Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jodhpur: A Not-So-Obvious Fashion Icon

Did this man create and inspire a global fashion trend?

Maharaja Pratap Singh & Christian Dior 2010

I'm quite fascinated with horse culture in fashion and I especially love reading about how Ralph Lauren took his love for polo and turned it into a billion-dollar fashion empire. I was sure that there was an Indian link to this fashion obsession, and I found an obvious one to be Jodhpurs, a form of pant that is designed for riding but has become a fashion statement around the globe.

According to Wikipedia:
They originate from an ancient style of Indian trouser called the Churidar, which is tight around the calf and baggy at the hips, still worn at traditional Jodhpury weddings. This is a special traditional style of clothing Northern India, especially in what is today the modern state of Rajasthan, which has its capital at the city of Jaipur. Sir Pratap Singh, a younger son of the Maharaja of Jodhpur, popularised in England the style of riding-trousers worn in Jodhpur, a design that he apparently improved and perfected by himself and first tailored in India about 1890.

The popularity of the pants spread to Britain where polo players adopted the trend. Today, Jodhpurs have graced the pages of Vogue and Harper's, featured on the runway for Dior and Lauren, and transformed into a variety of different cuts.

There's been a lot of talk recently about India's heritage and tradition in the context of silk, embroidery, and beading... but let's remember that our hand in fashion goes far beyond that.



Gwyneth in Vogue UK

Ralph Lauren

Salvatore Ferragamo

The Nawab of Malerkotla

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