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

India is celebrating the 75th Independence Day this year. To encourage people, the Indian government has launched a campaign “Har Ghar Tiranga” and asks people to bring the Indian flag home and hoist it. Following government instructions, people are passionately supporting the “Har Ghar Tiranga” campaign and taking the flag home.

The entire nation is ready to display hues of pride – the tricolor while some people will unfurl the flag, few will serve or consume tricolor food in celebration, some will dress up as Bhartiya Tiranga.

If we talk about Indian fashion trends, fashion has changed a lot since the 50s and each of those decades had a defining aesthetic and trend. As India celebrates the 75th Independence Day, here we have taken a look at the history and development of India’s booming fashion industry. Let’s review the changing fashion tastes of Free Indians over the past 75 years.


After freedom, people had a strong flavor of 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, Suraiya and Meena Kumari were the fashion icons of that era.


In the 1960s, people were more influenced by actors like Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand and actresses like Madhubala, Mumtaz and Nargis Datt to seek inspiration for their fashion choices. At this time women’s clothing became more fashionable and everyone embraced bright colors and prints.

The Anarkali suit, the orange tiered saree, the tight churidar suits, the shorter blouses and a hint of skin exposed, the Poufy hairstyles, the winged eyeliner and the very popular Sadhna cut belonged to this decade.


The 1970s were huge for fashion as this decade gave us Dimple Kapadia’s iconic polka dot blouse in Bobby, Zeenat Aman’s hippie look from Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Parveen Babi’s skimpy bikini and Cabaret’s iconic feathers from Hare Rama Hare Krishna. ‘Helen. Bell bottoms, cropped shirts, oversized glasses, wedge heels and polka dots were among the most memorable trends of this era.


The 80s era brought a lot of changes in the fashion industry. This era introduced Blingy ornamentation, large shoulder pads, showy colors, metallics, unruly hair and leggings and also gave birth to the first generation of Indian fashion designers like Rohit Khosla and Satya Paul.

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


This era started with the economic liberalization of India. From denim shirts, crop tops, scarves, separates and overalls to chiffon sarees and oversized shirts, it’s all the giveaway of this decade. The 1990s created trends that are still relevant today. Actresses like Karisma Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya, Sushmita Khan and Kajol were the style icons of this period.


Back then, internet access was so easy that it opened doors to the latest styles and trends. As more and more women became independent, they could afford to spend more on fashion and beauty products. Super fitted pieces like tube tops and micro minis along with desi fusion outfits are given by this era.

From the 2010s to the 2020s

Let’s move on to the most recent period, the 2010s gave us digitalization including social networks and influencers! The focus shifted to street style. Digital Era has made all fashion available with just one click.

As the last decade in the midst of a full-scale pandemic draws to a close, the focus is now on comfort and clothes that look great on social media. The next fashion decade is all about technological advancements like smart fabrics and digital-only clothing.

Comments are closed.