10 Indian Designer Labels You Must Own (and Wear) in 2014

10 Indian Designer Labels You Must Own (and Wear) in 2014

Ranjit Rodricks
Make way for a brand new wardrobe in 2014
Make way for a brand new wardrobe in 2014

A new year, time for new beginnings is excuse enough for us to invest in an all-new wardrobe. But quite often, we’re confused about the designs and silhouettes we should invest in.

Are anarkalis trendy? Or is an LBD a good investment? How about a popular print? Or stick to good old colour-blocking?

Regardless of the current trends, we at MissMalini have put together a list of designer labels that boast a signature style and are always in vogue. So whether it’s the summer/resort season or winter/festive, here are a few designer labels you could sport at various key events through the next twelve months.

TARUN TAHILIANI FOR DRAPES

Tarun Tahiliani
Tarun Tahiliani’s saree drape

Tarun Tahiliani pioneered the fashion movement in India by setting up India’s first multi-designer boutique, Ensemble, in 1987. Back then, just five designer labels adorned the racks.

More than twenty-five years later, he is still at the top of the crop and his own ensembles are much sought after by the discerning woman.

Tarun Tahiliani Spring Summer 2013
Tarun Tahiliani’s draped silhouettes

If there’s one good reason you need to invest in a Tarun Tahiliani creation, it’s his undoubted mastery of drapery. Tarun mastered the art of draping at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and it has become his signature style.

RITU KUMAR FOR VINTAGE EMBROIDERIES

Kareena Kapoor in Ritu Kumar (photo credit: Avinash Gowariker
Kareena Kapoor in Ritu Kumar (photo credit: Avinash Gowariker)

Since 1969, Ritu Kumar has taken it upon herself to revive many of India’s dying traditional embroideries, crafts and weaves. In fact, the profusion of zardozi embroidery you see on designer racks today is actually thanks to Ritu Kumar, who painstakingly researched and brought back this long-forgotten Mughal craft to mainstream fashion.

Ritu Kumar's Bhutan Collection
Ritu Kumar’s Bhutan Collection

If there’s one reason you need to have a Ritu Kumar outfit in your wardrobe this year, it’s because of the sheer excellence and intricate workmanship that define her outfits. It’s something very few other designers can even aspire to replicate.

MASABA GUPTA FOR FUNKY PRINTS

MissMalini in Masaba Gupta
MissMalini in Masaba Gupta

It’s been barely five years since Masaba Gupta debuted as a designer at Lakme Fashion Week. That hasn’t stopped style icons like Sonam Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty, Mandira Bedi and Jacqueline Fernandez from extensively wearing her clothes.

In 2012, the young designer was hired by the Satya Paul label as their fashion director and her collections for this House have been sell-outs across the country.

Masaba Gupta
Masaba Gupta’s machine print

Masaba is known for her quirky prints and vibrant use of colours. From prints of cows to Tamil scripts, table fans to machinery and lipstick prints to phone booth prints (for Satya Paul), your wardrobe would be incomplete without one of Masaba’s signature printed silhouettes.

SHRUTI SANCHETI FOR CLASSIC ETHNIC WEAVES

Juhi Chawla for Shruti Sancheti
Juhi Chawla wears a Shruti Sancheti creation made from traditional Maharashtrian weaves.

Textiles are as much our fashion heritage as embroidery in Indian fashion. Each state in India has a wide variety of ethnic weaves and Nagpur based designer, Shruti Sancheti, celebrates them in her garments.

Over the past few years, Shruti has dabbled with khadi, shibori work (an intricate tie-n-dye technique from Jaipur), chanderi weaves from Madhya Pradesh and Kerala mundu weaves as well.

A design by Shruti Sancheti
A woven design by Shruti Sancheti

In fact, her autumn/winter 2013-14 collection was crafted from specially designed traditional Maharashtrian weaves like ruiphool, rasta weave, karvat kati, narli, jyot and totapuri.

Needless to add, your wardrobe for 2014 would be incomplete without one of Shruti’s modern silhouettes fashioned from traditional, ethnic woven fabrics.

MANISH MALHOTRA FOR ANARKALIS

A Manish Malhotra design
A Manish Malhotra anarkali

We admit some of us love them and some of us hate them. But truth be told, the anarkali is a classic Mughal silhouette and no designer in India is as well known for their anarkali silhouettes as Manish Malhotra is.

Madhuri Dixit and Huma Qureshi in Manish Maslhotra anarkalis
Madhuri Dixit and Huma Qureshi in Manish Maslhotra anarkalis

Just last night in Mumbai, actresses Madhuri Dixit and Huma Qureshi were both spotted wearing anarkalis by Manish for the premiere of their latest film, Dedh Ishqiya. And in the past, stars like Jacqueline Fernandez, Sonam Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Parineeti Chopra and Katrina Kaif have all worn this lengthy and voluminous silhouette for high profile events and award functions.

So if you want to look like a Mughal princess, make sure you’re seen in a Manish Malhotra anarkali this year.

SABYSACHI MUKHERJEE FOR OLD WORLD CHARM

Sabyasachi Couture
A Sabyasachi design

Looking for romance with a touch of the old world charm? Invest in a design by Sabyasachi Mukherjee.

The Kolkata based designer has made a trademark out of fussing various textiles and muted colours to create beautiful silhouettes that are timeless in their look and appeal.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee designs
Sabyasachi Mukherjee designs

The vintage look in his designs effortlessly compliment the wearer and the best way to sport them is with a touch of geek chic.

BIBHU MOHAPATRA FOR THE INDO-WESTern TOUCH

Bibhu Mohapatra - Resort 2013
Bibhu Mohapatra – Resort 2013

Bibhu Mohapatra worked with the legendary Halston as an assistant designer and then launched his own label in 2008 in New York. His designs have been worn by many Hollywood celebrities and even First Lady Michelle Obama.

Even though Bibhu’s silhouettes are decidedly western, he uses Indian elements for that orient-meets-occident appeal. For example, his resort 2013 collection was inspired by Morocco but had ikkat weave prints, a tribute to his native state of Orissa.

Bibhu Mohapatra - Resort 2013
Bibhu Mohapatra – Resort 2013

This is the best option for imbibing a bit of fusion in your wardrobe for 2013.

MANISH ARORA FOR ROCK STAR CHIC

Katy Perry with Manish Arora
Katy Perry with Manish Arora

Every girl wants to look like a rock star at least once in her life and THE ONLY Indian designer to go to for rock star chic is Manish Arora. Hell, even Lady Gaga, Fergie, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj go to him when they want to create a dramatic fashion statement.

Manish Arora with Amrapali Fall 2013
Manish Arora with Amrapali Fall 2013

Manish’s designs are not for the faint-hearted but if you want to sport a toned down version of his psychedelic sensibilities, you have the option of wearing his pret designs as well as his line of jewelry for Amrapali.

TROY COSTA FOR DANDY MEN’S WEAR

Troy Costa
Troy Costa

When you talk about menswear in India, few designers come to mind for the quality of their work and their design sensibilities. And after much consideration, we think Troy Costa is pretty much the go-to designer if you’re looking for a dollop of dandy style.

Troy has his men dress up like they’re walking the red carpet, in slim-fit suits and razor sharp tuxedos. His design ideology is vintage in attitude but modern in cuts.

Troy Costa
A Troy Costa ensemble

Says Karen Alfonso, our fashion editor, “Troy’s impeccable tailoring was in the forefront at his Lakme Fashion Week winter/resort 2013 show. We loved the sharply tailored jackets and trousers in hues of inky blue, mustard, and burnt orange.”

And that’s reason enough to sport his label in 2014.

ARJUN KHANNA FOR SPORTY MEN’S COUTURE

Designs by Arjun Khanna
Designs by Arjun Khanna

Arjun Khanna is a master at men’s couture and is known for creating the most sublime wedding sherwanis, jackets and kurtas for Indian grooms.

Arjun Khanna
Designs by Arjun Khanna

But it’s his sporty styles that also have us saving up to invest in for our 2014 wardrobe. His last collection had an underlying influence of “bicycle style” in his pieces.

This collection of cropped jackets, three-piece layers and waistcoats with military influences are inspired by everything from the messenger boys of the 1940′s to modern day BMX bikes.

Just right for a sporty night on the town.