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Dress: An Anthalogy Celebrating Clothes And Style

— JASMEEN DUGAL

''There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us, and not we, them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they mould our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking'' — Virginia Woolf

 

To commemorate Vogue India's tenth anniversary, eighteen acclaimed writers were invited to interpret the art of dressing — and undressing — through reportage, fiction, personal essays or poetry. for Vogue India's 'Dress: An Anthology Celebrating Clothes And Style'. Amitav Ghosh links the humble 'banyan' to the rise and fall of India's economy and challenges designers: ''…a vaunted place in history awaits the artist who can claim authorship of the next stage in the evolution of the banyan.'' Moni Mohsin pens his thoughts on the burka as ''a repressive garment'' when he compared it to the hijab which does not ''erase a woman's presence from public space.''.  My personal favorite is The Oxford Dress by author Plum Skyes where she researches editions of British Vogue and requests her mother and team of seamstress to stitch a navy blue coat dress for an Oxford interview. It becomes symbolic of a turning point in her life, and wardrobe, when she gets accepted.

 

The book continues with an assortment of short stories, poems and illustrated essays ending with a heartwarming story on the plight of cotton farmers in the times of fast fashion and ''how clothing claims lives even before it is made… when farmers shifted from food crops to cash crops in the dream of export-led growth.’' Through these personal, reflective and heart-wrenching stories, the anthology stitches together a rich fabric to remind us that a dress is more than just a dress. A must-read as it brings together some of the finest voices of our generation including Amitav Ghosh; Jhumpa Lahiri; Plum Sykes; Moni Mohsin; Janice Pariat; Kanishk Tharoor; Tishani Doshi; Molly Crabapple; Meena Kandasamy; Manu Joseph; Chandrahas Choudhury; Abeer Hoque; Kyung Sook Shin; Rosalyn D’mello; Divia Thani; Samanth Subramanian; Vladimir Lucien.
 

Dress: An Anthology Celebrating Clothes And Style
Dress: An Anthology Celebrating Clothes And Style
 
05-OCTOBER-2018
 
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