As Rajasthan's first ever Fashion Week approaches, the question on everyone's lips is: What is so special about Rajasthani fashion, anyway? The answer is, a great deal. After all, what else would you expect from a land with royal heritage...
Traditionally, Rajasthani clothing is brightly coloured and elaborately decorated. Many women wear beautiful sarees, wrapped in a style that is particular to the region. Others wear an ankle length skirt, known as a lehenga, with a cropped top called a chaniya choli. This is usually worn with a head covering to protect the wearer from the heat and preserve a sense of modesty.
Saress and lehengas in Rajasthan are known for the beautiful embroidery and mirror-work which they exhibit. However, whilst even the poorest women wear clothes in an array of wonderful colours, it is the outfits of the rich which are truly show-stopping. Woven with gold and silver threads and dazzling sequins, these clothes are works of art in their own right.
The men of Rajasthan are recognisable by their pagris, or turbans. These are long lengths of cloth, tied around the head to cover the hair. In Rajasthan, pagris are often made from tie-dyed fabric, in keeping with the dupattas and sarees of the women.
You're fairly likely to hear a Rajasthani woman before you see her, thanks to the jangling of the jewellery which is so popular in the region. There is no part of the body which can't be decorated, with women sporting waist ornaments, anklets and forehead ornaments in addition to nose rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. Men, too, are often to be found wearing traditional jewellery such as amulets depicting folklore heroes and ankle bells for use during dance performances.
Of course, the clothing on display during this Maya's Rajasthan Fashion Week won't all be straight from the villages and towns of the region. Instead, designers will give a contemporary twist to classics such as tie-dye and block-printing, creating refreshing new pieces that can be enjoyed the world over.
Read More about Rajasthan: RAJASTHAN - "LAND OF KINGS"