Tribal outfit from ’60s wows at Northeast fashion gala

Tribal outfit from ’60s wows at Northeast fashion gala
Highlights

Arunachal Pradesh\'s Apatani tribal group\'s traditional outfit from the 1960s impressed one and all at the North East India Fashion Week (NEIFW). 

Arunachal Pradesh's Apatani tribal group's traditional outfit from the 1960s impressed one and all at the North East India Fashion Week (NEIFW). The traditional Apatani knee-length skirt in black and white looked quite ordinary when it was presented on the ramp of NEIFW, which concluded on Sunday. But when the weavers from Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh told the attendees of the fashion gala about the year it belonged to, many looked surprised.

"It's called Kente Abi. We have been preserving it since the 1960s. It is a hand-woven cotton outfit that has been passed on by our great grandparents. There is a special box where we keep it," Hibu Ollo, chairman of self help groups Parii Bogo, Katu Ajing and Pai Women told. She has showcased it at two exhibitions in Arunachal Pradesh, but it's her first time at a fashion week.

"People at Ziro have seen it at exhibitions. But I want more people to know about our tribe and fashion, that's why we decided to get it to the fashion week held in the capital of Arunachal Pradesh," said Ollo. There was something from the 1980s too. "We even got Pusa Lenda. It is made of wool. It is like a skirt in colours like red, blue and yellow, to be worn with a top called Pingang," she shared pointing at her white breathable top.

Her aim was to show how the fashion of her tribe had evolved over the years. "We even presented Bilabi. It is a knee-length skirt like a wrap around in red and blue colours. The trend started in 1990s and is still popular among our women," she said.

The traditional wear by Apatani weavers gave way to garments with western cuts by fashion designer Gloria Ovung from Nagaland. Right from strapless gowns to knee-length skirts with shell work on them and even lehenga choli in pink, golden and red hues, the collection had something for different occasions.

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