Over the years, Indian fashion has carved a unique niche for itself in the world. The list of Indian fashion designers who have redefined style trends and wowed the West is long indeed. With the wealth of craftsmanship and art available in the country, the potential was always huge. But it’s the sheer determination and ability to talk a universal language that has led some designers to transcend geographical boundaries and take the ethos of Indian design to far flung areas of the world.
TOP FASHION DESIGNERS IN INDIA
The Indian designer names that have done the country proud over the years runs long but special mention must be made of those who have broken existing rules, experimented with trends, turning them around and have created a massive following among influential celebrities with their mind-blowing design sensibilities.
So here, in no particular order (after all, talent shouldn’t be ranked, should it?) here are five top fashion designers in India whose work makes them true torchbearers of our design globally.
He is the reigning king of the fashion world, artistically and commercially. When it comes to bridal wear especially, there is no one to beat Sabya, as he is fondly called. Bollywood actresses like Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma both decided to wear him when they got married.
Sabyasachi Mukherjee burst into the spotlight at the Fashion Week in 2002 when his craft got special mention from Women’s Wear Daily. Ever since, it has been a steady rise with his designs winning the hearts of some of the prominent women across the globe.
Sabyasachi is one of the Associate Designer Members of Fashion Design Council of India and the youngest fashion designer in India who became a board member of the National Museum of Indian Cinema.
His use of unusual fabrics, unique texturing and detailing, patch-work with embellishments, vibrancy in colours and the pioneering use of high-end luxury Indian textiles have made him a legend of sorts. No wonder his international fan base is growing too. From Oprah Winfrey visiting his store to his collaboration with Christian Louboutin, there is no one like Sabyasachi Mukherjee.
One of the foremost names in the list of Indian fashion designers, an outfit by the Delhi-based Tarun Tahiliani is a dream for most women. His unique aesthetic of combining Indian craftsmanship with contemporary silhouettes has won him fans across the world. For many fashion watchers, Tarun Tahiliani is the best fashion designer in India, who set up a chain of flagship stores when few designers thought of expanding beyond their comfort zones.
Tarun, started design studio in 1995 and also founded Ensemble, India’s first multi-designer boutique which shows his long-term vision for the industry. He was also among the first to diversify from fashion and get into interiors, designing the interiors of some famous hotels in Mumbai.
His brand marries the present and the past seamlessly which is seen in his techniques of craftsmanship, construct and perfect finish. Richly detailed structured drapes can be counted among his signature styles while his couture is all about reflecting historical opulence and contemporary chic.
When it comes to Bollywood, there is no bigger Indian designer name that comes to mind than Manish Malhotra. He has revolutionised filmy fashion like none other. He first shot to fame with the 1995 release Rangeela and then he has been associated with blockbusters galore – think Dil Toh Pagal Hai, Raja Hindustani, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge to name just a few.
From the late Sridevi to her daughter Jahnavi, Manish’s ability to appeal to generations of women and make them look and feel like queens is what endears him to everyone. Of course, his sheer saris, stunningly embellished lehengas, stylish Indo-western fusion wear have upped the glamour quotient of many a film and red carpet.
Manish, like several other designers, has diversified into interior design and makeup, and he takes part in several social initiatives as well. A well-rounded personality, Manish’s clothes have not just found favour with Indian divas but also Western superstars like Reese Witherspoon, Kylie Minogue, the late Michael Jackson among others.
ABU JANI AND SANDEEP KHOSLA
Some things just better getter with age – like wine. ‘The Boys’ or Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla can be the design equivalent of this phrase. The internationally renowned designers have been carrying the flag of Indian fashion for a very long time and their presence on every list of top fashion designers in India is a must.
Classic designs that stand the test of time is the USP of this label, established in 1986, that merges Indian art, architecture and textile heritage with European tailored silhouette in a breathtaking manner. Their designs boast of the finest fabrics, gorgeous hand-embroidery, delicate embellishments and flawless finish. They are often called the Masters of Revival and Reinvention as they take ancient techniques like Chikankari, Zardosi, Mirrorwork etc to unknown levels of craftsmanship.
Their bridal wear is among the most coveted for desi brides and their celebrity fans include the Bacchhan family, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra to name just a few. An Abu Jan and Sandeep Khosla ensemble is a treasure to be saved for posterity.
The Kashmir born New Delhi based Rohit Bal has been considered to be among India’s top 5 fashion designers for decades. Known best for the drama he creates with his designs, Rohit has been called ‘India’s master of fabric and fantasy’ by Time Magazine in a profile. A three-decade long career in the industry has seen him win many laurels including partnerships with top brands, being made an ambassador for Omega watches and winning international clients like Uma Thurman, Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell.
His use of rich fabrics like velvet and brocade in structured silhouettes to create designs that are elaborate and inspired by Indian grandeur and royalty has made him one of the most respected designers in the country.