Insider: A look at India’s growing fashion credentials with Diipa Büller-Khosla
Beautiful embroidery and a vibrant colour palette have meant India has always been a source of inspiration for designers, but with the country’s growing collection of well-known names – from Manish Arora to Kanika Goyal – plus a powerful manufacturing sector and tech-savvy shoppers, it’s becoming a big hitter on the global fashion scene.
At the likes of India Fashion Week and Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai, the country’s traditional designs take centre stage, while many of India’s up-and-coming stars craft collections that beautifully fuse eastern styles with contemporary fashion.
“There’s a shift away from fast fashion – customers want to know where a piece comes from, the quality of the fabric and technique involved,” says Indian-born influencer Diipa Büller-Khosla as we talk behind-the-scenes of The Bicester Village Shopping Collection’s latest campaign shoot.
“I wore Sabyasachi Mukherji for my wedding, and I think he is going to be a gamechanger,” she adds. “He really believes in Indian craftsmanship and traditional patterns, and he’s taking that to a global scale, so that will be exciting to see.”
Upholding the spirit of traditional craftsmanship and honouring the country’s rich textile history are common sentiments among many homegrown Indian designers making the leap to the global stage.
“Earlier this year I saw Ashish [on the catwalk of London Fashion Week]. He’s an Indian designer based in the UK and his collection featured these mirrors from local markets in India – it was so beautifully crafted,” Diipa recalls.
It’s a country that’s great at combining tradition and innovation.
The influencer-model – who was recently named ‘Influencer of the Year’ – is no stranger to the power that technology brings. “One of the most beautiful things about India is its commitment to traditions, but it’s also very happy looking to the future for technological advances,” she says. “We went straight to the smartphone and now Indian customers are phone-savvy when it comes to shopping. It’s a country that’s great at combining tradition and innovation.
“Because of Instagram and social media, customers are able to access western trends a lot quicker. Meanwhile Indian designers are emerging all the time, creating this fusion of western and Indian styles.
“Plus, as the middle class grows in India by the minute, more people are able to shop, and buy things quicker – it’s a very exciting time for the country. Indeed, the rest of the world now looks to India for inspiration.”