Thursday, 18 August 2016

Unapologetic '90s Kid

Can we ever have enough of the 1990s? I'm so glad I was born in the early '90s just enough to enjoy the undisturbed culture before the digital toys came around. That is just the icing, the cherry in the cake about being born in the '90s? You can actually flaunt the trending phase '90s kid and not be lying to the fashion peeps :D

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Boutique Culture in Aizawl

 The love for clothes and all things fashion that the Mizo folks have is no hidden secret. The new generation of fashion enthusiasts in Mizoram have slowly but surely learnt the value of couture (French for sewing), which is why the boutique culture has been emerging in rates higher than ever. Designers have come up from all over the state, especially in Aizawl. Most of these designers have attended designing courses in fashion institutions across the country while there are also good many of them who have developed the skill out of pure interest and practice over the years.

It is not that the entire stitching culture is new here. In fact every other household in Mizoram have an aunt or two who knows how to stitch. The unavailability of ready-made garments and economic limitations have resulted in mothers stitching their daughters dresses for every occasion. My mom stitched every Christmas dress of mine when I was younger. She even stitched some of my school uniform skirts, and the best part is, she is a civil engineer by profession!

So as time went by and professions became diverse, people hardly had the time to stitch their own clothes. However, the need for new clothes not only still existed but also increased with the improvement in the economic conditions of people. The church culture has a lot to do with it. Almost all the churches in Mizoram discourage "western" style of clothing for church mass and encourages the traditional "puan" for adult women and "appropriate" dresses for younger girls. The traditional puan is a wrap around skirt and so an upper blouse is mandatory. This need for a blouse/top to go with the puan is what generates 80% (according to my theoretical survey) of the boutique culture.

The designers in Aizawl cater to blouses and dresses for church affairs. Wedding trousseau is a grand bonus and a big market for them. Recently, the youth in Aizawl have started popularizing the party culture where events by different organisations have became a great deal and so designers are booked with orders for gowns and dresses for such occasions.

On my recent visit to Aizawl, I had the opportunity to interact with some of the most celebrated designers of the small fashionable town thanks to Sang Chawngthu, a dear friend, who volunteered to drive me around in her scooty (best mode of transport for Aizawl). Her social skills came handy as she was familiar with almost all of them making it easier for me to strike a conversation(Thank you!)

Here is a list of some of the must-visit boutiques/stores of the town: