With the news this week of high street giant H&M opening its first ever store in India, one may wonder with anticipation whether this is to have any artistic influence on the store’s future collections. In light of this month’s exciting Banana Republic x L’Wren Scott Holiday Collection, we can speculate on such a thing happening in India, and take a look at the country’s greatest designers.
Since breaking onto the scene in the ’80s Rina Dhaka has been at the heart of fashion in India. Her collections are known for looking beyond her home country for themes and trends, not so much blending cultures as slapping them firmly on top of one another. As when she combined Russian fur with the Indian sari, Dhaka’s results are often surprising and always exciting. In deep, rich colours, her clothes are consistently evoking India, but never seeming to quite fit.
Wendell Rodricks is debated and celebrated for his character as well as his clothes. Always good for a soundbite, when once asked what he was to wear for the launch of one of his collections, he replied, ‘Who cares? It’s only fashion.’ Originally trained in gastronomy, after he graduated Rodricks began working on his first collection, designed and managed from a small fishing village. Now based at the beaches of Goa, alongside the hipsters eating papaya by day and partying throughout the night, Rodricks creates his simplistic and chic designs, white like the sand, flowing like the waves.
Finally we come to new-kid-on-the-block Hema Kaul, who launched her first collection, Déjà-vu, this year at London Fashion Week. Citing her inspirations as Alexander McQueen and Coco Chanel, Kaul’s clothes have none of the looseness of Rodricks, or the zest of Dhaka’s. They are spectacular and absorbing nonetheless. Often cast in metallic colours or pastel, the collection as a whole has an ashen look, that when coupled with lace and silk conjures a mournful but elegant tone that seduced the critics in London.
Whether will see the influence of any of these three on the shelves of H&M in the near future is anyone’s guess. However in the past the store has succeeded in bringing top-end, fashion house designs down to high-street prices. You can ensure that you find the best deals available at sites like this one here, preparing your senses for the flavours of the East. India’s fashion continues to impress, and H&M’s move has brought it a step closer.