Yatri Shukla, a Mathematics Lecturer in the Schmid College of Science and Technology, points to the “Women’s Fashion from India” display in the Leatherby Libraries.

This Women’s History Month, the Leatherby Libraries is excited to showcase a display celebrating the stunning beauty and history of Women’s Fashion from India. Indian fashion is known for its rich colors, intricate designs, and traditional garments like the sari.

Through a mix of books from the Library’s collection and items on loan from Dr. Yatri Shukla, a Mathematics Lecturer at the Schmid College of Science and Technology, we dive into the colorful world of Women’s Fashion from India.

Dr. Shukla shared some of her beautiful Indian clothes and accessories for the display.

These items include:

  • Gajra (a hair accessory made from flowers worn during festive occasions such as weddings)
  • Handmade jewelry
  • A bajubandh (traditional jewelry worn by Indian women on the upper arm)
  • A dancing skirt
  • A set of bridal bangles
  • and more!!

The Shukla family‘s involvement in campus activities, like the Diwali celebration, underscores the importance of embracing and sharing cultural traditions. Their efforts have contributed significantly to fostering a more inclusive and understanding community at Chapman University.

The display also features books from the Library’s rich and diverse collection. Books in this display include My Padmina Wears a Sari and How to Wear a Sari, which explore the significance of the “sari” in women’s fashion in India. “A sari is a long piece of material that you wrap around yourself in a special way,” writes Kashmira Sheth in My Padima Wears a Sari. The sari is traced back to the Indus Valley civilization and is a symbol of tradition and honor in the nation and culture of India. The sari’s history and expression as a fashion essential in India spotlight the significance of clothing in women’s fashion in India.

The Library’s display also includes books about the evolution of women’s fashion in India and its impact worldwide, such as Contemporary Indian Fashion and India in Fashion: The Impact of Indian Dress and Textiles on the Fashionable Imagination. These books examine traditional clothing items from India while also exploring contemporary styles in India and around the world. It is important to show the impact of fashion to understand how culture influences society positively.

Highlighting the cultural and academic richness of our campus, we invited Dr. Deepa Badrinarayana, a professor for the Dale E. Fowler School of Law, and Dr. Anuradha Prakash, a food science professor at the Schmid College of Science and Technology, to pose for a photo in front of the display. Their participation highlights the remarkable presence of strong Indian women across various scholarly fields at Chapman University, celebrating our shared vision and the collaborative spirit behind this project.

Dr. Deepa Badrinarayana (left) and Dr. Anuradha Prakash (right) pictured next to the “Women’s Fashion from India” display.

“Women’s Fashion from India” is more than just a fashion showcase; it’s an educational journey that celebrates the diversity and history of Indian culture. This display aims to inspire a deeper appreciation for the myriad ways cultures can influence and enrich our global community.

The complete bibliography for this display, including e-books, can be found here

Visit the First Floor Lobby of the Leatherby Libraries to check out the display and learn more about the significance and impact of women’s fashion in India! The display will remain up until April 2024.

This display was curated by Leatherby Libraries student employees Arianna Tillman ’25, Isabella Piechota ’25, and Kalea Brown ’26.

The Leatherby Libraries’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts align with the Chapman University Strategic Plan for Diversity & Inclusion, fostering a diverse and inclusive campus climate.