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Bhachu P. Dangerous Designs: Asian women fashion the diaspora economies

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Bhachu P. Dangerous Designs: Asian women fashion the diaspora economies
New York: Routledge, 2004. — 195 p. — ISBN 0-203-48149-6.
garment. Popular both on the catwalk and on the street, it made front-page news when worn by Diana, Princess of Wales and Cherie Booth, the wife of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.
In her ethnography of the local and global design economies established by Asian women fashion entrepreneurs, Parminder Bhachu focuses on the transformation of the salwaar-kameez from negatively coded ‘ethnic clothing’ to a global garment fashionable both on the margins and in the mainstream Exploring the design and sewing businesses, shops and street fashions in which this revolution has taken place, she shows how the salwaar-kameez is today at the heart of new economic micro-markets which themselves represent complex, powerfully coded means of cultural dialogue and racial politics.
The innovative designs of second-generation British Asian women are drawn from characteristically improvisational migrant cultural codes. Through their hybrid designs and creation of new aesthetics, these women cross cultural boundaries, battling with racism and redefining both Asian and British identities. At the same time, their bordercrossing commercial entrepreneurship produces new diaspora economies which give them control over many economic, aesthetic, cultural and technological resources. In this way, the processes of global capitalism are gendered, racialized and localized through the interventions of diasporic women from the margins.
Travels of the suit
Cultural narratives of the suit.
Ethnicized consumption.
Design narratives
Pioneering fashion entrepreneur: Geeta Sarin.
Second-generation design globalizer: Bubby Mahil.
Selling the nation: revivalist Indian designer Ritu Kumar.
Selling art clothes in classed markets.
Conclusion: national elites versus diaspora design entrepreneurs.
Suit marketers
Daminis: a commercial community mama’s shops.
Networking marketers of ready-made suits.
Sewing cultures: sketching and designing
Diasporic sina-prona: sewing and patterning cultures.
Designing diasporas through sketches.
Conclusion: disruptive markets from the margins.
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