Bright colours, soft fabrics, luxurious designs and a fashionable reminder of desi culture. Evocative of spring festivals, the harvest season and a million weddings. The Half-Eaten Mind presents to you today a photo album of some very tasteful shalwar kameezs. The Patiyala House album comes courtesy of UK-based South Asian fashion emporium “Gull Collection”, and based on email marketing by Shahzad Ali Khan.
In mid-September I received a handful of emails from Gull Collection, advertising albums for Desi clothes from the Indian subcontinent. I have no idea how they managed to obtain my email, but my guess is that a visitor to one of my older articles may have subscribed or copy-pasted my email from a static page on the site…and the rest is history. My funny feeling is that they has stumbled across the “Suits Me” blogpost I had published way back in June of last year, one of the first I had written. In that article I covered a mail-order company for Asian clothes which was winning customers through their cheap but high quality garments. I ended up buying a sherwani suit from them for my sister’s wedding that month. That’s what happens when you’re on a tight budget, but you need to look your best.
I normally have a zero-tolerance policy towards spam mail or unsolicited emails. They are either trashed immediately or allocated to my Outlook spam folder, but when I saw these emails from the Gull fashion house, I made an exception on account of the delightful pictures that came with each one. Clearly taken by a photographer in the know, the pictures of models wearing different styles of Indian clothing were professional, vivid and made an impact. There is a great and eye-catching contrast between the wooden-like background, reminiscent of European renaissance art blended subtly alongside the Sigiriya frescos of Sri Lanka, with the dazzling manners of hues that define the clothes worn by the model.
I decided that Shahzad’s emails would make a good inspiration for today’s article, after a week in planning and a long, sleepless weekend.
The Patiyala House album featured in this article derives its name from the city of Patiala, in south-eastern Punjab state of India. Known as the “Royal City” and steeped in the history of Punjab’s Sikh community, Patiala is famous for its local variations on traditional Punjabi costume. Most notably for a location occupying a specially proud place in the world of south Asian fashions – and especially the homegrown fashions of the “breadbasket” of southern Asia, visitors to this bustling home of 1.9 million people will get a chance to see and buy jutti, a type of ornamental footwear; Patiala salwar (elaborately decorated tunics and trousers for women) and turbans.
The album features a variety of tailor-made shalwars produced to traditional Punjabi designs as worn by millions of women across the world. Nearly every colour of the rainbow makes an appearance, with ornate embroidery capturing the sartorial elegance of this part of Asia.
Picture album supplied by Shahzad Khan.
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