India has spurred the imagination of the biggest names in the international fashion world, be it Alexander McQueen’s India-inspired collection launched in 2010, Karl Lagerfeld’s dramatic Paris-Bombay collection or French shoe designer Christian Louboutin’s Bollywood shoes, And now, at Arken, the Danish contemporary art museum, the first ever fashion exhibit features the work of seven Indian fashion designers— Manish Arora, Morphe by Amit Aggarwal, Little Shilpa, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Prashant Verma, Varun Sardana and 11.11 by Cell DSGN, fashion studio by designers Shani Himanshu and Smita Singh Rathore.
The exhibition that started on August 18 will be on till January 13 and is titled ‘India: Fashion Show.’
The museum has picked up the most imaginative, quirky and sculptural creations of these designers, with a subtle reference to Indian culture. “The Indian fashion creators are leaving their imprint everywhere in the international fashion world. You see Katy Perry and Oh Land in star designer Manish Arora’s playful creations, Lady Gaga in Little Shilpa’s sculptural designs and Naomi Campbell on the catwalk in Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s fantastic dresses. It’s a veritable cornucopia of spectacular and breathlessly beautiful creations that the seven Indian designers are presenting in ARKEN’s exhibition,” the museum’s director Christian Gether says in the official statement.
In collaboration with the Danish broadcasting corporation DR, ARKEN has also made a portrait film on Manish Arora, that will be telecasted at the exhibition.
Manish Arora known for his quirky designs peppered with kitsch, Arora has made his mark on the international fashion scene. Arora has been regularly featuring at the Paris fashion week. He has also been the creative director of the traditional Parisian fashion house Paco Rabanne, and has dressed up celebs such as Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry." "I am exhibiting garments from different international collections of mine which have been showcased on the Paris runway. We have also designed bags and t-shirts which will be used by Arken for the entire exhibition," shares Arora.
Amit Aggarwal:Designer Amit Aggarwal’s label Morphe has gained international recognition after participation at trade fairs in London and Paris. His collection displayed at Arken features garments inspired from organic shapes and forms. Aggarwal who was present at the opening of the fashion exhibit says, "I was delighted to see the fabulous response Indian designers got at the exhibit. We had nearly 300 visitors in the first two hours."
Shilpa Chavan:Installation artist, milliner, fashion stylist and accessories designer Shilpa Chavan aka Little Shilpa is known for her fun, elaborate headgears. Chavan makes good use of mundane objects such as empty plastic bottles, rubber chappals, and discarded toys by turning them into amazing fashion pieces that find place on the model’s body. Her outlandish headgears which even caught the fancy of Lady Gaga are quite an attraction at the show.
Pashant Verma:rained at the fashion houses of Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, John Galliano and Christian Dior, this young designer teams up signature digital prints, old school embroideries, knitwear and leather with sculptural silhouettes. His collection titled The Bhagavad draws inspiration from the holy scripture of the Hindus, the Bhagavad Gita. “It feels great to participate in the exhibition and let the world see the greatness of Gita”, he says.
Varun Sardana:The youngest designer to be signed up by French showroom, MC2 Diffusion, Sardana has been showing his collections through the MC2 Diffusion Showroom in Paris during Paris Fashion Week . He uses age-old couture techniques in fun ways in his designs. Sardana is exhibiting garments from his Autumn/Winter 2010-11, in which he has used a colour palette of blacks, with accessories and makeup bringing in colour.
11.11 bycelldsgn:Shani Himanshu and Smita Singh Rathore’s label 11.11 is inspired by cross-cultural interactions. They have worked as consultants with brands such as Diesel, Levis and Nigel Preston. 11.11’s collection- Out of Mind, exhibited at the museum has an intriguing theme — insanity. “The garments crafted out of cotton silks, delicate cotton gauzes, and sheer gossamer cotton tapes reflect the esoteric nature of the mind and its mysteries,” they say.
Sabyasachi Mukherjee:He is known for using Indian textiles in a modern context. You get to see liberal use of the best of Indian crafts —bandhani, gota work, bagru print and hand dyeing in his contemporary silhouettes. Also a Bollywood costume designer, he got the National Award in 2005 for the best costume design for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film Black. “You see a revival of craftsmanship happening in the world. India is making it’s mark with its cornucopia of traditional crafts. I’m happy that Denmark is recognising Indian craft,” he says.