India Modern

It is precisely moments like these that make me love fashion as much as I do. In the constant barage of images and the homogeny of one fashion week to the next, it happens. Something new emerges but not for the mere sake of being new. Sometimes a simultaneous moment from the past and the future is captured to enhance our present.

It happened at the Kiran Uttam Ghosh show, part of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week AW09.

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Echoing the legends of the maharajahs, models emerged in jewel-toned jodhpurs. Paired with plaids and prints, the tones spoke eloquently, rather than screamed in-your-face glamour. Embellishment was certainly evident, but subtle, soft. The patterns may have originated in palaces, but they are not pretentious here, yet still somehow grand.

This is modern India, at its finest.

Chiffon layered with silks and brocades may not be a new idea in India, but mixing these proportions, dimensions and shapes certainly is.

kiran-uttam-ghosh-colour-layers2jpg  kiran-modern-india  kiran-uttam-ghosh-colour-layers

Instead of a chiffon or crepe de chine dupatta draped over a woman’s shoulders, a ribbon piped version dangles coyly, mid calf creating a brilliant new shade with the Cornelian orange churi of the jodhpurs underneath. The colours contrast and blend perfectly all at once.

The chappals or flats, mimic the pointy juttis worn in lush gardens and simpler times, but are slick and chic enough for envious gazes afront Cafe de Flore in St. Germain.

The styling usually not quite in synch with the clothes at India Fashion Week, is perfection here desert wind blown, simple updos, layering, elegance over  extravagance. Ease over extremes.,

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India exists on many plains. It thrives on its surreality, on its rich and diverse history but modern India and its storytellers want to share an India now that isn’t embarrassed of its heritage nor does it need to validate itself with the west. It just wants to be on equal footing with the rest of the modern, free world.

All images except last courtesy of Yahoo! India. Final image courtesy of

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