Fashion designing in the Indian sub-continent is a huge industry. All the big brands have been into it for decades now, whether it is the international brands like Ralph Lauren, who is from America, or the Indian luxury brand, Rajesh Pratap Singh, who is Indian, there are many others and many more who are making a name for themselves all over the world and their respective countries.
About Fashion Design Industry
It is a multi-billion dollar industry, and fashion design, fashion design education, and the whole idea behind it is captured in a book called ‘Designs that Connect’. The book is the fourth volume in the series, produced by Christian Dior Publications in Paris, and the first to cover fashion design in India, which it does in a very comprehensive manner, drawing from a number of diverse archives in India and abroad. The book opens with some of the founding figures of Indian fashion, including Sabyasachi Mukherjee, for whom this book is dedicated, K.J. Reddy, Rohit Bal, Gaurav Gupta, and Rajesh Pratap Singh.
Designs that Connect
The book then goes on to the revival of Indian design in the 1970s, and talks about the tradition of costume, the growth of the couture industry in India, and the invention of the sari. The author has interviewed, collated and written about the men and women who have come from humble origins, and worked their way to the top.
In his introduction, the author says that this book. There is a discussion about the couture system in India, and the craftsmanship of the tussar weavers of Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh. The chapter on contemporary Indian fashion design highlights the work of designers such as Anita Dongre, Rohit Bal, Sunita Shanker, and Manish Arora. The conversation between Manish Arora and Rashmi Varma, the editor of the book, is insightful, with Manish talking about the influence of eastern fashion on western fashion, as well as his future plans. There is also a chapter by Manish Arora on female power and the empowerment of the Indian woman in this ever-changing world, which I found extremely inspiring.
The collection that really caught my attention in the book, was Rajesh Pratap Singh’s book. This is not the first time that Rajesh Pratap Singh has come under the radar of the fashion media, as he is often hailed as one of the best Indian designers and creative minds. Singh has been creating some stunning haute couture collection, which are always filled with design ingenuity.
It is indeed amazing that a designer like him, from one of the smallest states in India, has managed to do so well, and has established himself as a brand name that people know and recognise around the world. In this collection, Singh draws on the tradition of the Nepalese and Nepalese-origin queens, and brings these inspirations into the narrative of his garments, in a spectacular way. I am told that this is not the first time that Singh has tried to draw on Nepalese influences in his collection, and his story is well-documented, and you can learn more about him, and the history of this very impressive fashion designer from the interviews that he has given in the book.
Fashion Designer’s Works
The book also includes the work of designers such as Gaurav Gupta, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Rohit Bal, and Masaba Gupta, who are known for their exquisite embroidery work, a specialised skill that they have developed for themselves. The illustrations in the book, as they say, are contemporary, and they depict some of the most iconic fashion lines in India, and give a snapshot of the current cultural movement that is sweeping the country and the world.
The book also presents their very inspiring journeys to fame, and the trials and tribulations that they have overcome, in order to realise their dreams and succeed in the very competitive world of fashion design. The picturesque locations in which these talented fashion designers live and work, are also presented, as is the story of how they came to work at the label that they run today.
The volume ends with a special chapter by Manish Arora, that talks about his future plans, and the different aspects of his life and work. The book is beautifully designed, and has been designed in a unique way.
At the back of the book, there is a special chapter on fashion shows, with some of the most memorable shows, such as the Bollywood fashion show, presented by Manish Arora, and a short introduction to the designer Sachin and Vijay Shukla, with whom Manish collaborated for the first time.
The book is both interesting and inspiring, and it makes for an excellent reading and reference book. 15 years after the publication of this book, there is still a lot that the fashion world could learn from this work of art.