In the US, First Lady Michelle Obama has helped her favourite fashion brands earn $2.7 billion by just wearing them at public events, according to an analyst at the Stern School of Business. Now, with Mrs O set to arrive in Delhi, Indian designers, too, are raring to get an opportunity to dress her. We got our desi designers to make exclusive sketches of what they'd like her to wear, given that her chances of wearing an Indian label are high. After all, one of her favourite designers - Prabal Gurung - was educated at NIFT in the Capital.
"Not only is Mrs Obama a very stylish woman but she is also someone who can carry Indian contemporary Indian silhouettes really well," says Nikhil Mehra of label Shantanu & Nikhil. "There is no stereotype in her sense of dressing. She likes to explore and experiment keeping her own flavor intact," says designer Nida Mahmood. It's also her innate ability to mix and match which Indian designers feel is why she can carry of their creations with elan.
"She always stands apart with her choice of dressing and accessorizing. Her fashion sense is subtle, warm and sophisticated," says designer Payal Jain.
While designer Anand Bhushan feels that even if Michelle wears an Indian designer, the look should stay true to what's her personal style. "You can't really see her in traditional zari worked sari. But she'd be ideal for the amazing contemporary designs coming out of India. More than going very atypically Indian, the challenge for an Indian designer would be to craft something that is in tune with her aesthetics," he adds. And looking at the designs these four inherently Indian labels have exclusively churned out for Mrs O, we wouldn't be surprised if Mrs O goes back with a lot of extra baggage from this trip.
Shantanu & Nikhil
We thought of a long jacket inspired by the silk Nehru jacket in sindoor red for her. with black tone of texture created through Indian motifs and appliqué of leather at the bottom. The silhouette would be cinched at the waist and slightly flared, as she doesn't seem to like flowy garments.
A modern re-interpretation of the power suit for women would be ideal for Mrs O. The suit in Indian linen is detailed with modern embroidery in the form of graphical cubes, while the silhouette isn't too sharp as she tends to favours clothes she would feel at ease in.
A structured, hand woven silk brocade jacket with motifs designed to depict the resplendent heritage of India. This would be paired with slim gold silk pants to accent he figure, teamed with a deep rich burgendy pashmina stole wrapped around her neck.
Taking a bit of India onto a western silhouette for her would be perfect. The bright colours with the matchbox print are synonymous of India in more ways than one. It spells Indian popular culture and it has a beautiful synergy with the nuances of India.