From Architecture to Fashion, with convenience being the scanner, I wonder if we are entering a lazy world where our identities are fading and we are unifying, not in hearts and mutual understanding, but into the subconscious and unintentional collective decision to modernise.
From the evolution of humankind, we stand today in the world with vast data that describes our ancestors path of developmental progression in art, medicine, social patterns and lifestyle. What must have begun with living in harmony with the environment seems to have taken a major turn during the excitement of the industrial revolution. We now run a race, less for the cause of the graceful existence of humanity and more to meet the pressurised needs of oneself. The belief of the majority of the legendary humans urges us, through observation, to understand that greatness is not achieved by living like an island, but by sharing, merging and improving upon the existing, with the intention of serving and respecting each other, not just the ones who live today, but those that have walked the earth and those that are to come and go where we will never reach. It is this aspect of the human soul that has produced the greatest forms of thought-provoking forms of artistry and nature blending architecture.
Fashion is one of the simplest art forms to have told the visual story of people while architecture has told the tales of how people rooted themselves in relation to their environment. Travellers spread their ideas and nations built upon each other’s strengths and learnt from their weaknesses. Greece gave the world the art of draping, India developed upon that trend with the saree while the men strutted out in the dashing dhoti. India spun its wheel beginning with cotton and looming out a variety of textiles. Today the Indian textile industry is taking our heritage to fashion designers across the globe and giving them multinational identities. But if the grass is always greener on the other side, then who should cultivate the grass on this side? While a firang would wear our traditional attire with selfie clicking excitement, are we wearing the same with honour and pride? Do we appreciate the beauty of our people when they dress in all our country’s fashionable glory?
Among the many divine scenic treasures of the country, Goa too spells the essence of serenity, but is the culture being defined with perceptions by its accessory, welcoming people to this party? Adding the sowing of culture into the land by local gauddis, to the developments by the Portuguese and the neighboring Indians, does our current ambiance tell this ancestral tale? Do our people own the houses that tell our story, in a majority?
It’s a pity when people don’t find the need to proudly celebrate their roots of development and their ancestral treasures passed through inheritance. Blinded by modernism, the dust has begun its process to bury many living celebrations of fashion, art and design into books that can only remind us of what existed but never letting us experience their living presence in the world. I salute fashion designers, architects and other professionals who still try to keep original and uniquely improvised cultures alive. A simple desire for more torch bearers of this cause to arise concludes this article in a vision of an equally strong presence of the multiple harmony-oriented cultures of the world.
The Fading Taste of Tradition