India at 75: Discover the history and evolution of Indian fashion from the 1950s to the 2020s


India is celebrating its 75th Independence Day this year. To encourage people, the Indian government has launched the ‘Har Ger Tiranga’ campaign and has asked people to bring the Indian flag home and hang it. Following the government guidelines, people are enthusiastically supporting the ‘Har Gar Tiranga’ campaign and bringing the flag home.

The entire nation is ready to display the colors of pride – tricolor, some people unfurl the flag, few people serve or eat tricolor food to celebrate, some wear Bharatiya Tiranga.

If we talk about Indian fashion trends, fashion has changed a lot since the 50s and each decade had its charms and trends. As India celebrates its 75th Independence Day, here we take an overview of the growing history and evolution of the Indian fashion industry. Let’s go through the changing fashion tastes of free Indians over the past 75 years.


After independence, people had a strong taste for patriotism. They wore khadi to support the Swadeshi movement. It can also be seen that people were more influenced by European culture and Hindi cinema. Actresses like Nargis, Nutan, Suriya and Meena Kumari were the fashion icons of this era.


In the 1960s, people were more influenced by actors like Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand and actresses like Madhubala, Mumtaz and Nargis Dutt to seek inspiration for their fashion choices. These days women’s clothes are more fashionable and everyone has adopted bright colors and prints.

Anarkali suits, tiered orange sarees, body-hugging churidar suits, short shirts and a hint of skin on display, poufy hairdos, winged eyeliner and the uber-popular Sadhna cut were from this decade.


In the year The 1970s were huge for fashion as the decade gave us Dimple Kapadia’s iconic polka-dot shirt in Bobby, Zeenat Aman’s hippie look with Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Parveen Babi’s tiny bikini and Helen’s iconic cabaret feathers. Bell-bottoms, cropped shirts, oversized glasses, platform heels and polka dots were the most memorable trends of this era.


The 80s brought many changes in the fashion industry. This era introduced blingy jewellery, big shoulder straps, colorful colours, metallics, unruly hair and leg warmers and gave birth to the first generation of Indian fashion designers like Rohit Khosla and Satya Paul.

In the year In 1983, Bhanu Ataya won India’s first and only Oscar for costume design and the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) was established in 1986. Sri Devi and Rekha were fashion icons in Bollywood.


This era started with India’s economic independence. From denim shirts, crop tops, chokers, clutches and overalls to chiffon sarees and oversized blouses – these are all the gifts of this decade. In the year In the 1990s, they created trends even today. Actresses like Karisma Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya, Sushmita Khan and Kajol were the style icons of this era.


Internet access was very easy these days which opened doors to the latest styles and trends. Many women are able to spend large sums of money on fashion and beauty products as they become independent. Super cool pieces like tube tops and micro-minis as well as desi fusion dresses are a given these days.

From 2010 to the 2020s

Moving on to the more recent past, the 2010s gave us digitalization including social media and influencers! The focus shifted to street style. The digital era has made all fashion available just a click away.

As the last decade in the middle of a pandemic draws to a close, the focus has now shifted to comfort and clothing that looks good on social media. The next decade in fashion will focus on technological advances such as modern fabrics and digital-only clothing.


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