Inside India's Couture Landscape

Inside India's Couture Landscape

        When people traditionally think of couture, French fashion houses such as Chanel, Dior, Givenchy and the likes come to mind. With origins in 19th-century Paris, it’s intuitive that the two have often felt inseparable. In fact, the term Haute Couture is a legally protected term, bestowed upon a lucky few by the Fédération Française de la Couture. What the world doesn’t see is the thousands of Indian artisans tirelessly crafting the bespoke garments that European fashion houses showcase. Isabel Marant, the French designer behind the eponymous label, asserted that the bulk of all haute couture is India-made, and Mohammed Ashi, founder of Ashi Studio, predicts 90% of couture week garments are produced in India!

        In the past, India’s involvement in couture has been intentionally concealed to maintain the mysterious allure of “European craftsmanship”. But with increased globalization and the country’s incredible upcoming talent getting the spotlight, the subcontinent no longer remains in the shadows. Dior’s Fall 2023 Dior show, set in Mumbai at the Gateway of India, aimed to subvert this hidden relationship and spotlight India’s role. Dior’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, wanted to honor the decade-long relationship with the Chanayka Atelier and presented the show “as a creative dialogue” between the two. Chanakya Atelier provided art installations and embroidery-rich fabrics adorned with jewels to create a distinctive show. The show was sensational - stars such as Zendaya, Gigi Hadid, and Karlie Kloss adorned couture Indian wear and the coverage was viral. 


On a larger scale, breakout stars such as Rahul
Mishra and, Gaurav Gupta have made it onto the global Runway shows, helping shift India from a behind-the-scenes producer to the face of the clothes. Designers such as Falguni Shane, Bibhu Mohapatra and more showcased in NYFW, and Sabyasachi, Anita Dongre have also set up iconic stores in NY that seem to be captivating people’s consciousness. Clearly, India’s splash onto the global couture stage has the potential to be more like a tsunami. This is where ŌUSHQ comes in.

Sabyasachi Flagship NYC Store

The fashion & lifestyle space in India is
valued at a whopping $110 billion as of September 2023. It’s the era of disruption in the fashion space - new, talented designers are popping up everyday, and we’re all thirsting over here in the West to get our scoop on them. Long gone are the days when we had to wear dated fashion to showcase any nod to Indian heritage. The new contemporary silhouettes coming out of India are going to allow us to wear them for any occasion. We know that navigating the space can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, and we want to provide the most curated edit of upscale, innovative designers. Strap in because we’re about to change the way fashion looks in the 21st century.


The ŌUSHQ Editorial team


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