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Blending Fashion’s East & West

Blending the east and west seamlessly, Project Renaissance, true to its name, creates a new fashion age, where fabrics and crafts from India merge with western silhouettes to create an evolved fashion sense

Blending the east and west seamlessly, Project Renaissance, true to its name, creates a new fashion age, where fabrics and crafts from India merge with Western silhouettes to create an evolved fashion sense.

If you were still unconvinced that India strongly beeps on the radar of international luxury brands, here is further proof to convince. Through the Project Renaissance, orchestrated by Vogue India magazine, Indians can now gloat about how international brands are attempting to understand India and its wealth of indigenous craftsmanship.

As a part of the project, global luxury fashion brands like Tod’s, Jimmy Choo, Fendi, Gucci – and even those who are not yet available in India like Blumarine, Alberta Ferretti and Prabal Gurung – created their own interpretation of Indian fabrics. So take note of the seductive Roberto Cavalli gown made with Rajasthani Bandhini fabric. Burberry sportingly integrated Maheshwari silk in its iconic trench coat. Salvatore Ferragamo created a gorgeous rendition of a shoe in Benarasi Brocade.

Exhibited at DLF Emporio mall, New Delhi, the creations were jaw-dropping, not only because the creations were simply stunning, but also because as an Indian with pre-conceived notions, I could have never imagined these Indian crafts and fabrics being enhanced and used in such international ways. Appealing to say the least, the clothes, handbags and shoes were lust-worthy.

The iconic Tod’s D Bag, which took Kanchipuram Silk as its muse, assumed a distinctly Indian identity with this fabric. Alberta Ferretti’s billowing gown, also made in Kanchipuram silk, is perhaps my personal favourite. “I re-interpreted this beautiful fabric to realise something different from the traditional sari. I wanted to show [its] versatility, richness and allure,” said Ms Alberta Ferretti.

We asked Bandana Tewari of Vogue about how they got this idea, and she says, “Actually, it’s like, why hasn’t this been done before?” We agree wholeheartedly.

Emilio Pucci’s ethereal dress in Lucknowi Chikankari received open admiration from me. “Working with embroideries is one of my great pleasures. The fabric of the dress was perfect and lent itself impeccably to the design I imagined,” said Peter Dundas, creative director at Pucci.

And while Hermes has recently been attracting India with its many products inspired by the country, this time, they took a step forward by delving deeper into Indian craftsmanship. Taking the Bengali Kantha as their core, their scarf has won many hearts. “I left the iconic Brides de Gala scarf with the embroiders and asked them to replicate it in kantha work on raw silk. It was done freehand, in their unique style,” said Bali Barret, deputy artistic director for Hermès’ women’s collections.

Much like music, fashion speaks many languages. A true fusion of cultures, crafts and design philosophies, this special collection speaks to all in different ways. Not only do we, as Indians, take it as an honour, but also applaud the fact that international designers took up these fabrics and embroideries, which are probably new for them, and fashioned such elegant creations out of them.

Hoping to see Project Renaissance as an annual initiative, we cheer all parties involved for this unique and fabulous concept!