The Indian consumer, whether living in a big city or in a smaller town, is as keen and up-to-date on global fashion trends as he is on local fashion, and loves nothing more than for the two to be in sync.
Hermes, Chanel, Dior – you name it and the Indian fashionistas are ready to covet these international brands. The brands themselves realized that they couldn’t become truly global unless they had a bit of the colossus that India represents – in stitch, design, fashion and tradition.
Western fashion brands have always found inspiration in brand Desi. The Hermes Spring-Summer collection some years ago comprised of dresses that looked like draped saris, jackets that were long enough to resemble the achkan, and safari suits that were remarkably like Jodhpurs.
Chanel, in another show, displayed bejewelled jackets and short sari-inspired dresses, in regal shades of fuchsia, white, gold and silver, and embroidered jumpers.
Alexander McQueen, a favourite of the Princess of UK, used paisley work and peacock motifs, while John Galliano used ikat weaves and rich brocades on harem pants, skirts and long coats.
Russian model Natalia Vodianova used chunky Indian jewellery to accessorise her lingerie collection, while the man who dresses up all of Bollywood, Manish Malhotra, brought the Persian collection, in vintage-style velvet dresses.
The fusion of Western and Eastern fashion is typified in the saree gown, where a gown is weaved into the shape and style of a saree.
On Myntra, you can find Global Desi, a fusion of Indo-western wear. A quintessentially western, flat-front trousers get a desi twist with its bright orange print. Palazzos, which have set down roots in the country’s fashion scene, are still the rage, available in Indian prints and teamed with Indian-style kurtis.
When a Shift Dress, the effortless western dress, gets an Indian twist, it gets splashed with the peacock motif. Jodhpuri trousers, which resemble shalwars, when teamed with a cropped top, give you western chic with ethnic flair.