Fashion diva Ritu Kumar firmly believes India is becoming the flavour of the world - and proof of this is the best costume award she won at the Miss Universe contest.
"Initially, in the international market, Indian fashion was considered to be bohemian and gypsy but with changing times, our fashion trends are becoming more elegant and I feel good about it," she said.
"I feel India's time has come and look of India is really the in thing. Just see how Hollywood stars like Liz Hurley wear saris and carry it off with confidence," Kumar told IANS.
"So, it is India calling for them," she added.
As for the award, it is Kumar's second at the pageant, having been declared the first runner up in the 2000 contest at which Lara Datta was crowned Miss Universe.
"I do not know why it took so long to win at the pageant. It is always a question of contestants, judges and the person who is carrying the costume," said Kumar, who has been dressing Indian contestants at the show for the past 14 years.
Talking about the challenge of dressing Miss India Universe Simran Kaur Mundi, the designer said: "This time, I was more flamboyant and could experiment with the cuts because Simran is a tall girl and she carries my dresses very well."
The design that has done India proud is an exotic laccha-choli with a voluminous embroidered skirt in orange, purple, and gold with an underlay of zari work. Complementing this is an embroidered blouse in gold.
Kumar chuckled when speaking about the costume.
"This costume is a fusion of a Bollywood item number and Indian tradition. I am happy that this fusion of ideas has paid off," she said.