The Salwar Kameez / Shalwar Kameez Asian Pyjama Trouser
The Salwar Kameez is worn more than the sari in
Pakistan especially since the changes of 1947. The sari is
considered Hindu dress and retained as formal dress for two
extremes - older women familiar with it pre 1950s and young
adults new to the fashion. This page concentrates on the Shalwar
Kameez, but you can see saris and lehengas on other pages by
using the side navigation links.
Enjoy viewing these Indian Vibrant Fashion Week 2010
photographs as much as I have.
The images on this Salwar Kameez page are from India's first Vibrant
Fashion Week 2010. That event was held at the Courtyard
Marriott, Ahmedabad in Feb 2010. Details of contact at bottom of page. Twenty fashion
designers across India participated to develop the fashion
industry in Gujarat State. India's Top models walked for 3 days
modelling the collections and these photos show modern versions
of the Salwar Kameez. Unlike traditional Kameez some of these
tunics show more shaping such as princess seaming in the upper bodice.
Empire line longer Kameez like the design above can also be worn
as dresses with or without the Salwar pants.
The Salwar Kameez consists of two garments tunic
top and pants, plus
an optional dupatta scarf.
The Shalwar or Salwar -
are loose pyjama-like trousers that taper to the ankle
to twice ankle width. Tape or Lycra/elastic is used to hold
them up. This leg style is cut from a wide waist line which
can be made up to twice the waist size, giving lots of loose
fabric around the thigh area. This means the Shalwar has
been designed with physical work, ease of movement and cool
airy volume in mind. Modern designers love reinventing these
proportions giving the Shalwar a new modern look.
Churidars - By using fabric cut on the true bias
crossway of fabric Shalwar pants can also be made up quite
narrow and look much like western leggings/jeggings. The
narrow fabric wrinkles at the ankles and this form of
Shalwar is called Churidars. Indian fashion designers appear
to be very fond of this narrow style right now as it reflect
the western love of leggings.
Right - A
Fashion designer wearing Shalwar Kameez - note split at
sides. Pyjamas - During the British Empire era (18th/19th
centuries) the British
took the Indian word for Paijamas around the world and so
today we are all familiar with pyjamas.
The Kameez - this is the over top a long loose shirt or
fairly straight cut tunic which can be as long as a dress but
which may have open side seams (chaak) from the waist for ease
of movement. It is quite a unisex garment apart from the fabric
choice. This word Kameez has a Latin origin and relates to camisia (tunic/shirt) and from which we also get the European
words chemise/camisole. The Arabic word is Qamees.
style Kameez uses traditional cuts based on rectangles. Modern
shaping and a leaning toward a
European set in cut at the sleeve especially. More fitted
Kameez also mean more body is revealed so if the Kameez is
sheer or semi sheer women wear a choli top beneath it.
The decorated edges of the Kameez - the hemline edge, the
sleeves and neck are known as the daaman.
Right - Vibrant Fashion Week Shalwar Design.
- the scarf - a multi purpose scarf. The Shalwar Kameez is
completed with a dupatta which is a scarf shawl that drapes over the
head. This dupatta is frequently softer and more scarf like than
some which are huge like stoles. Dependent on region other names for these scarves are Odhani/Odhni,
Orna/Orni, Chader and Chunri/Chunni - in Gujarat it is
called the Unni.
For modesty the dupatta long shawl is used to cover the head
and can be used for drapes around the shoulders or
over them. By varying the fabric, colour mix, print, pattern and cut
of the garment pieces along with the dupatta a huge fashion
variety can be achieved. Compared to the Chador or Burkha the
dupatta is the less restrictive option for Muslim women, but
even the wearing of the dupatta is a iconographic symbol of
shyness and modesty especially for Hindu women where the
head must be covered in temples.
Today the Salwar Kameez is the outfit worn both women and men in
many parts of Asia. The unisex dress bears a relationship to
the top/shirt and trousers worn by western men and women. The area
in South Asia surrounding India we know has had many changing
So today the Salwar Kameez is worn everywhere,
but especially Pakistan and Afghanistan. It's very popular in
India, particularly the North-western part of India and across
South Asia. Within India, Indian women often wear the Shalwar
Kameez in place of a sari and of course the masculine version of
the style is perfect for men.
A Kurti is a tunic that reaches mid thigh and is often
interchanged with a choli or Kameez for a comfort, a different
look or modesty. The Kurti is popular with straight trousers or
jeans as a form of Indo Western trouser suit. It is personalised
with a long scarf or for a modern look a short dupatta. The
dupatta is also added to totally western outfits to add that
Traditional styling and traditional jewellery, parure and
headdresses complete the look of many of these outfits.
These images will inspire you to create your own innovative
Indian inspired fashion
Akshar Events & Entertainments organized Vibrant
Fashion Week 2010, Season 1 and held the event at Courtyard
Marriott, Ahmedabad on 21,22 and 23rd Feb 2010. Twenty fashion
designers across India participated to develop the fashion
industry in Gujarat State. India's Top models walked for 3 days with
various designers Collections.
On this page we have Indian fashion that leans toward
traditional dress, but could appeal to modern woman of any
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