Sunday, 2 December 2012

Redefining Kitsch

Ever since I opened my store in Kolkata, I have been asked a countless times what Kitsch means. Ofcourse most people think its 'kids' the first time.Then comes the plethora of unique pronunciations like Kits, Kitsech and if they're cool,its keesh like the french delicacy.The correct pronunciation being 'Kich'.
Audio Link to the Pronunciation
Even more misrepresented is the definitions of Kitsch found online.If you look up KITSCH on Wikipedia,it is defined as 'an inferior, tasteless copy of an extant style of art or a worthless imitation of art of recognized value.'
Which it was,In the 19th Century.As a descriptive term, kitsch originated in the art markets of Munich in the 1860s and the 1870s, describing cheap, popular, and marketable pictures and sketches.The concept was applied to art that was over-sentimental and melodramatic.

                                             American Kitsch in the 1950's

However,In more recent times,Kitsch art embraces and celebrates melodrama.If it's loud,colorful,folksy and completely over the top.Its Kitsch.It's so bad,it's cool.It's like how girls are always attracted to the bad boys.You know they're not good or smart,But they're so wrong that they're right.

Betsey Johnson -Queen on International Kitsch Fashion

In India,Kitsch is generally denoted through cultural references:Truck art,Nimboo Mirchi,Bollywood,Taxi art et al.It started as a desi-chic art form which was so cool because it was new and unique after a generation of modernism and art that 'meant something'.It was cool and fun and rebellious.
Truck Art Key Holder by Happily Unmarried

More recently though,It's been popularised to an extent that it's losing the POP factor.Instead of succumbing to cliches,there is a need to reinvent the same old motifs.Because,the charm of Kitsch is that it is Out of The Box even though it uses everyday icons.
Below are some pictures of my favorite Kitsch designers.Hope you found the article informative!

Nida Mahmood 
Masaba Cow Print Blazer

                                  And Ofcourse the Indian Dancer Saree by India Kitsch.:)


  1. I think I like the Indian Dancer Saree the best! ;)

    1. Thanks! But I am personally more in awe of Masaba...I just spent a bomb on the cow print blazer :)

  2. you seem to have a really lovely blog! I love Masaba, her creations are just so edgy!
    Thanks for your comment, and keep in touch!

    Shubhi's Revels!

  3. Love the ankle boots,I love Manish Arora!!

  4. I love the saree and Key holder!

    1. Thanks! The sari's by me for my store in Kolkata! Do look up the facebook page if you get the time!

  5. Hmmmm, I don't know. At least where I'm from, we still use kitsch to describe things that are slightly corny and over the top, but not in a good way. I liked this entry though haha


    1. I was talking mainly about kitsch in india where it's all the rage right now...its almost blended with pop-art in a way.I know in the international scene it is considered a lil kookie. :D

  6. kitsch for everything classy and edgy, hmm not bad. Loved those boots btw !
    Thanks so much for ur comment on my blog !

  7. It's the first time I heard of kitsch. Cool to know the different meanings in different countries! And ty for ur comment on my blog, let's keep in touch! I'm following you on GFC! ;)

    ♡ Jaslin from

  8. This is a great way to define kitsch - and the photos are lovely, too!

  9. That cow print blazer is to die for!!Such a statement piece!!

    Win a gorgeous bag from Tosca by clicking HERE


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