Here’s how the garment made a comeback just as people were on the verge of forgetting ‘lungi dance’.
Like Bangladeshi designer Bibi Russell popularised gamcha (Indian version of towel) in the international fashion market through her designs, European fashion brand Zara seems to be bent on taking the ubiquitous “lungi” to new heights. However, the attempt fetched many guffaws on social media, as its skirt, modelled after the lungi, is priced at more than Rs 6,000.
A traditional lungi extends up to the heel, but is often lifted upwards a little and tied in a knot for convenience, and the mid-calf length skirt of Zara exactly looks the same. And the check prints only confirms the fact that the “flowing skirt” is nothing, but a “foreign lungi”. After it was discovered, some people also took a moment to reflect how the foreign brand imports things from this part of the world and rebrands it, imparting more glory to those mundane objects lurking in the darkness here.
The way age-old turmeric milk became turmeric latte, ghee became clarified butter, and charpoy became daybeds, the lungi became a “flowing skirt with draped detail in the front”. Yes, the detail looks like the knot in which it is tied for convenience. According to Zara’s website, the piece of bottomwear has front slit detail at the hem and zip fastening in the back hidden along the seam.
Repackaging is definitely a part of designing, but what amuses people is the price of the piece of cloth. While Zara’s India website prices the skirt at Rs 4,990, its site for the Unites States quotes a price of 89.90 dollars. Photo from Zara website
For Indian Twitter users, the sudden glory of lungi, which was last made popular through the song “Lungi dance” from Chennai Express,was a reason for a good laugh. People from outside India are amused at the “resemblance” between the skirt and “Asian male skirt”.
According to an article of Metro, lungi is “the heat-appropriate staple for men in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Somaliland, and Nepal. You might have even seen it on your gap yah travels in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand.”
“Shockingly (or not), the fashion purveyor is charging £69.99… And if you were thinking of rushing to the store or website, hold your horses because I can find at least 17 different places that sell the attire for about £3,” the article says.
And this is how Twitter users had a laugh at Zara’s cost. Or, was it too much?
Many are also comparing the skirt with the Sarong, which is a common wrap donned by Indonesians. The international fashion industry is teeming with such disasters. Last year, Gucci unveiled its collection of new sneakers “coated with grime”, which exactly looked like dirty school shoes before they were cleaned and white-polished.