Indian fashion designers may be overlooked by the global community, but they are some of the most talented designers yet. Year after year, Indian fashion has been getting bigger and better. From legends like Ritu Kumar to emerging talents like Payal Singhal, Indian designers are booming with beautiful designs, innovative ideas, and the effortless blending between traditional styles and modern aesthetics.
The Indian fashion industry is booming and is beginning to gain more popularity around the world. With young Bollywood actresses like Priyanka Chopra and Sonam Kapoor taking a step into the Western world, people are becoming aware that Indian fashion consists of more than just the sari. India is a diverse nation with many different sub-cultures, thus the style of clothing from coast to coast differs as well. From saris to churidars to salwar kameezs to lenghas to kurtis to shararas, there is so much to offer. India isn’t just home to fabrics and textiles but is home to couture fashion as well.
Here are the 6 Indian designers that you need to follow in your desi fashion life:
1. Sabyasachi Mukerjee. REGAL.
This Kolkata-based designer has been making waves in the fashion industry for years. His gorgeous creations are a fusion of different styles inspired by his hometown as well as antique textiles, Romani people, and desert landscapes. He describes his unique designs as “personalized imperfections of the human hand“. Sabyasachi uses unusual fabrics, intricate patchwork, vibrant embellishments, earthy tones, block-printing, hand dying, gotawork and bandhani to use traditional Indian textiles in a modern way. His bridal collection has gained immense of popularity, as well as his western clothing inspired by colourscapes of French impressionists like Monet and Henry Matisse. Personally, Sabyasachi is my all-time favourite designer.
2. Manish Malhotra. UNAPOLOGETIC GLAMOUR.
London-born and Mumbai-raised Manish Malhotra is India’s most loved fashion designer. From Bollywood to Hollywood, Manish is known for his extravagance. He has literally redefined and modernized Indian fashion with his luxurious and contemporary style that fuses with traditional Indian colours, fabrics and embroidery. He has been the costume designer of over 1000 Bollywood films, has created bridal wear for high profile personalities and has a place on the international fashion table with his eponymous couture label. His designs exhibit elegance, femininity and romance.
3. Masaba Gupta. FLAMBOYANT.
As one of the youngest designers in Indian fashion and the daughter of famous Bollywood actress Neena Gupta and West Indian cricketer Viv Richards, Masaba is a force to reckon with. She is extremely popular with the younger Bollywood crowd with her unconventional prints, effortless look and use of Hindi and Tamil scripts. Masaba has taken traditional Indian aesthetics and mixed it with a contemporary touch to basically create art. Each creation is bold, quirky, feminine, and fun. Masaba uses muslin and cotton to create her masterpieces, which is very unique compared to other designers in the game. She has literally risen to the top with her unparalleled creativity.
4. Anushree Reddy. FRESH.
Anushree Reddy’s began her brand in 2010 and has now formed an empire. Her vintage, romantic and colourful designs are absolutely gorgeous and refreshing. She has effortlessly combined Victorian florals and Indian techniques to create an elegant, youthful and wearable collection. Her pieces consist of elaborate silhouettes, bright pastels, zardosi work, raw silks, and extreme attention to detail. Her most popular pieces are flowing lenghas with an embroidered choli with tassels. Anushree’s collections can be described as feminine, ornate and pretty.
5. Payal Singhal. CONTEMPORARY.
This New York-based designer offers collections ranging from casual wear to bridal wear and Indian to Western designs. Payal is multifaceted, thus loved around the world for her talent in creating sophisticated designs that allude confidence, sensibility and timelessness. Her eclectic designs showcasing the perfect mix of Mumbai’s Indian heritage and New York’s cutting-edge style. Payal has become a sensation on both sides of the world, and rightfully so. Just at the age of 15, she was awarded the Shoppers Stop Designer of the Year Award, hence established her prodigious talent. It’s no surprise that the daughter of award-winning Dinesh Singhal and granddaughter of renowned Indian artist J.P. Singhal is taking the world by storm.
6. Rohit Bal. EXTRAVAGANCE.
In 1996, Time magazine titled Rohit Bal as ‘India’s Master of fabric and fantasy’. His dramatic patterns, earthy tones, meticulous attention to detail has made him one of the best designers in Indian fashion. His opulent grandeur comes from his use of rich fabrics, such as velvet and brocade, as well as the use of glitzy embroidery in lotus and peacock motifs. His handiwork is next to perfection. Rohit has created pieces based on Indian royalty and modern art, which all have received attention from an impressive clientele including Naomi Campbell, Uma Thurman, Pamela Anderson and the largest Bollywood names.
So who’s your favourite designer? Let me know in the comments below!