The Indian designers are incessantly working towards incorporating western and more contemporary silhouettes into classic Indian attires.
Meanwhile International runways are putting forth collections inspired by Indian opulence. It is interesting to see a perspective of Indian inspired fashion, through the famed creativity of world renowned international fashion designers.
In the new millennium the acclaimed designers like Chanel, McQueen, Hermes, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton have all presented collections rife with Indian-ness.
The Bollywood digital prints, mirror embellishments, vibrant combinations and disco pants could be traced to Indian movies of the 70’s and 80’s. The Indian inspired fashion celebrated kitsch in all its glory in the 2005 Milan fashion show.
The designer’s couture collection evoked the Princes and the Maharajahs. The Jodhpurs, turbans and blingy achkans ruled the ramps alongside the Princes of the colonial era. While the Indian fashion shows are all about exquisite bridal outfits, it is interesting to see an exaggeration of Indian male outfits on female forms in the West. Jean Paul Gaultier’s presentation of Indian inspired fashion seeped with ostentation.
In 2008, Jean Paul Gaultier's ready to wear collection was a tribute to India. The Indian inspired fashion collection started off with androgynous outfits that were inspired by quintessentially male Indian attires like the Jodhpur pants, Nehru jackets and bandgalas. The outfits transitioned to more feminine fluid outfits like tunics, saree inspired drapes and gowns. The turban twisted headgears further enhanced the Indian feel.
John Galliano’s Indian inspired fashion was a resort line which exemplified nuances like bright tones, blingy borders, paisley prints and Indian brocade type fabrics.
Alexander McQueen’s collection was spun on the ideology of the ‘British royalty of the colonial times meeting Indian regality’. One of the gowns had an interesting maroon saree drape and mermaid like fall, was a creative and not to mention very well received masterpiece. Brocades, embroideries and Indian motifs like peacocks and paisleys united with the Victorian flounce of the skirt. The visible use of head jewellery underlined the presentation of Indian inspired fashion.
The Jodhpurs are making a constant presence in Giorgio Armani’s menswear collections in a refined Raghavendra Rathore style. The designer‘s Indian inspired fashion are seamlessly blending into the mainstream international fashion circuit. The Spring Summer 2009 took inspiration from the scarf donning traditional men of India. The trousers and shorts also showed the heavy influence of the Indian dhoti.
To celebrate its special Indian connection from the times when Indian Maharajahs used to order trunks and luggage from the luxury brand, Louis Vuitton came out with an Indian inspired collection. This unique collection was launched during the Hindu Festival, Diwali in 2010 in its stores, across the world.
The setup for the store display window was conceived in India in collaboration with Rajeev Sethi, the Indian artist working towards modernisation of Indian arts. The Indian inspired fashion collection revamped vintage sarees, sourced from cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore. The sarees were transformed into contemporary skirts, dresses and shorts designed by the ace designer, Marc Jacobs.
Louis Vuitton also created custom fabrics in cotton and silk that year, with the assistance of traditional Indian craftsmen who weaved the label’s famed hologram onto the Indian fabrics.
Karl Lagerfeld brought Coco Chanel’s Indian vision of outfits from the fifties and sixties to the runway of Paris for the autumn winter 2012-13 collection. The models walked the runway, which was set between tables spread out for high tea, and they were bejewelled with stranded necklaces and head pieces. The Indian inspired fashion from Chanel embraced the concept of easy to wear making use of skirts, tunics, jackets, leggings and pants against the flowy Indian sarees.
The Indian vision that Marchesa presented through her attires was indeed delightful. It was impossible to believe that the creator of the collection was foreign to India. The design embedded Indian-ness to the core with meticulously encrusted crystals and carefully crafted drapes. The play of hues through the red and white, white and gold, maroon and gold combinations aroused ethnicity from various regions of the country. Georgina Chapman and Karen Craig’s Indian inspired fashion tunics and gowns had brought India alive on the ramps of New York.
Vera Wang’s spring 2013 collection titled Out of India was an ode to Indian texture and fabrics. Her Indian inspired fashion thoughtfully presented the fabric dimensions on the global stage of New York. The contemporary minimalism of Vera Wang adopted the Indian feel in her signature style. The designer stayed away from predominantly Indian silhouettes and used laced layers, fitted jackets and flares in skirts. For untrained eyes it would be difficult to spot the Indian connection but the designer unabashedly proclaimed the source of her inspiration. The colour palette that moved from white to brighter tones also reverberated the spirit of India.
From Yves Saint Laurent, Armani to Valentino the International fashion scene is blooming with Indian inspired fashion. This sudden burgeoning of Indian affinity can be accredited to the growing Indian market for designer wear. A huge welcoming market like India cannot be ignored by the well known international labels who are always seeking out the potential for expansion.
The international label stores are also performing well in the Emporio Mall of New Delhi and other locations in Indian metropolises. This has led to elaborate plans from the international designers to channel the new-age Indian’s fashion craze. Furthermore the Indian inspired fashion creations with contemporary ideologies appeal to the sensibilities of a global Indian.
The Western connoisseurs of fashion always felt a pull towards Indian attires but the wearability factor hindered the acceptance. The recent adaptable trends introduced by the modern Indian fashion designers have opened up the possibility of an Indian outfit. These modern outfits are also influencing the International designers in a big way. The reasons may be myriad but the fact that cannot be ignored is that Indian inspired fashion is getting its due recognition and maybe it’s just the beginning!
Image source: www.vogue.com, www.livingly.com