Figurative designs in the form of bandhani - an Indian print in existence right from the Indus Valley civilisation, royal patolas weaved into patterns, and Batik with its earthy palette are some of the Indian fashion patterns that have found their way on global ramps. Right from achkans to Jodhpur pants to Indian brocade, the fashion world has borrowed more than a tad of inspiration from the Indian trends. We caught up with fashion designers who have been religiously uplifting Indian culture through their patterns and motifs and the results are simply fab!
What sets Indian fashion designers apart?
“Personally for me,” says Nancy Arora, Co-Founder of Label Ishnya, “it used to be an uphill task to find ready-to-wear Indian ensembles which were trendy, comfortable plus easy to maintain and while we discussed this, the idea of starting Ishnya germinated. A pret brand that offers ready-to-wear Indian wear.”
Along with Sandeep Sachdev, they have together created a label that uplifts the Indian culture. “Fashion in India is thriving at all times. The industry is so well webbed and sufficient with ace karigars, tailors, fabric printers giving us the opportunity to sketch and immerse ourselves in creating fresh ensembles,” they say.
The duo work towards curating semi-formal Indian wear with clean silhouettes, ingenious craft techniques and varied designs. Fashion to them is an engagement of all the senses and so, recreating the trends with their own twist comes naturally. “We are enthralled with fashion and our creation process is detailed. Right from selecting the right raw fabric, sketching the prints to fine-tuning the embellishments, cuts and silhouettes, it is an extensive process, but we are heartily invested.”
“With its commitment towards beautiful minimalist designs, 'Ishnya' is working towards providing women with exclusivity in their wardrobe that does not come with a hefty price tag. The idea behind starting the brand was to curate and present ensembles for the millennial woman.” - Nancy Arora and Sandeep Sachdev
A core reason why designers all over the world opt for Indian fabric and material is the royal feel it provides. At Label Ishnya, while experimenting with fabrics and silhouettes, a strong emphasis is laid on designs that spell ‘comfort’. “We also emphasize innovating and adding some freshness and twists so that women enjoy wearing them as much as we enjoy creating them. So in terms of colour palettes and fabric embroideries, we are committed to offering something which stands out.”
How do fashion designers experiment with Indian patterns?
Some secrets are passed down from generation to generation, some are celebrated as a legacy, believes Amayra Couture - vision of three generations of a family, who have come together to offer a bespoke clothing line for women across all age groups. Founder Priyanka Yashraj Potphode says Indian being a country of diversity, has something unique and creative at every turn. “It’s easy to pick up motifs, inspiration and ideas from every moving city and every culture. At the same time, it is very crucial and important to stick to the design and your choice of client base.”
“Each of us– no matter how young or old, deserves a little pampering, just #LikeAPrincess.” - Amayra Couture
According to the brand, in order to experiment with Indian fashion and designs, there are three crucial things to bear in mind.
- Understand who you truly are, whether you are a Sabyasachi or a Manish Malhotra. This is will help you get clarity about what your design theory is like
- Understand your own self and what you wish for the brand to reflect
- Understand your client needs and what the market requires from your brand to set it apart from others
- Understand your location in order to purpose your designs with the demographic
How does Indian culture play a part in designs?
For Debjani Ray Chaudhuri, her upbringing and cultural outlook play an important role in her designs. “I have grown up reading literature and films of Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen and my work being heavily influenced by Bengali culture determines my designs.”
“The tagline of my brand is 'Revisiting childhood'. So my patrons follow me because when they buy something, they buy a story that pines back to their childhood with a hint of mundane daily life tales.” - Debjani Raychaudhuri
“My inspirations,” she says, “come from a daily lifestyle, my multicultural upbringing, films music and artwork that plays a pivotal role in my personal growth.”