Oddity test & comfort zone

By Richa Kharshandi

Sometimes your efforts to be ‘different and cool’ can boomerang on you as it happened to me. “You brought disgrace to the family and to the traditional attire,” my aunt said when she saw me pairing jain dhara with a pair of sneakers.
I was bamboozled by the reaction. Seriously? Did you not hear what fashion diva Coco Chanel once said? “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” And here I am trying to add a different twist to tradition.
I believe we can make a statement by being both fashionable and comfortable. For girls who struggle to stay steady on high heels, don’t be afraid to experiment with your looks. Keep your options open and play with your wardrobe and I promise you will not regret. The combination of ethnic and modern can never go wrong.
Step out of your comfort zone and break the rules. In fact, make your own rules and set the trend.
I have always been a fan of fusion fashion and when I got the opportunity to experiment, I did not hold myself back.
I recently attended a function wearing our Khasi traditional attire and a pair of sneakers. Well, I received mixed reactions from people and trust me, I actually had fun. No shoe bites and no helping hand to walk, which I always need when I am wearing stilettos.
Fashion is about experimenting or as they call it today, ‘Fushion’. It is basically a combination of two words fashion and fusion. Fusion fashion is highly followed by the present urban generation. Most women and men follow fusion style — be it wearing a belt with saree, lehenga with boots or sherwani with sneakers. Fashion has no boundary when it comes to experimenting with different looks as long as you are comfortable.
Even in Meghalaya, designers go all out to create new looks with traditional attires. Indo-Western style is deeply loved and appreciated by people. However, there are a few who criticise it. Ahem! Fashion is not for everyone either.
Meghalaya is rich in art and culture and its traditional attires are adored by many, even by people from abroad. Jain dhara, jainsem, nara, dhararongksiar, jympang and jainboh, to name a few, represent the state and its sophisticated culture.
But taking the risk of playing with traditional attires by adding a hint of new world fashion can be delightful. Like wearing a belt with your jainsem to give it a trendy fusion look or pairing your white sneakers with jain dhara will certainly turn heads.
Ethnic wear is the most elegant and sophisticated attire and with the right amount of Western mix, you can create a chic combo statement.
I was a laughing stock when people first saw me wearing the jain dhara with trainers but after a while when the high heels started to hurt their feet, they said, “You look so comfortable.”
When I put up pictures from the event day on social media, I got both negative and positive comments, mostly positive. “I have never seen anybody wearing sneakers with dhara but you look cool,” a friend commented on the photograph.
No matter what anyone thought about the day’s ‘fushion’, I knew that I gave some fashion for thought to the onlookers.
Trying out something new with Indian traditional attire is always fun because it gives you an edgy look. People are now reinventing tradition like never before so it’s important for us too to stay on top. So what are you waiting for? Experiment with your ethic wear and mail us your photographs in ‘fushion’ attire so that you can be our model of the week.

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