Indians have a mixed relationship with white. It’s largely been the colour of mourning, and is reserved for unadorned Hindu widows. “Bollywood costumes changed all that,” says Sitlani. By the ’60s, as films were colourised, white saris and salwar-kameezes stood out against multi-hued backdrops (think of Asha Parekh, Mumtaz and Sharmila Tagore). Yash Chopra heroines wore white — draped, flowing, shimmering and sexy. It didn’t take long for women to give up tradition for trendiness.
“White is classic, simple yet versatile, and it looks great on Indian skin tones,” says Sheena Uppal, founder and creative director of the sustainable womenswear brand, Rengé. “No longer are we limiting ourselves to a plain white shirt or wearing white on specific occasions.”