British fashion designer Sir Paul Smith, who was in the Capital to meet his team and familiarise himself with the Indian public, was at his candid best during the short trip.
Though Smith did not get much time to explore the city, the designer seemed pretty impressed with the changes he noticed from his last visit, which was years back. “What a change from the last time I came to Delhi. It’s great to see Delhi becoming a lot quicker, smoother, and the infrastructure seems to have improved a lot too,” he said. Reminiscing his last visit to the city he further adds, “There were hardly any fashion stores back then, apart from the one at The Oberoi hotel. There is a phenomenal change in the shopping scenario here. Earlier, there were only government-run emporiums representing different areas of India’s culture. Now with the malls growing up here, the scenario has changed completely.”
British fashion designer in a sober mood at The Library Bar, Aman Hotel
On reminding him that his last visit must have been more than two decades ago, he shared his good experience of visiting the upmarket areas — Hauz Khas Village and his own store at the DLF Emporio Mall. “In the morning, I visited the Hauz Khas Village and it was full of good energy. I picked up an old Bollywood movie (Mughal-e-Aazam) poster as I am a big fan of good design and the poster has a distinct look to it and shall go up somewhere on my office walls.”
While, the fashion mogul praised the city, he felt that India is still to make a mark on the global fashion scene. “This will take some time but the way things are changing here, it might happen soon. I saw some Indian designers’ work, such as Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Rohit Bal, and even Pero by Aneeth Arora was very promising,” said Smith.
Talking about Indian food and garments he says, “The Indian Sari looks beautiful and even the food is good. I tried the ghosht (lamb) but it’s just that my body is not that friendly to the pepper and chillies that form a very important part of the Indian cuisine.”
Favourite garment: The suit as you can dress it up or dress it down
Favourite movie: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Favourite actor: Daniel Day Lewis
Smith’s fashion statement: A simple and anonymous suit with a wrong shirt
One place Smith wants to see in India: Chandigarh and its architecture plan
FIVE THINGS SMITH LOVED ABOUT DELHI
1. Colour: Smith loved the bright colours that are easily visible all over Delhi. He says, “There is so much colour here, whether at the sari shops, fabric stores or just the people on the streets, who wear beautiful bright colours.”
2. Nature of the Delhiites: He has visited many countries but found the city people to be very polite and warm. Smith says, “The people here have a very nice nature. They are very polite and friendly.”
3. The change: Happy to see the city go through a makeover, Smith says, “It’s nice to see the city change so quickly. It’s become more organised, which was required with so much business coming here.
4. Food: After trying an Indian ghosht (lamb) dish, he loved the food too. “The food here is great. It’s a bit spicy, but I still loved it,” he says.
5. The heritage: The city’s rich heritage impressed him too. “If you haven’t seen the heritage and witnessed the culture here, then you haven’t seen much,” he says.