Even though the street style movement finds its roots in LA’s skate and surf culture, in India it manifests in many different forms. While some are redefining Sikh culture through a fresh perspective, others are trying to play around with basics. Either way, Indian street style is unique and creating ripples in the country’s fashion landscape.
Originating from the capital is a streetwear brand called ‘Delhiwear’ that’s finally doing justice to India’s street style by actually bringing in the ‘street-ness’ to simple, everyday garments. The brainchild of Harkrishan Singh Alag and Tarandeep Singh, Delhiwear emerged out of a small informal project wherein the duo merged custom hand-painted shirts with “high-intent email marketing”. “It worked and gave us the confidence to move forward. But as we proceeded, the topic of ‘Indian streetwear’ came to our notice and we realised something was missing”, they tell Homegrown.
According to the co-founders of Delhiwear, to simply hand paint a shirt with a Hindi/English logo wasn’t Indian streetwear. Dismissing it as a lazy thought trying to milk the wave of streetwear, the duo decided to bring in their own spin to street style by playing around with a (wait for it) kurta! This one seed of innovation inspired their collection ‘VARDI’ which borrows from both traditional Indian culture as well as street fashion as most of us know it.
“We wanted to normalise the kurta like the T-shirt but not do injustice to the existing silhouette. The whole concept of VARDI is open and inclusive,” they tell us.
Delhiwear’s ‘VARDI’, rooted in Indian sensibilities, takes the traditional kurta and gives it a modern twist. Making use of basic colours and an easy going aesthetic that’s both comfortable and attractive, VARDI is an offbeat take on a typical Indian wardrobe. After all, who doesn’t own a kurta in their wardrobe?
Elaborating on the inspiration for something so simple yet unimagined, Harkrishan and Tarandeep tell us about their own personal preference for pairing kurtas with Jordans during Diwali or a regular college day. “Our aesthetics are simple and easy to digest designs. We make use of our personal experiences. Moreover, coming from a business class family has its perks of getting inspired by unusual things”, they share.
For many Indians, a traditional outfit involving a kurta, pyjama is often only associated with special occasions or festivals. And that’s exactly what Delhiwear’s edgy designs want to challenge. “VARDI is a concept open to all. Why can’t a sneaker be paired with a kurta? We simply answered the question”, the duo behind Delhiwear tells us.
In India, street wear means many different things to many different people. According to the Delhiwear duo, the idea of street culture in the country is often mixed with the forced idea of ‘Supreme’. And that’s exactly what Harkrishan and Tarandeep are here to change.
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