Once in a while there comes those days where I like touching base with my Indian roots. It has been ages since I last decked up in Indian wear, although I have a gusto for saving countless number of desi outfits as I scroll through my Instagram feed. To bypass the recurring glares by the locals when they see you in a riot of colorful traditional Indian clothes, Into-Western, or fusion as they call it, is the way to go.
As much as I love our glamorous, extra AF Indian fashion, it just isn’t practical for day-to-day. But what is practical is incorporating certain elements of it to my daily looks. Over the years, a trend that I have seen major mass market brands as well as local Japanese brands become receptive to is the cutwork embroidery / chikankari trend. There is an outpour of the cotton basics with chikankari work on them especially when summer is around the corner.
I have grown up seeing this trend on numerous summer trips to India and from my mother who is still equally fond of it as she was before. I recently came across this white cutwork tunic with a scalloped neckline that instantly caught my eye. The lightweight, airy and breathable cotton material makes it a summer essential in my wardrobe for the year. I’m a sucker for embroidered tops, especially in white. Mass market brands as well as high street retailers have heavily churned out chikankari work, making it not only globally accessible but also value for money.
Chikankari is referred to as the technique, a traditional embroidery style originated from Lucknow, India. What began as a type of white-on-white embroidery style, has be evolved and reinterpreted in all colors now. Similar to chikan work is cutwork which was first conceived in Italy during the Renaissance period. Cutwork is a needlework technique where portions of the textile are cutaway, thus resulting to “holes” but then filled with embroidery or needle lace.
A simple white tunic like this can be easily dressed up for a more put together look or dressed down with denims for a casual, laid back style. Either way, I’m sure I’ll be experimenting further with both the styles this summer and simultaneously growing my fusion pieces in my wardrobe.