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Indian stamp on luxury envelope

Last season we saw Giorgio Armani going in for dhoti-pants and Jean Paul Gaultier’s sari-dresses. In fact the House of Hermes, for which Gaultier is the chief designer, came out with a fragrance inspired by the backwaters of Kerala. Global brands can’t get enough of India, reports Jaydeep Ghosh.

fashion and trends Updated: Mar 31, 2009 17:08 IST
Jaydeep Ghosh

Last season we saw Giorgio Armani going in for dhoti-pants and Jean Paul Gaultier’s sari-dresses. In fact the House of Hermes, for which Gaultier is the chief designer, came out with a fragrance inspired by the backwaters of Kerala. Well, the fascination for India goes unabated.

At the Paris Fashion Week, Balenciaga’s collection for fall 2009 was dubbed ‘Sari Silhouette’ collection. Nicolas Ghesquire of Balenciaga drew inspiration from the drape of a sari and created tulip skirts and slim Jodhpurs that were paired with Maharani tops. In an interview Ghesquire stated, “India was something that was always there in the archives of the house. But only after going there did I realise how deeply.” He was in India in the fall of 2008.

House of Dior’s fascination with India goes way back to 1950s when Christian Dior designed a sari for Princess Lillian de Belgique. At Dior’s fall 2009 Ready-To-Wear collection shown in Paris, Galliano delved into Dior archives and that meant a collection with Indian influences. Jackets appeared with Ikat prints. Coats came in purple wool with paisley-style teardrop-shaped Indian embroidery and rich brocades. And the Indian influence is not just limited to clothes. Soon Dior is launching a fragrance that is named ‘Pondicherry’.

Ricardo Tisci of Givenchy played with the sari drape too in his fall 2009 collection. Earlier the fashion house of Givenchy introduced Maharani range of colour cosmetics for summer 2009 in shades of Tangerine and Pink. Its creator Nicolas Degennes said, “I have been, sometimes without realising it, inspired by historical, traditional India — the India of symbols and thousands of Gods, where even cows and elephants are made up and ‘bejewelled’.”

At the New York Fashion Week, a young fashion label Port 1961 showed a collection inspired by the Mughal Courts of India. Silk sari dresses came down the runway in long and short versions.