Archives for posts with tag: Himachal Pradesh

The line between buildings (commercial and residential) and advertising often gets blurred in India – as the latter acts as an outer skin in the form of painted hoardings on shops, houses and abandoned buildings on main roads and highways. There are times when these hoardings take over long stretches of national road networks and in some cases entire villages. Some find this visual encroachment extremely ugly while others (like myself) are able find a sense of beauty in the way they add to the built environment as well as the overall landscape.

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Majority of these signs and hoardings continue to be hand-painted as opposed to digital printouts. I’m not sure how long this practice of painting walls will continue, but while it does these advertising strategies ensure buildings get a fresh coat of paint every few years. As there are also subtle variations within each iteration, which include [creative] spelling mistakes and other slight anomalies – these serve as reminders of obvious traces and imperfections of the human hand – that ultimately have their own charm.

I also find it interesting to observe how over the years as certain brands gain prominence and amp up their advertising strategies while others fade from view, these buildings also shift and change their colors and patterns to mimic the trends. In 2010 most of the buildings around the area from where this set of images were taken were red (Vodafone, ACC and Coca-Cola), as well as blue (Reliance) and yellow (Ambuja Cement), but now there are other brands that appear to be more prominent. When viewed collectively this also means that a significant change in the landscape of a town or village even though the overall constructions remain the same.

Pictured in this post are some images of Josh (which literally means spirit, vigor) baniyan (sleeveless undershirt) and underwear (by Dixcy) ads from the main highway near Solan Brewery in Himachal Pradesh.

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Additionally, the image below in particular is one instance when it is possible to read the placement of images and text on houses and buildings in ways that go beyond their intended message. In this case lace trimmed underwear painted on a locked but slightly ajar door makes for an interesting read in the context of dress and morality in India.

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I’m reblogging a post from my tumblr site – as this crossed into both domains. The images below are a wonderful example of how old and new – in this case methods of carrying things – can co-exist. It was not easy to catch up to this lady as she was walking very fast through Solan’s chaotic pedestrian and vehicular traffic. I was not able to stop her, which is sad, as seeing her with a nice flower print bag, dotted and striped salwar kameez, shiny punjabi juttis and a bag of cement on her head made me wonder what events had led to the combination of these items of dress.

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Before heading off to the big smoke – to attend WLIFW (Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, SS 2014), in New Delhi – I got a taste of some of the fashions favored in a town named Solan in Himachal Pradesh.

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Solan has always been abuzz with suit (salwar kameez) sellers and tailors as salwar kameez is the preferred garment worn by most women here. Alongside this, there is a thriving market for woolen garments and tailored suits. More recently, due to the 5:30pm shut down of the main town center to all motorized traffic that allows for pedestrians to enjoy the evening hours shopping and walking freely without the hassle of cars and buses, the display of street style has intensified – especially amongst young college going men and women (of which there are many, as there are so many colleges in the area). I will post more from that later. Here are some snapshots before I get to Delhi…

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