Thursday, November 30, 2006

postheadericon Are Indian Designers Stepping up to the World Stage?

The other day, my youngest daughter, who prides herself on being very fashionable -she's only 11 years old- :) asked me to name a few Indian designers who had made it big on the international stage - to my great shame I couldn't think of anyone.

I know that henna, kurtis, embroidered Indian shawls, mohjaris, decorated table runners, brocade bedspreads etc., have been hot ethnic trends for years, and while they may be imported from India with the "made in India" stamp on it, they are usually brought to the west by international companies like Pier 1 Imports, French Connection, Old Navy and countless others. There are also little ethnic boutiques in Brampton (if you live in Ontario) that stock creations by Indian designers, but this is mostly for sale to Indian expats and do not cater to other sectors of the global market.

However, last year Ashish N. Soni was the very first Indian designer to debut his work at the New York's fashion week, so hopefully more will follow.Soni's creations are now sold in select boutiques across Europe and the United States. BTW, all these pictures are creations of Ashish Soni from the display at the New York Fashion Week.

This is what Soni had to say in New York:

"I am very proud to be Indian and I think that subtle Indian references or flavors naturally creep into my work," he says. "However, they are never in your face and require a trained eye to spot them."

"India is a very important resource for designers for fabric, embroidery, and production accessories," says Roopal Patel, senior women's fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman. "But there is a difference between being a great resource for fabric, production, and textile, and a great source of fashion designers. The challenge for many Indian designers is to be able to address a more global market and global customers."

Well, let's hope our designers take up the gauntlet and reach out to an international market - I think the world is more than ready for Indian designers to show off their wares.
Sandeep Khosla, Rohit Bal, Tarun Tahiliani, are you listening?


beenzzz said...

I love her use of Indian fabrics with western styles. The fusion is just wonderful. I didn't know there were any manistream Indian fashion designers either! Thanks for letting me know.
My daughter thinks she's really fashionable too. tee hee. Our daughters are funny, aren't they? :)

ML said...

Great fashion, and I can see the Indian influence in them. And like the designer said "without being in my face"

Great post!

Asha said...

Great post and info, Lotus! Good to know so many talented fashion designer coming out of india to world arena:))

I can't see your other blog posts for some reason.I will be back check again.I was on a short break, back now.

Amy said...

Indian designers have so much inspiration to work with, i'm surprised they haven't taken over from the Italians yet! We have a few Indian dress shops down here though and it's so expensive! My housemate travels to India every year and she said it's cheaper to go and get the real thing! BUt yes, i'm surprised that i can't name any Indian designers...although my knowledge of fashion is limited to Donatella Versace cause she's always on tv!

Sugarlips said...

No doubt stuff from Pakistan & India looks gr8 with western style...I simply love it...My house is a mix & match of both :) I'm thinking to post my home pics on blog sometime soon & I'm a regular customer of Pier1 Imports & Bombay :)

My fav. Indian designers are Satya Paul(She designs the BEST sari's ever) & Manesh Malhotra.

Stay Beautiful..!!

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, beenzzz Don't you just wish one could package the confidence of an 11-year old and sell it? This is such a wonderful age, an age where they believe they can do no wrong...sadly in the years following they start to doubt themselves and insecurities start to creep in. Thanks for the comment, glad you like the fusion - it's my favorite style, too.

Hi, ml Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking. It has just enough to attract the Indian customer and not too much so as to put off the western customer - his clothes are very wearable.

Hi, Asha

Sorry that my blog's misbehavin'! Can you see it when you use Mozilla?

Hi, Amy

Great observations! The Indians really do have a gold mine of fabric and designs to work with it seems really odd that they haven't made it big on the international stage. I think one big factor is exposure. The expense of hosting a fashion show in, let's say, New York, is prohibitive for many young designers, but I am sure there are other ways they can do this.

Sugarlips When I was a teenager in India I remember that video cassettes with Pakistani serials were such a hit, not so much because we were interested in the soap operas but because we would copy the Pakistani style of clothes which always seemed more chic and cutting edge! I still adore the salwaar styles from there...sigh!

Sugarlips said...

Lotus yeah I love Pakistani style Shalwar Kameez hot hot specially short shurts ;) & Indian style Saris :) I'm gonna go to Pak next yr so stay tune will bring for ya :) How cool is that han? :D

Stay Beautiful...!!

Lotus Reads said...

Sugarlips You're such a darling! I'd love one but only if I can bring you back something you like when I go to India next, deal? :)

hellomelissa said...

maybe s will grow up to be one of the indian-inspired designers showing fashion on the runway! now wouldn't THAT be cool?

Lotus Reads said...

Oh my goodness, Melissa, that would be simply delightful - being your daughter, she definitely will have the talent as well as interest in the sub-continent! She'd have to go on buying trips to India, you and I could tag along and have the time of our lives! ;)

Beloved Dreamer said...

Just love the look of all these clothed. Wish I could wear them. My oldest sad, no way but what does he know. lol


Sruthi said...

lotus i keep forgetting to check this blog! i like some of those clothes, do you watch project runway? Some of the things they make are pretty nice. I wonder who decides on the clothing in indian movies (particularly tamil movies) because the clothes are horrible. They're ill-fitting, the wrong color, the wrong patterns, clothes too hindi movies they have people wearing tight clothes too but somehow they fit better than in tamil movies. I'd like to see an indian designer on project runway, because i'd probably follow them more that way than if I were to look at their work independently.

Sugarlips said...

Done deal? Its done done done !!