‘India has given to the world:
Yoga, Chai, Spices, Mysticism, the list goes on...
And it is also one of the richest sources of inspiration for global fashion ’
India has long been a muse to the fashion industry all over the world. The quality of inspiration that designers can draw from the diverse regions is immense, and no other nation can be considered as even with the amount of surplus culture in India. With the international communities coming closer, the influence of Indian culture on international fashion has begun to flourish since the 2000s. Incomparable weaves, handcrafting techniques, the embroidery as well as a rich history of art and culture only makes India a vast pool of ideas to draw creativity, expertise and innovation from.
Right from the ancient India headwear to beautiful embellished jutties, designers from all over the world have portrayed the culture of India on runways and aced it. Here are a few of our favorite designers who nailed it at their attempts!
MOI draws influence from the rich design and artisanal heritage of India. In a time when fashion and its narratives are influenced by the west and India is portrayed as a land of kitsch and flamboyance, we are striving to push the boundary and offer products with a layer of sophistication and minimalism.
On that note, here are some brands that nailed the India-Inspired looks- and we have reimagined them styled with some of our designs, hope you enjoy!
HERMÉS SPRING 2008
‘The two versions of India represented here were colonial India and India as an exotic land.’
The collection designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, expectedly bordered on campiness, with the models sporting turbans made of lamé, crocodile skin and silk.
Even though the two versions that the brand picked were slightly cliche, the clothes looked absolutely chic and luxurious. Colonial elements included Jodhpuri pants and riding boots which quite suited the brand’s legacy. Nehru Jacket was another luxe highlight that came in a variety of colors, and Indian jewel tones as well.
(Hermès, Spring/Summer 2008, Jewelry L-R: Jaipur Ring, Turkish Earrings, Perle Ear Studs, Jackie Pearl Line, Elizabeth Bracelet, Tahiti Earrings, Miranda Bracelet, Zoe Clip-on Earrings)
ELIE SAAB COUTURE SPRING 2016
‘Inspired by the wardrobe of an aristocrat visiting colonial India, the collection had Indian and Edwardian influences in equal measure.’
Sari-inspired silhouettes were followed by high-necked shirts, Nehru collars by caped gowns.
The clothes were feminine, intricate and beautiful, all staple features of Elie Saab couture. What was a stunner was how the clothes went beyond an outsider’s view of India during British colonisation. The opulence and richness of Indian embroidery and embellishment found a fitting place in an impeccably handcrafted couture collection.
(Elie Saab Couture, S/S 2016, Jewelry L-R: Slate Ring, Slate Earrings, December Ear Studs, Marrakesh Choker, December Ear Hoops, Mojito Ring, Ivy Bracelet, Chicago Hoops)
MARCHESA SPRING 2013
‘Right from Indian drapes like sari and long, full skirts to the use of jeweled, gilded embellishments and brocade - this collection was an absolute example of Indian sartorial traditions and that tiny hint of Bollywood glam.’
The collection seamlessly blended its Indian influences with the dreamy Marchesa aesthetic. The Indian touch was also visible in the colour palette that included deep red, rani pink, sunset orange, pale green and inky blue. While a few looks just didn’t hit the mark, the draped sari-like wispy gowns and the South Indian mundu-inspired white and gold dress were definite favorites!
(Marchesa, S/S 2013, Jewelry L-R: Flower of Life Ring, Flower of Life Ear Studs, Nur Choker, Kochi Hoop Earrings, Ann Magnolia Earrings, Jaipur Ring, Turkish Earrings, Paris Ring)
STELLA JEAN FALL 2015
‘The colourful and wide-ranging motifs included everything from Indian architecture and auto rickshaws to decorated Himayalan yaks, barbershops and pom poms.’
Stella Jean is one name in the fashion industry that has been known to draw influences from geographical locations to borrow prints, atmosphere and color. She also loves mixing multi-cultural influences to create an eclectic aesthetic. For this collection, a part of her inspiration was the Himalayas. Deliberately avoiding an imperialist gaze, she was instead taken by Indian kitsch.
The Himalayan influences were blended superbly with her usual Haitian and Italian ones. Silhouettes included staples of western wear, especially of Stella Jean — dresses, balloon skirts, slouchy pants, knits and long coats. It was a wild, colourful, eccentric explosion of a collection that saw some deft layering of winter wear — another feature perhaps borrowed from Himalayan sherpas. The whimsical use of pom poms was breath-taking!
(Stella Jean, Fall 2015, Jewelry L-R: Paris Earrings, Matte Gold Ring, Hexa Enamel Studs, Elements of Life Pendant, Nizam Ring, Nizam Ear Studs, Elements of Life Bangle, December Ear Studs)
CHANEL PRE-FALL 2012
‘ Lagerfeld’s pre-fall collection titled Paris-Bombay was created with Lagerfeld never having visited India.Hence, a whiff of fantasy of India’s perceived exoticism was evident throughout.’
Trying to capture the excesses of the Maharajas in the last days of the British colonisation, the collection tried to recreate the decadence of the rich few who over-indulged themselves even in the midst of political chaos. However, this wasn’t the political comment Lagerfeld was making. His aim in fact, was to subvert the assumption that intricate handworked embroidery can only be found in India — after all, all the lavish and detailed ‘India-inspired’ work in this collection was done at the Chanel ateliers in Paris.
This was a collection of creative excesses – tweed jackets dripping with pearls, dresses worn over boots that worked as leggings, draped skirts, raw silk and brocade tunics and pants, and heaps of gold and silver embroidery. Particularly the looks that paired Parisian-chic dressing with the intricate jewellery and the pops of rani pink, that quintessentially highlighted the Indian colour we a few typical highlights of the collection.
(Chanel, Pre-Fall 2012, Jewelry L-R: Hyderabad Choker, Hyderabad Maang Tika, Tanzanite Ring, Rory Gilmore Earrings, Nargis Pearl Necklace, Audrey Pearl Ring, Marrakesh Choker, Miranda Bracelet)
JEAN PAUL GAULTIER HAUTE COUTURE F/W 2017-18
‘During the show in Paris, models were seen wearing stylized versions of the nath, which were popular during the times of maharajas.’
In India a stud called Phul or a ring known as Nath is usually worn in the left nostril, it’s sometimes joined to the ear by a chain, and in some places both nostrils are pierced.It has globally inspired many variants. Notably, the nath version has become popular, as seen in this adaptation by the famous international designer.
(Jean Paul Gaultier, Haute Couture, F/W 2017-18, Showcasing Nath, Jewelry L-R: Miranda Bracelet, Slate Ring, Monaco Necklace, Slate Earrings, Jaipur Ring, Ivy Bracelet)