History would like us o believe that Fashion is something the west introduced in India.
They were supposed t have been introduced after the landing of Vasco da Gama in 1498.
The sculptures in the Konark Temple, dedicated to Sun God(750AD has sculptures of women wearing High heeled shoes, carrying portable mirrors and wearing even see through skirts!
Classics belonging to Tamil Sangam period detail the procedure for make up of women, even to the extent of the process of preparing eyeliner.
Sanskrit Literature too talks about the make up used by women of ancient India and the Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana talks in detail the make up used by prostitutes !
Tamil women did not wear upper garment in the ancient days.
But they wore a strip of cloth, tied by a string to cover their upper torso, which resembles a Bra!
Have you ever seen a 750 year old sculpture in an Indian temple carved wearing high heels? One of the most surprising sculptures I’ve ever seen is from Konark Sun Temple in Odisha which was built at least 750 years ago. You can see here that this beautiful woman is carved with high heels on both her legs.
This is absolutely incredible, because European women started to wear high heels or platform shoes for beauty only after 1600 A.D. And this temple was built around 1250 A.D which is 350 years before that time. People from around the world have worn platform shoes for different purposes like horse riding etc., but you can see that this woman is just wearing this to look beautiful while posing for the sculptor.
If you watch carefully, you can even see a strap on the ankle that secures the shoe. Now, compare this with modern day high heels and it is almost an exact match. This is not the only carving in this temple and you can see a few others where the women are proudly showing off their high-heeled footwear.
I have tried to search online if anyone knew about this, but it seems to be an unknown fact that ancient Indian women wore fancy shoes like these. This information is not mentioned anywhere including Wikipedia, so I think this has remained a secret for many centuries.
Does this mean that ancient Indian women were very advanced in terms of fashion? I would say yes, because you can also see quite a few sculptures where the women are shown looking at their personal hand-held mirrors. Again, remember that we are looking at a temple that was built 750 years ago and women must had had personal mirrors in every household at that time. Compare this with a modern day woman who carries a small mirror in her purse. These gadgets are perceived as European inventions but from these carvings, it is quite possible that Indian women also carried portable mirrors many centuries ago. There are many such sculptures of Indian women getting dolled up all over India, so it is fair to say that they focused on their beauty a lot.
But what about their clothes? How fashionable were their clothes in 13th century? Here is a fantastic carving that shows a woman wearing a see-through skirt. This is a skirt because you can see the outline, but we are also able to see the entire shape of her legs. This must have been sculpted by a genius, because it is very hard to carve something like this on a stone to show both the skirt and her legs. You can see other sculptures which show various degrees of transparency in their clothes. For example, this sculpture only partially shows through her legs which implies that a variety of clothes were designed at that time. I think ancient Indian women probably spent a lot of time primping and thinking about fashion just like modern day women. What do you think?