The influence of British rule on elite Indian menswear: the birth of the Sherwani

Gupta, Toolika (2016) The influence of British rule on elite Indian menswear: the birth of the Sherwani. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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‘The Influence of British Rule on Elite Indian Menswear: The Birth of the Sherwani’ is a study of the influence of politics on fashion and the resulting development of new garments. This research is designed to demonstrate the effect on elite Indian menswear of the two centuries of British rule in India. It is an effort to understand how the flowing garments worn by elite Indian men in the 18th century gradually became more tailored and fitted with the passage of time. The study uses multiple sources to bring to light lesser known facts about Indian menswear, the evolution of different garments and especially of the sherwani. The sherwani is a knee-length upper garment worn by South-Asian men, and is considered to be India’s traditional menswear. My study highlights the factors responsible for the birth of the sherwani and dispels the myth that it was a garment worn by the Mughals. Simultaneously, this study examines the concept and value of ‘tradition’ in cultures. It scrutinises the reasons for the sherwani being labelled as a traditional Indian garment associated with the Mughal era, when in fact it was born towards the end of the 19th century. The study also analyses the role of the sherwani as a garment of distinction in pre- and post-independence India.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: British India, fashion, history of fashion, menswear, Indian fashion, elite Indian menswear, sherwani.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D880 Developing Countries
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts Applied arts Decoration and ornament
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Supervisor's Name: Lennard, Ms. Frances and Mukherjee, Dr. Sumita
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Mrs Toolika Gupta
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7809
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2016 11:17
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2017 12:52

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