With Dior hosting their AW23 collecting on a landmark runway in Mumbai as well as the NMACC Gala being hosted last week inviting stars such as Gigi Hadid and Emma Chamberlin, is India finally being seen by the Western community as a big contender in the luxury fashion market?
Dior’s latest Pre-fall 23 runway celebrated India’s artisanship with beautiful designs linking back to India’s heritage and role in manufacturing European high fashion. “India’s impact on Western fashion has been a complicated and layered history of admiration, appropriation, exploitation, and celebration.”
Are we going to see more luxury runway shows in India? Are we going to see more of an influence on the style and design of our garments as techniques such as block printing, mirror embroidery, and appliqué become a trend?
Hopefully, the admiration of these beautiful techniques will be appreciated, and India’s designs will get the spotlight and recognition they deserve.
Dior milestone Mumbai show
With the historic Gateway of India lit up as the backdrop for the French luxury house Dior Pre-Fall 2023 collection, it was clear that the location was the true inspiration for the runway and the garments. Dior showcased traditional Indian techniques such as block printing, mirror embroidery, tie-dye, and appliqué. Regarding luxury labels, they usually choose one of the big four (Paris, Milan, London, New York) to present their collections. Dior is the first to include India in one of its seasonal shows, making this a landmark show, hopefully pathing the way for other luxury fashion houses to join. Indian shoppers disposable income increased by 23% last year, opening up a new field of luxury consumers.
Stars flock from miles to attend the NMACC Gala
Bollywood and Hollywood’s stars flocked to the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre opening party in Mumbai. Celebrities include Rekha to Zendaya, Priyanka Chopra to Gigi Hadid, Sonam Kapoor to Emma Chamberlain, and Kriti Sanon to Penelope Cruz. Many people were wondering what influencers such as Emma Chamberlin were doing at this event however, it was a clever way of slowly introducing Western stars to these events.
Many celebrities are flown all around Europe and the USA for film premieres and galas such as this one, but not many are attended in India. There can be a stereotype that mainly Indian stars are only invited to these events, but this event bridged the gap. Not only did the likes of Gigi Hadid and Zendaya attend, but they were also styled in gorgeous Indian formal wear adorned with embellishments designed by the country’s leading designers.
Gigi Hadid, wore a golden sari drape jacket and skirt by Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla, was embroidered in crystals, sequins and metallic threads by artisans in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. While Zendaya wore couture creations by Rahul Mishra in a midnight blue sari-inspired skirt and bralette embroidered with stars.
Guests were also shown a preview of the costume exhibition celebrating the impact that traditional Indian dress and craft had on international fashion. “I spent two-and-half-years curating this show with Hamish,” Kinmoth says. “Before then, I don’t think I fully knew the force of Indian fashion.” The rooms were filled with celebration for the sari, showcasing the influence of the silhouette and textiles on many luxury fashion houses dating back to the 18th century, with the likes of couturiers such as Coco Chanel and Christian Dior.
The influence of Indian artisanship in Europe
Luxury European brands have come to India for inspiration repeatedly; some would say under-appreciating India’s long-standing role in manufacturing European high fashion. However, with Dior’s latest fall show in Mumbai and the growing power of Indian luxury consumers, we are starting to see an appreciation and acknowledgment of Indian artisanship and style. In a recent interview with the owner of Indian-based streetwear brand by Bhasin, we wanted to know first-hand how they think Indian fashion and culture are shaping Western fashion.
“India has always been influential in the fashion scene, but it has always been on the back end of things when we look at it from a global perspective. Luxury brands have always come to India time and again for the craftsmanship and creativity that the Indian artisans have and with the Dior show happening in India and giving the Indian artisans the credit that they deserve I think there is a first step towards doing that”, owner Sachi Bhasin replies.
“Besides that, Indian cinema is also finally being recognised on a global level (RRR to name one) and Indian cinema and fashion have forever gone hand in hand. Some of the global brand ambassadors like Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone (for Cartier and Louis Vuitton) Alia Bhatt, have already been influential in the fashion and movie scene. Meanwhile, in India, upcoming brands are not shying away from being unique and experimental. Gen Z is so much more creative and open in terms of trends. Indian Content creators, fashion influencers, and brands like Dhruv Kapoor are representing at global fashion weeks.”.
Bybhasin have recently started to market their brand in the UK, and we wanted to know the influence of Indian artisanship on streetwear in Europe,
“But I’ve definitely seen growth, I feel bybhasin is very much in line with the current fashion scene and GenZ style in UK. The colours, prints, craftsmanship and bold designs are really appreciated and are breath of fresh air. Our first major milestone was representing with FashionScout at London fashion week.”