Saturday, July 16, 2011

"Cool has become formulaic."

Another fashion post has been a long time coming! If you'll recall, my last two fashion posts focused on African designers Serge Mouangue (combining African & Japanese aesthetics) and Nkhensani Nkosi & Stoned Cherrie (a modern South African women's line). I can contain my love for this next genre no longer...Indian fashion! I don't think there is anything so lovely!

My images focus on the bridal fashion for this particular designer. They're more traditional, but this highly versatile designer's works go from the most seemingly traditional to the exceptionally contemporary. Plus, I wanted to touch back on the Bridal theme I started in late June. :)

Ritu Kumar - Indian Fashion Brand

Yes, these are wedding garments. (I'll take one, please!)

Since 1969, Ritu Kumar has established her fashion brand as one of the largest and greatest in India. She translates traditional fabrics, decorations, and craftsmanship into modern terms and unique fashion creations. According to her website, the brand is known for the quality of their fabrics and embroideries, the colors (the video below mentions treating bridal gowns in pastels instead of the typical vivid red), and "gloriously rich Indiana aesthetic."

Ritu Kumar has been retailing in India and on an international scale since the 1970's while their main production centers operate out of Gurgaon and Calcutta. This brand was the first to introduce "boutique culture" into India (hence why I thought it was important to start here :)). The brand encompasses haute couture, a fashion forward sub-brand called LABEL Ritu Kumar, a bridal collection, accessories, and fragrances.

In October of 1999, Christie's of London published Kumar's first book, an academic fashion text called Costumes and Textiles of Royal India. This book chronicles the history of fashion in India from royal patronage to present. Kumar seems to take a great interest in educating the public on Indian fashion as much as providing it for them. Her website is complete with a glossary of Indian fashion terms that is a great way to start learning!

Ritu Kumar's Couture is your more traditional Indian styles. Long, full skirts and bell sleeves, sheer, embroidered abundance of gorgeous fabric in every gown and detail that would take you years to study!

LABEL Ritu Kumar expresses contemporary, new, and western styles with Indian craftsmanship and fabrics. Mini dresses, no sleeves, very modern!

The vibrant colors, the intense attention to detail, flowing fabrics, attractive patterns... Gorgeous Indian works of fashion would make any girl feel like royalty! Contemporary Indian designers, like those from Africa, are finding new and exciting ways to retain their native fashion traditions while adapting to the modern era! I've personally seen that Indian motifs and styles are making their way into Western culture and I think they could have a really big impact on the world scale in the future!

Though none of the images I shared with you today contain denim, this was Mrs. Kumar's take on denim...Ladies, would you agree?

"When women wear denim it (the derriere) must look elegant. It's the second thing every woman looks at in the mirror, but it's the first thing she cares about. She does that half twirl, her back arched and her head craned around. If the jeans are right, the experience is transforming, like putting on a magic cloak."
- Ritu Kumar

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