Rebel Spirits: 5 Indian Designers That Work It Differently
We look at five designers who have added chutzpah to the way we dress today, willing to break away from the norm to do so.
AMIT AGGARWAL: Fashionable Waste
With the launch of his new label AM.IT in 2015, Aggarwal established his stance in sustainable fashion and proved that it can be as quirky, glamorous and edgy as fast fashion, if not more. His upcycled designs have made use of everything from plastic straws to leftover bindi cut-out sheets sourced from factories. His take on upcycled clothes coupled with his Indian aesthetics has made best-out-of-waste fashion something of a rage.
ANAVILA MISRA: Above The Ankle
The sari has been Misra’s constant muse. Her drapes and her stylised petticoats have charmed the pants off some, but she’s gone ahead and broken taboos by sending out models wearing saris that end above the ankle —a length which was once only preferred among the lower income group of society.
RINA SINGH: De-glam Dressing
Her ingenuity is revealed through her washed-out colours and relaxed silhouettes. Singh, with her signature style and commitment to sustainability has ‘deglamourised’ fashion. She has transformed Indian pret, lending a romantic vibe to anti-fit dressing which became a phenomenon few seasons ago. Her unrestricted cuts have added confidence to comfort and has dragged loungewear out from the boudoir to the soiree.
SANJAY GARG: Textile Makeover
Modernising and empowering handlooms through his work, Sanjay Garg, in addition to reviving heritage textiles, has manipulated them to suit the wearer and her lifestyle. Acknowledging that handloom saris need a contemporary makeover, Garg has given us modern, luxurious options for everyday and festive wear all the way from Kanjeevaram to Chanderi.
RAHUL MISHRA: Woollen Summers
In 2014, Mishra shot to fame for creating a fabric that was 85 percent merino wool and 15 percent silk. The result was a light cloth, very smooth to touch. He used it to make deconstructed dresses and pants, with lotus and tree motif embroideries. Wool — a winter-only fabric — soon became season-less! His vision for the fabric has not only increased its value and demand but has made it a versatile sartorial companion, year round. The first non-European designer to win a full scholarship to Istituto Marangoni and the first Asian to win the prestigious International Woolmark Prize, Mishra has turned merino wool into a hit from Kanpur (his hometown) to Milan.