A major trend setter in terms of fashion in the city today is the Indian film industry, or better known as Bollywood. When celebrities are spotted in a particular outfit in a film, it is hyped by the media, and then it transcends into a fashion statement for the youth. Examples include actor Ranbir Kapoor’s cartoon-themed t-shirts in the movie Wake Up Sid, and actress Priyanka Chopra’s shorts and mini skirts in the movie Dostana. Celebrities determine which attires appeal most to the youth. Fashion conscious youth look up to these celebrities as style icons or demi-gods. These trends are started by the stars, and generate a hype that is short-lived and will soon be replaced by something else considered to be fashionable.
An example cited by Hinesh Jethwani, owner of the trendy shopping site, Indian Hippy, is the “baggy” revolution among college kids. It is a fashion trend that originated mainly from the African American community in the U.S. (popularized largely by rap music videos), and it became an instant sensation and rage among college kids in India. Wearing baggy clothing was instantly seen by teens as a way to promote their “I-don’t-care” attitude and be seen as cool and hip. Regular denims were replaced by low waist pants. However, this hype didn’t last long, and the straight and regular fits came back in vogue.
Some of the younger generation also absorb a trend and mix it with a traditional twist. Like a pair of denims will be teamed up with an Indian kurta, beads on the neck, probably a Swatch on the wrist, and traditional chappals (footwear).
Design and styles never go out of fashion completely, as they are always re-introduced, just packaged differently. For example, the retro look is back among the urban youth (age 22 and onwards). This look consists of small and large hoop earrings, floral hippie designs from the ’60s and ’70s, harem pants, and ethnic nose rings. One thing that has stayed constant and has never really gone out of fashion are the faded and worn-out denims.
In a nutshell, designs are born, but few will transform into trends. Some of them may be hyped by brand marketing, design appeal, or the celebrities promoting the look. Depending on what created the hype, the time it takes to fade away will change, but the truth is that every hype fades away to give way to newer hypes.