saree trends that are set to dominate fashion charts in 2024 )

Year Ender 2023: Top 6 ethnic fashion trends of the year that redefined style (Instagram)

Top Ethnic Fashion Trends of 2023

Anuradha Chandrashekar, Fashion Expert and Co-founder, ICH Next shared with HT Lifestyle some of the non-classic ethnic trends that had taken centre stage across the diverse landscape of India.

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1. Escapist Colour Palettes and Bold Contrasts

2023 brought a splash of pleasing, vibrant colour palettes, challenging the traditional preference for earthy, saturated tones. The year transcended from Maldivian blues, dew greens and blush pinks to hyper bright contrasts toward the latter half of the season. Designers experimented with striking contrasts, bringing alive the spirit of post-pandemic festivity and celebration.

2. Japanese Maximalism

The season started with OG ethnic wear designers like Sabyasachi and Anita Dongre, as well as the newer contemporary ones like Aisha Rao and Pooja Keyur adopting a strong Japanese influence in their pattern and style expression. A trend predicted by ICH NEXT for 2023, came alive with this consortium of creators painting vivid canvases. Drawing inspiration from ukiyo-e, sansui art and satsuma pottery for patterns to kimono influences in silhouettes, the year starts off with a fresh, never-seen-before take to traditional Indian ethnic wear.

3. Tribalesque

Indian ethnic wear took on a tribalesque stance with even many of the runway shows capturing a bold tribal-army like choreography. Designs drew inspiration from tribal aesthetics, featuring heavy yokes and mixed-media embellishments, including intricate beadwork, cowrie shells, mirrors, and thread embroidery. This fusion of tribal elements imparts a distinct character, transforming traditional ensembles into vibrant expressions of cultural diversity and contemporary fashion.

4. Sustainable and Conscious Fashion

2023 witnessed a growing emphasis on sustainability in ethnic fashion. Designers are increasingly turning towards eco-friendly fabrics, natural dyes, and ethical production practices, and attempting a serious redressal of the evident greenwashing. The conscious consumer is seeking fashion that aligns with environmental values, driving a shift towards sustainable choices in traditional attire.

5. Experimentation with Necklines and Sleeves

Necklines and sleeves undergo a transformation, becoming experimental canvases for designers. From contemporary off-shoulder blouses to exaggerated bishop sleeves and asymmetrical hemlines, the year showcases a delightful play of innovation. Traditional garments were reimagined, breathing new life into age-old styles.

6. Cross Country

India’s cultural diversity was expanded further by borrowing inspirations from other parts of the world, primarily tracing back to the silk route. Designers drew from the rich tapestry of regional cultures from erstwhile Persia, Africa, Europe and Japan; infusing garments with influences from Isfahan carpets or Bògòlanfini wax prints from the west, and Nuido silk embroideries from the east. This cross-pollination resulted in unique pieces that celebrate the mosaic of Indian heritage that thrived during the silk road trading era.

In the ever-evolving landscape of Indian ethnic fashion, 2023 stood as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of tradition and innovation. The ethnic trends of 2023 reflect not just a style choice but a celebration of diversity, creativity, and the timeless elegance inherent in India’s ethnic tapestry.

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