The Indian fashion is being globally recognised now more than ever, and the fact that the industry has spread its arms to the world is getting reflected in the work of and international recognition for homegrown designers, says celebrated designer Gauri Karan of the label Gauri and Nainika.
"Social media has made live shows accessible to anyone, anywhere, no matter where in the world they are happening. This window to the world has forced the Indian fashion industry to aspire to be more global in its appeal. It is reflected in the work that Indian designers are doing now. Even in traditional wear, more and more designers are coming up with their own sense of style and unique designs - which are more global in nature," Gauri told IANSlife.
But this transformation hasn't come about in a day. It's the result of a gradual process of self-realisation.
"An industry's outlook is dependent a lot on how it is run. That the fashion industry is still largely self-owned or family-owned is the reason why it has had a traditional outlook this far. There is little foreign investment, but that is changing. The industry is realising the importance of business acumen and exposure. A lot of designers are looking for foreign investment and for outsiders to manage the business aspect of their work. We have started seeing Indian design labels being run by global entities that have proper business structure," she said.
Gauri, who started her career right after completing a course in designing from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) - Delhi, said both she and her sister Nainika too have been part of this shift.
Bold enough to launch evening-wear 15 years ago (when there were hardly any takers for it), their brand today is particularly known for its gowns and dresses, and has a substantial following among the who's who of Bollywood.
"We have evolved over the past 15 years and the evidence is our work. We started out making in India western wear that had an old world, Hollywoodesque charm, because no one was doing it back then. With time, we have reinvented ourselves, and now our collections are more diverse to cater to the changing tastes," said Gauri.
In the meanwhile Gauri got married to Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad's son Saddam, and is now the mother of a seven-month-old baby girl. She says she's looking forward to "dressing up her little princess".
So what's the best way to carry the Gauri and Nainika label ? "Keep it simple. Wear the outfit and nothing ostentatious. Just add a nice pair of shoes and a good red lipstick! Be yourself. Be confident. You can carry anything, if you are confident. Be comfortable and have fun," said the designer.
Her message to aspiring designers is also the same. "If you're entering the world of fashion, do it for the love of it. Believe in it and believe in yourself," she signed off.