Manipur : The unsung fashion capital


Ashwini Sunil
A casual stroll in Manipur is like witnessing a live fashion show with the streets as its runway.
Basic pants paired with vibrant floral tops and summer dresses over turtleneck sweaters, Oh it’s an absolute gala to behold. The streets are filled with people in chic and preppy outfits, men and women alike.
Not of popular knowledge but Manipur tops the charts in keeping up with global fashion trends and creating some along the way.
Street fashion, festive fashion, Bridal fashion,and the never ending flow of accessories and footwear, adds to its unbridled fashion style.
Certain reasons for this happening is the influence of western culture and a lot of Korean pop while another comes in the form of bales of clothes from countries like Japan, China, South Korea and other neighbouring countries. The clothes enter the Indian market in the form of charity and donations from these countries, the clothes being unsuitable for the majority of the country’s population are sold off by the bale in exchange for money to purchase clothes more suited for India s mainstream climatic conditions.
The hawkers who get a hold of the bales manage to sell them to thrift shop owners in Manipur and other Northeast states for a fair price which brings us to the states vibrant yet international thinking society. Another reason for Manipur’s simple yet high spirited ensembles can be due to its acceptance of trends and constant experimenting  with styles to create statement items unlike most of India s conservatism.
Fashion entrepreneurs like Richana Khumanthem and Robert Naorem can also be appreciated for the state’s fame for the use of shades of ivory  and striking motifs of the Meitei community in their designs and nearing towards history soaked sartorial treasures.
All these are reasons why Manipur is the true fashion capital of India and is at the top of the high street fashion.