There was once a time where Pune was known as little more than a hill-station perfect for a life after retirement. Everything about the city spelled out comfort, including its fashion. The little city with its laid back attitude and perfect weather was the picture perfect postcard of men and women floating about in harem pants, long kurtas and comfortable Osho chappals. Today, the rapidly developing city has made its name in the world of haute couture, with fashion weeks that make the talk of the town and fabulous, budding designers.
Back in 2012, Manoviraj had said, “There is a lot of enthusiasm and talent among students of fashion,” but felt that the city’s fashion scene still needed to be fine-tuned. Today, there are several top fashion institutes in Pune, including the renown INIFD. This year for the upcoming London Fashion Week, 3 finalists from the 17, were Pune-based and graduates of INIFD – Pradnya Kamble, Priya Gaikwad and Komila Lalwani.
Pune’s Fashion Week itself has become a highly anticipated extravaganza in the country, and the fifth season saw several celebrated names from the fashion world. The designs were stunning and fresh to the eyes with designers such as Ulka Bafna and Sangeeta Sharma. The city is also home to some known designers who have already made their mark in the world of fashion – such as Nivedita Saboo, Karishma Shahani (Ka-Sha), Sonam Parmar and Rasika Wakalkar.
Not only in terms of haute couture and designer wear, but even Pune’s fashion retail scene has changed drastically in the last few years. International brands such as Zara, Guess, Hunkemoller, and Forever 21 have made their way to the mini metro-city. Pune’s density is about 65 lakhs in population, with about 35% of it comprising youth in their 20s to 30s. This naturally makes way for several fashion and cosmetics’ brands to make it their testing area.
When it comes to individual style, Punekars are open to experimentation of colours, prints and styles. They will stay up to date with all of the latest trends, yet add a little of their own personal touch to it – the laidback attitude of the city can still be seen through flowing bohemian styles that dominates fashion in Pune.
The Punekars of today are fashion and brand conscious and are becoming more and more knowledgeable about trends and styles by the day. They are not only becoming more fashionable in terms of dressing but lifestyle in general. They welcome fashion and design with open arms in various forms – quaint little cafes, gourmet cupcakes, modern bold interiors, and fashion conferences. What used to be a little town has today become a fashionable city that is considered the urban model city of India.