Who were the Pre Independence Fashion Icons of India? Most of us feel that we have the best female fashion icons today and the concept of female fashion icons is something of the present day. You will be surprised to know that the concept of female fashion icons has been prevalent for centuries and just that it has evolved over time. These days we have fashion weeks, magazines, and various social media forms to recognize the style and trends but years ago people would look up to these few ladies who would wear stylish and trendy clothes confidently and be the female fashion icons. There have been some of these ladies who have been able to make a mark with their praiseworthy style and sense of fashion in the pre-independence era. Some of these ladies and their styles have been mentioned below.
Maharani Gayatri Devi
Maharani Gayatri Devi will be one of the most well-known fashion icons even for kids born in the 1990s. With style, elegance, and charm she made a perfect female fashion icon in the pre-independence era of the country. Her style and fashion statement would not consist of extravagant jewelry and extremely expensive clothing but simple floral print sarees, chiffon sarees, and silk sarees. She was looked upon by women even for her modern approach in those days which included playing sports, being bold, and not fearing society and the norms.
Amrita Shergil is also known as ‘Frida Kahlo’ in the country. She is said to have traveled around the world and her fashion would be an influence of all the traveling and the cultures that she has experienced. She made her style statement primarily by her clothing and hairstyle, both of which were not very commonly seen in the pre-independence era. She was best known for her sleeveless blouses which were not very common and the skin show which was not quite appreciated either. Nonetheless, she made her mark as an icon and as an artist.
Maharani Sita Devi of Kapurthala
Maharani Sita Devi (1915- 2002) was the princess of Kapurthala. At the mere age of 19, she was addressed as a diva and also featured in Vogue. It would not be incorrect to say that she was one of the best and the most well-recognized fashion icons in the pre-independence era. Her sarees, jewelry, and accessories were just perfect and inspired many designers around the world. The surprising fact is that she was also featured in the list of five best-dressed women on the earth. Well, it would not be wrong to say that she was one of the most celebrated and glamorous fashion icons from pre-independent India.
Princess Sudhira, also known as the princess of Cooch Behar. She was one of the young and beautiful ladies in the 1900s to wear the most fashionable and latest of the western world trends. Being a princess she could afford to wear the best of the western attires and she could carry it with confidence and style.
Maharani Sita Devi of Baroda
Maharani Sita Devi (1917- 1989) was the princess of Baroda. It was a well-known fact that she loved jewelry, gems, and accessories. It is not important to be a lover of these you wear the best but she had great taste and choice to pick and wear the best jewels and gems. It was also said that the Maharani would travel with a wide variety of shoes, sarees, and jewelry. Her pearl necklace which had seven strands and her diamond necklace with three strands were extremely famous. It is said that even her cigarette holder was studded with rubies. With royalty, class, and taste she had a style of her own and turned out be one of the female icons with her own unique taste.
Princess Niloufer of Hyderabad was well-known in the country as well as abroad. During her early appearances, she would stick to designer sarees and classic jewelry which were an inspiration for many including the Bollywood actresses later. Eventually, she started wearing western dresses which were again a hit. She was one of those princesses who not only appeared in Vogue but also in a number of other magazines.
These are a few pre-independence female fashion icons. As you must have noticed that they were princesses who were able to make a mark as female fashion icons as they had access to the large public and would be followed by women who desired to be like them.