Making Our Clothing Bilingual

Whether each of us falls under the label “NRI”, “ABCD”, or some other awkward cultural acronym, we’re collectively all too familiar with the concept of duality. For many American high schoolers, Monday to Friday was spent studying English Literature, but Sundays were devoted to Hindi classes at the Mandir. Scrolling through our music playlists, there is as much Drake as there is AR Rahman. As the world has gotten smaller, our cultural spheres have increasingly overlapped, and it’s only natural (and essential) that our sense of style reflects our personal duality.

The ubiquitously termed “Indo-Western” style has been undergoing a gradual evolution since the ‘90s. However, this fusion of fashion isn’t just about combining cultures, though we’re guessing that’s what Snoop was going for here? Moreso, the style is a manifestation of the duplexity inherent in our identities. Our clothing, like us, is not one dimensional. It might manifest as a classy, sophisticated Nehru jacket with a playful pop of color or the traditionally somber bandhgala with a more contemporary and striking print

What we see organically inspires what we make. We, the creators of Saffron Lane, grew up in diverse cities around the world with a keen eye for the myriad of styles around us. By taking a specific color, print, or cut from our cultural core, and combining it with modern, global elements we’ve picked up along the way, the result is a visual amalgamation (and fashion piece) representing our dual identity, and that of today’s young Indian-American diaspora.

- Guest post authored by Dr. Paluk Walia

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