Why High Fashion from India Deserves More Recognition in the West

Vogue India

Vogue India

One of the most respected International Fashion bloggers around at present is Scott Schuman, better known as The Sartorialist. What makes The Sartorialist so successful is his ability to capture such beautiful and candid street style shots, which demonstrate a superior level of skill and finesse compared to us amateur photographers.

A few weeks ago, amidst the buzz of the first fashion weeks of the year, The Sartorialist posted a gorgeous picture (below) of one of his fashion friends. I automatically wondered who this beautiful lady was and subsequently managed to unearth a whole new fashion scene that I had previously known very little about.

The beautiful Antara Motiwala wearing Dolce & Gabbana in Milan

The beautiful Antara Motiwala photographed by The Sartorialist, wearing Dolce & Gabbana in Milan

Antara Motiwala is the Fashion Editor of GQ India, and part of India’s young generation of internationally educated important fashion figures. Antara lived in Milan while studying her Masters in Styling at the Marangoni Institute and landed a job at Vanity Fair Milan straight after that. After some time in Europe she decided to go back to India. Why? Simply put, India is becoming a major contender in forward thinking high fashion for men and women.

Kumar by Squiz Hamilton for GQ India

Kumar by Squiz Hamilton for GQ India

Another European-educated fashion figure is award-winning Mumbai and Delhi based designer Rahul Mishra. Like Antara, Rahul was educated at the Marangoni Institute after winning a scholarship. Rahul Mishra’s designs epitomise modern Indian culture with its European style and traditional Indian patterns. Last month Rahul made history by becoming the first Indian designer to win the Woolmark Prize at the Milan Fashion Week-an award previously won by the likes of Karl Lagerfield and Giorgio Armani. This moment marks a huge breakthrough for Indian fashion and will pave the way for budding Eastern designers to gain international recognition.

Rahul Mishra and his 2014 Woolmark Award Winning  Designs

Rahul Mishra and his 2014 Woolmark Award Winning Designs

With the major influence of the West, which has long formed a part of modern Indian culture, the country’s haute couture scene is reminiscent of American and British fashion ideals. Only years ago, most Indian designers were primarily designing clothes which portrayed their take on traditional garments. Now magazines such as Vogue India show unique trends that are mostly found outside of traditional Indian clothing but maintain signature Asian embroidery, motifs, colours and patterns-appearing to make them more appealing to fashion lovers from the West.

Where two worlds collide: Design Duo Pankaj & Nidhi showcase their Spring Summer 2014 collection which features classic designs with expert hand-embroidery

Where two worlds collide: Design Duo Pankaj & Nidhi showcase their Spring Summer 2014 collection in Vogue, which features classic designs with expert hand-embroidery.

The main reason why I believe Indian High Fashion deserves more recognition in the West is that it holds so many similarities to Western fashion scenes such as superbly edited publications, highly wealthy elite society and highly anticipated fashion shows, while simultaneously managing to incorporate the fundamentals of traditional Indian culture-such an emphasis on craftsmanship, exquisite patterns, hand cloth-dying & printing and luxury silks, making it much more niche and uniquely creative. In carrying out my well-enjoyed research for this post, I came across several influential Indian figures including talented designers and gorgeous models that I would love to see featured more frequently in European and North American fashion press.

Be sure to check out the gorgeous photos below of a mere handful of India’s fashion elite. Lou x

Big Names in Indian High Fashion

Thukral and Tagra

Design Duo Thukral and Tgra, commonly known as T&T. They are visual artists who are known for their outlandish colourful and excellently tailored attire which makes them stand out from the crowd.

Design Duo Thukral and Tagra, commonly known as ‘T&T’, are visual artists who are known for their outlandish colourful and excellently tailored attire which makes them stand out from the crowd

Sonam Kapoor

Model and Actress Sonam Kapoor has been voted Beauty of the Year by Vogue India and Woman of the year by GQ

28 year old Model and Actress Sonam Kapoor has been voted Beauty of the Year by Vogue India and Woman of the year by GQ

Naleem Johal

18 year old UK-born Model Neelam Johal (pictured right) is the first model of Indian descent to grace the Burberry runway as the new face of the designer label.

18 year old UK-born Model Neelam Johal (pictured right) is the first model of Indian descent to grace the Burberry runway as the new face of the designer label

Gaurav Gupta

New Delhi designer Gaurav Gupta studied fashion at Central Saint Martin's in London and has designed for the likes of Lady Victoria Harvey (pictured below) as well as several of India's elite society

New Delhi designer Gaurav Gupta studied fashion at Central Saint Martin’s in London and has designed for the likes of Lady Victoria Harvey (pictured below) as well as several of India’s elite society

Lady Victoria Harvey rocks Gaurav Gupta's futuristic "All-But-Naked" dress at the 2014 Golden Globes earlier this year

Lady Victoria Harvey rocks Gaurav Gupta’s futuristic “All-But-Naked” dress at the 2014 Golden Globes earlier this year

Angela Jonsson

Striking Model Angela Jonsson was born in Chennai, India, to An Icelandic father and Indian mother. She rose to fame in 2011 after winning the Kingfisher Calender Model Hunt

Striking Model Angela Jonsson was born in Chennai, India to an Indian mother and Icelandic father. She rose to fame in 2011 after winning the Kingfisher Calender Model Hunt

Katheleno Kenze

Budding top model Katheleno Kenze was born in the remote area of Nagaland in North East India and has a fiercely exotic Eastern look

Budding top model Katheleno Kenze was born in the remote area of Nagaland in North East India and has a fiercely exotic Eastern look

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