In late 18th-century France, the rigid, tailored gowns of the Ancien Régime were replaced by the lighter unstructured gowns of fine Indian muslin giving rise to a new era of fashion. In the 1920s, French jewellers Van Cleef & Arpels created a series of India-inspired pieces made with gemstones and design inspiration from India. In 1996, Gianfranco Ferré, creative director for Dior, presented his couture collection called “Indian Passion” where jacquard silks, golden embroidery, zardozi work proliferated—a hat tip to his obsession with Indian karigari.
Dries Van Noten’s luxurious 2022 spring-summer collection drew on his impression of visiting Kolkata just after Holi and seeing splashes of colour in unexpected places.These are just a handful of the instances of India’s impact on global style. Anthropologist and fashion scholar Phyllida Jay’s Inspired By India: How India Transformed Global Design (Roli Books) is a compendium of clothes, textiles, jewellery, material objects, photography, paintings and other visual cues that reveal the vast influence of Indian textiles, craft and culture on the biggest influencers of global style.
With over 300 images from the archives of museums, galleries and the world’s leading luxury brands and craft ateliers, the book explores over six centuries of cultural exchange between India and the world.