Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten in an appearance at the French Institute Alliance Française's Fashion Talks in 2012 said, "I'm more inspired by things I don't like... Nothing is as boring as something beautiful. I prefer ugly things, surprising things”. The ideas of this reendowed designer underline thoughts quite contrary to society conditioned with ideas of Beauty as the paramount consideration.
People spend much time coming up with a “perfect” selfie so they may upload it on IG, FB, etc, and are disheartened if they are not commended. In such an age, a thought, for example, "ugly" style is as ridiculous as the idea itself. People like to wear an ugly style like Sherwani, kurta pajama, khussa, and other ethnic wears. On the most fundamental level, it is a union of what is ordinarily seen as terrible, anguished, and deformed and sexual orientation skeptic. It assaults the base of the unavoidable thought of excellence made by design editors whose reductive way to deal with style has left it dispossessed of everything aside from glamour.
In India, "ugly fashion" also, perhaps, arose as a reaction to the over-ornamental bridal clothes that dominate Indian designer labels. In 2019, we are still peddling embroidered flowers and kitsch at international fashion events. Shapeless clothing, chunky heels, and puffers are the signposts of fashion's next frontier. Trending, along with dad sneakers, is ugly floral dresses, ugly work vests, ugly sweaters, ugly jackets, and high-waisted mom jeans. It is a trend designed to agitate or even irritate the world.
The ugly fashion trend is even more significant because of its engagement with social and political issues that go beyond beauty and high fashion. In October 2018, Sohaya Misra of Chola the Label had drag queens walk the ramp for her collection, 'Bye Felicia'. Along with being a great marketing gimmick, it also bid farewell to the restrictive and the irrelevant.
For designer Sudheer Rajbhar of Chamar Studio, fashion is a way to restore the dignity of a word that took on pejorative connotations because of India's caste politics. His label offers utilitarian, sustainable bags, belts with criss-cross stitches, the trademark of Indian cobblers who typically belong to lower castes, and silver steel buttons made in the small tenements of Dharavi. Khussa is also a part of cultural ethnicity and you can get Khussa online from different websites that provide ethnic outfits like Sherwani King provides groom Sherwani and helps to attain a complete ethnic look.
HUEMN, on its part, engages with society too. A sweatshirt, from their 'Tribute to Kashmir' collection, features the back of a woman in a hijab walking down an alley in what seems like downtown Srinagar.
The Indian fashion scene has been brutal to designers who attempted to go against the tide, like the Gothic and punk fashion heralded by Nitin BAL Chauhan or Datta. "It is because the commercial market is not accepting this fashion at all. We are still a conservative market," says Sethi.
Many feel ugly fashion as a revolt or a rebellion. The designer’s defied India's current obsession with handloom in his collection called 'Janaza' last year and blurred gender lines. They feel that the main motive of the trend is to get the attention and portray the shift in the perception of dressing. "It is all about identification. I am inspired by rag-pickers who would be considered ugly. Ugly could be beautiful."