Missing style



It’s been more than 20 years since I have moved my base from Kerala to New Delhi. Now, as I toured through my home state, slowly one thing got convinced in my mind – that fashion or style is not something that got evolved in this place. It’s just exactly there where it was two decades ago.

My trip to Kerala began with Cochin (or Kochi as it’s called now). Cochin is a bigger city than Trivandrum, the capital and with the sea and the lake on one side and buildings on the other, while walking around the streets of this city, not even once I came across to someone who is stylishly dressed. Of course, by saying that I mean the kind of youngsters that we get to see in Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore. Everyone is casually dressed… young woman in salwar kameezes and men in jeans and tees or in somewhat formals. Even at night clubs (not that there are many here) I found shabbily dressed men and barely any girls (I had a look at the Ava Lounge at the Dream hotel) lounging around with arm around each other’s neck. Shopping malls too proved to be the same…

Trivandrum is even worse. Shabbier clothing and no style sensibilities appear to dominate. Baggy jeans seemed reluctant to make a retreat from this area and over sized shirts seem to be making a statement here for some reason. Style or fashion seems to be something that is a taboo with most youngsters’ minds. This is not just an observation. This is something that has come out whilst talking to a few youngsters and I was surprised when they said that they do not believe in “stylish’ clothes… when I asked them why no one had an answer… just that they didn’t care.

This surprised me. Wondered why in this state where there are more women than men, still there is no attempt to dress stylishly. Of course, style doesn’t mean just modern clothes. What I looked for was an overall appeal – well kept hair, nicely made clothes even if they are salwar kameezes or men’s outfits, nice shoes, etc – but that itself seemed to be abandoned. I wonder why…

Of course, I saw some beautifully dressed women too in their traditional Kerala saris – ivory saris with broad gold borders – and I thought no other state can beat this outfit in terms of traditional glamour and style. Sigh, atleast that part is still intact when it comes to style here!

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