India is the hot flavor of the season… but how?
Post the film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘Jai Ho!’ went on to become a roaring anthem of sorts. The global presence & exotic charm of India is definitely hard to ignore.
Indian and international luxury brands are putting their designs on India and boldly using Indian motifs and symbols on a wide range of accessories.
India’s Historical Relationship with Luxury
Luxury aficionados are well aware of the relationship India has had with luxury over centuries. Maharajas in the 19th century were avid patrons of bespoke Louis Vuitton trunks, Cartier jewelry, and Rolls Royce cars to name a few. The association with India has transcended through classic times and still hold great value, albeit, in a new light with a very definitive edge.
Indian Inspiration in Luxury Brands
Watches with Indian monuments on the dial, holy cow figurines, exclusive jewels with paisley and floral motifs and handbags named after Indian cities. A whole host of luxury international labels that are taken in by the aura of Indian scents, the intricacy of the local handicrafts and design, the richness of heritage and mythology, and the vibrant use of colors’; finding patrons not only amongst the Indian community overseas but international customers too.
Starting with India’s most renowned garment – the sari – this wondrous nine yards of fabric has been spun with a new twist. From the pleating and draping styles at Balenciaga and Naeem Khan to Hermes’ reinterpretation of the sari in lush jewel tones with opulent bodices, designers borrowed heavily from this most traditional and versatile of Indian garments.
Indian Fashion in Western Countries
Jean Paul Gaultier designed for luxury house Hermès, created a luxurious spring collection based on the colors and styles of India.
Models walked out in front of a backdrop of cascading saffron powder in embroidered shorts and tunics, harem pants, and colorful gowns in vibrant colors topped off with maharajah-like headdresses woven with orange Hermès ribbon.
Not only did Hermès, show a line of sari dresses which were greatly appreciated by the Western market, but they also created a widely popular & a stunning series of scarves that continue with the same theme that inspired their Spring-Summer collection: Mystical India.
Featuring bold, contrasting colors, floral and geometric patterns, and traditional motifs like the elephant, the lavish silk twill scarves are a reflection of the vibrant Indian culture.
Judith Leiber Couture Collector’s Edition Ganesh Clutch
Mythology has been ruling the roost in the international luxury arena. Judith Leiber, a luxury handbag brand created by the designer of the same name, is synonymous for its innovation in creating truly remarkable and one-of-a-kind designer handbags.
Inspired by Hindu mythology, they created the Judith Leiber Ganesh Fine Crystal-Embellished Clutch. Ganesh, the god of elephant, which represents happiness and fortune is one of the most important deities and worshipped widely throughout Indian and Nepal.
But whether you practice a different religion or not, having this would surely draw a lot of eyes and can even be a great conversation starter. featuring 12,000 multicolored Swarovski crystals, all finely hand-placed throughout. The colors of the crystals accent every detail of Ganesh, from the head down to the toes.
With all the crystals in this Judith Leiber Ganesh Fine Crystal-Embellished Clutch, the tag of $5,595 only tells that this should really be considered a luxury!
Mahatma Gandhi – An Inspiration
If there’s one Indian personality who international labels have been enamored by, it’s Mahatma Gandhi. The otherwise simple and dhoti-clad father of the nation has inspired the creation of quite a few special edition collections. An exclusive pen crafted by Montblanc (the Mahatma Gandhi Limited Edition 241 hand-crafted to mark the 241 miles Gandhiji traveled during the Dandi March) is a fine example of life imitates art, with an exquisitely created limited edition range, creating a significant tribute to the Mahatma.
The Aroma of Indian Spices & Monsoons
The aroma of Indian spices and monsoons too has been captured in exotic fragrance bottles. From the 1925 Shalimar perfume by Guerlain, the perfume industry has been continuously inspired by Indian scents. Christian Dior’s Escale a Pondichery and Hermès’ latest fragrant ode to Kerala, are recent examples of the same.
Inspiration from Indian Cities
Then comes another set of accessories that are named after Indian cities! Oscar de la Renta’s SS 09 range had a Darjeeling minaudiere, python Goa, Indore box bag, Simla basket hobo, straw Goa, and pebble grain Mumbai to name a few. L.A.M.B too came up with Patna leather clutch, Orissa tri-color clutch, and Bangalore shoulder bag!
As international designers and labels continue to discover and unearth Indian traditional art and culture, international audiences are treated to true-blue Indian style with a lavish touch.
And for Indians who soak in the spirit every minute of their life, it’s a neat excuse to give up that black leather tote for a ‘bandhini’ inspired silk hobo! (as created by Mumbai based handbags label Princesse K)
So you can wear India on your sleeve — or wrist too! Each time you look at your Cartier Santos 100 Taj Mahal limited edition watch, you may be gazing at the Taj Mahal which is the centrepiece of the exquisite mother-of-pearl dial.
India-inspired accessories are well appreciated by Indians & global audiences who enjoy showing off Indian motifs and designs on accessories
The Taj Mahal is the most popular symbol along with elephants, paisley motifs and other elements related to Indian royalty.
Mumbai based handbags label, Princesse K has crafted a gorgeous array of unique and sophisticated designs. The core essence of the collection titled ‘Indian Monsoon’ has been the use of Indian fabrics & elements such as Tie & Dye, Ikkat, Bandhini, Khaadi teamed with contemporary silhouettes in bold shades of turquoise, pinks, and melons.
These bags have been widely appreciated not only in India, but have received a positive nod from the international media as well.
India – The Land of Inspiration
Coming to the land itself that has produced inspirations & muses to the world over, it’s not difficult to get blown away by the charisma of the futuristic & flamboyant designer – Manish Arora.
It’s easy to see why he has such a huge fan base worldwide and in his native India, including fashion critics and celebrities. Katy Perry and Lady Gaga are fans and are often seem in his dramatic and beautiful creations.
Combining Indian techniques with geometric designs for his collection at the Paris Fashion Week 2010, the designer Manish Arora is renowned for his individualistic style.
Designs for men are not left far behind too! At the finale of an Armani men’s wear, the runway was filled with models striking poses in the Indian-inspired dhotis, band-collared jackets and vivid silks that were a major theme of the collection. The models hustled to get into yoga poses on the floor.
The popularity of Indian Jewellery
Indian jewellery has always been praised for its sophisticated craftsmanship. With a history of jewellery making that dates back almost 5000 years, there is a rich variety of techniques and materials that are splendid. Traditional Indian jewellery brands have, over the last decade, captured a significant Hollywood clientele. ‘Amrapali’is a favourite Indian brand with Hollywood stars like Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry and so on.
The most recent news roundup is that Louis Vuitton will go all Indian with its window displays this Christmas. The French fashion house collaborates with an Indian artist, Rajeev Sethi for store displays that will reflect the theme of Diwali, the festival of lights.
Through creations of hand-painted paper trunks glowing from within, Louis Vuitton will include limited edition dress made of vintage sari fabrics in tribute to Diwali.
Express yourself with the vibrant, stunning, charming & chic trend – INDIA! Don’t miss it!Design
Now It’s Your Turn!
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