Indian designers' take on deity motifs used on apparels
California-based clothing brand, Teeki, is in the eye of a storm where their newly launched yoga pants depict images of Lord Ganesha
The now-controversial pants — Ganesha’s Dream Hot Pants and Ganesha’s Dream Bell Bottoms — are raising eyebrows, and offended parties have urged online retailer, Amazon.com to yank the ‘objectionable’ pants off the site, immediately. While Teeki and Amazon haven’t responded, The GUIDE spoke to desi designers for their take on this godly dilemma.
Teeki yoga pants with Ganesha motifs. Pic courtesy/ amazon.com
Religious iconography on clothing has always been a controversial topic. And, since we live in a more globalised world today, it is important to be sensitive to consumer sentiment across the board. Honestly, for me, it’s a bit too literal and boring to have images of deities on clothes. There are many more interesting ways to interpret the visual language of Yoga, Hinduism and ‘exotic’ India, rather than the banal literal usage of Gods on clothes! I urge designers to work a bit harder and come up with more interesting solutions.
I think if the rosary can be a fashion accessory, why can’t we have Hindu gods on garments? We can see all of Goa filled with kitschy poster prints that feature mythological graphics. If it’s done, aesthetically, I’m fine with it. But it should be placed appropriately, and designed tastefully.
Pria Kataria Puri
I think aesthetics vary from individual to individual and as a designer, irrespective of products, one should give enough thought in researching design elements before application. Such controversies do effect a brand’s social responsibility aspects.
Deity motifs are used on apparels worldwide. They make for fashion statements on the ramp, are sold at yoga centres across the globe, etc. However, it is important to be sensitive towards people’s religious perspectives while designing the apparel when you are using such motifs.