Edited by: Tereza Kuldova
The opulent, delicate, and handcrafted Indian fashion pieces resemble the white lotus, India's national flower. The lotus too, with its beauty, grows out of the mud - mud that remains invisible and hidden. *** This anthology, written by an international group of anthropologists with hands-on experience in India and its multi-faceted fashion industry, explores the underlying dynamics of 'spectacular capitalism.' The contributors present a range of intriguing case studies that open up the potential for critique of the local, as much as the global, system that reproduces hierarchies and inequalities, while opening a window onto contemporary urban India. The book examines such questions as: * What do contemporary Indian spectacular fashion shows have in common with Western 19th-century department store fantasy palaces, the royal durbars, the elaborate museum displays of the colonial era, and the lives of erstwhile Indian royals? * What can the Delhi International Airport reveal about the current obsession of Indians with 'Indianness' - the 'local' and the refashioning of India for the global audience? * How does the 'royal chic' (the current trend in luxury Indian haute couture that recreates the splendor of the aristocratic lifestyles of the bygone era) depend on poverty for its visual and material existence? * Why does the Indian government invest in the Northeast Indian fashion scene and into the production of ethnic glamour and tribal chic? * How do glamour-seeking Kerala Muslim women appropriate the sexy Bollywood fashions while still retaining their codes of modesty? * How does the world of Delhi and its fashion designers look from the perspective of the village craftswomen that work for them, mock them, and laugh at them and their hectic life? * What is the science and artisanship behind the production of traditional Kolhapuri sandals, turned into luxury items for international consumers? * How do Bollywood cinema and the changing male fashion and body ideals reflect the transforming India?
Publication Date: 12/1/2013