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Ethnic touch to global fashion

For a while now, the west has been incorporating Indie-chic styles in its collections. Has the Indian fashion gone truly global?

fashion and trends Updated: Dec 12, 2011 15:11 IST
Shara Ashraf

For a while now, the west has been incorporating Indie-chic styles in its collections. Has the Indian fashion gone truly global?

When a fashion maestro like Karl Lagerfeld chooses to depict India in his latest extravaganza, it comes as a reaffirmation of the fact that Indian fashion is the latest inspiration to wow the west.

The latest Chanel extravaganza — Paris-Bombay show that was held on Tuesday during the Metiers D’Art show in Paris, presented a jaw dropping smorgasbord of Indian motifs, fabrics, colours and jewellery.

Lagerfeld brilliantly metamorphosed saris into sari gowns, Anarkali kurtas and maharajas coats into dresses and churidaars into churidaar pants, while embroidered pearls, matte gold and silver detailing lend a regal touch to the outfits.

Maangtikas, naths, kamar bandh, haath phool and rani haar, that the models wore, were equally exquisite.

India ahoy
Indian designers say it’s a great time for Indian fashion and we will see a re-run of Indian fashion globally in the coming years.

“Lagerfeld’s stunning interpretation of India – simple yet effective, has set a trend that world is going to follow,” says designer Rina Dhaka.

“India is one of the few civilisations with the richest custom history. Be it the Mohenjo-daro civilisation, the Mughals, the devdasis of South India or the Maharajas of Kashmir, they’ve always had something to offer to the western designers,” adds Dhaka.

Rich history
The reason why India continues to inspire the west is the rich cultural heritage that our fashion offers.

Designer Puja Nayyar says, “It goes back to the 90’s when designers like Jean Paul Gaultier started using coloured textures and Indian technique. We may be impressed by the Italian finish and fabrics but they are in awe of things like block printing.”

Designer Anupama Dayal says, “India has emerged as a promising market too, so we have reached a stage where Indian fashion can not be ignored.”

Not just designer labels, global celebs too, are showing an increasing penchant for ethnic Indian styling, giving us an impression that soon a maangtika may become as global as a trenchcoat.

At the Ferragamo museum in Florence, I saw a huge installation of Indian bride with all the traditional finery
Anupama Dayal, designer

India has a rich costume history that impresses the west. The Indian inspiration is apparent everywhere today
Rina Dhaka, designer

I have closely worked with Alexander Mcqueen, who would find our indigenous craft very seductive
Puja Nayyar, designer



Indian fashion goes global
In the past too, we have seen Indian textiles and motifs spur the imagination of western designers.

Last October, Luxury French brand Hermes launched a collection of limited-edition saris priced between R4-10 lakh to set shop in India.

British fashion czar Alexander Mcqueen had India on his mind when he designed a sari dress for his Fall 2008 collection. Even French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier did an India inspired collection a few years ago featuring sari gowns, lambskin turbans and alligator skin jodhpurs.

The temples of Varanasi, the Portuguese houses in Goa and the Konark Sun Temple have fascinated him.