It’s been a great year in Indian fashion. We’ve had a joyride hunting down trends and picking our favourite standout looks from the runway. Through the year, we’ve seen a few young designers emerging with a fresh new take on Indian fashion. Here’s our list of the breakthrough designers from 2015.
Sneha Arora: Emerging Talent
Sneha Arora debuted at Lakme Fashion Week a few seasons ago, but since her GenNext collection, we’ve seen her consistently evolve. This shy designer stands out with her emphasis on presenting a visually strong aesthetic. If she plays with prints, they are thoroughly researched and developed in the proper context. She isn’t a cut-copy-paste designer. Sneha’s collections take form in layers. If there’s a vegetable print in the collection, she will also work with vegetable dyes to created a rounded story. In fact, Sneha takes details so seriously that she extends the vibes from her collections to her stalls at exhibitions and at fashion week.
It’s this attention to detail and her steady progress as a designer that land Sneha Arora a spot on our list!
Shift by Nimish Shah: The Silent Dressmaker
In a country that’s seemingly obsessed with quirky prints and embroidery, Shift by Nimish Shah has managed to stand out with his chic, fuss-free casual dresses and separates. It’s the easy and minimalist vibe of the label that has earned Nimish the support of style superstars like Sonam Kapoor and Kalki Koechlin.
Making day-dressing refined for the modern woman can be tricky, but Nimish Shah makes it exciting by giving us something new every season. This year, he gave us a taste of beautiful dying techniques using vegetable natural dyes with a tres chic treatment for the urban woman.
Dhruv Kapoor: Label To Watch Out for
He recently won the VOGUE India Fashion Fund 2015 in Delhi. In a span of nearly 2 years, Dhruv Kapoor is among the few younger names who have ventured into women’s and menswear, simultaneously. While pattern cuts and aesthetics for the two are different in terms of execution, Dhruv has nailed both of them with impeccable attention to structure and finish.
Through the year, we’ve seen stars like Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Nargis Fakhri and Malaika Arora Khan in Dhruv Kapoor. But the icing on the cake was the label’s menswear show at GQ India‘s Fashion Nights which featured a boisterous collection for winter 2015. This is definitely a label to watch.
Payal Khandwala: Omnipresent
They said ‘Out of sight- Out of mind,’ but that’s not the case with Payal Khandwala. The woman has been building her own fashion arsenal with her time away from runway shows. She opened doors to her flagship store in late 2014 but through this year, she’s gained momentum. She extended her label’s colour blocked, oriental-zen vibe into a strong desi bridal avatar. Not just that, in the second half of the year, Payal along with her husband, Vikram Ramchandani, launched Tachi– an accessory label for men and women.
It’s now safe to say that Payal Khandwala has been omnipresent in 2015, adding a few more feathers to her label’s hat!
Eina Ahluwalia: Positive Vision
The past few seasons have been exciting in terms of accessories. We’ve seen a ton of names step up and Eina Ahluwalia is one of them. What struck us about the label is Eina’s vision to present her label accessories in a way that triggers a subconscious awareness to all women in terms of how one perceives themselves. During a recent show, she presented her line with art installations, audio-visual aids and live acts. The showcase was designed around an idea that reminded women that they are beautiful, strong and unique irrespective of the standards set by mainstream media and the fashion/beauty industry worldwide.
Taking the story forward, Eina emphasized her positive vision for women by featuring the fabulous Ekta Rajani as the model for her campaign. We applaud the fact that she took the initiative to discuss a concept of beauty and accessories in the coolest way possible!
Anavila: Bringing Textiles Back
We’re not exaggerating when we say that Anavila Misra makes desi textiles cool! The designer works closely with weavers and kariars in India to create luxurious contemporary versions of tradition Indian weaves. This year alone, along with Sanjay Garg of Raw Mango and Ritu Kumar, Anavila took a strong stand to represent the textiles, handicrafts and the nation’s weaving fraternity that deserve our attention, appreciation and applause.
It’s this dedication that lands Anavila a spot on our breakthrough designers list of 2015.
Antar Agni: Menswear Maestro
He’s stormed into the Indian menswear market, and our boys in Bollywood (in Antar Agni) have never looked better, especially in textile-based looks. The label has given men a few more options to experiment with. At the GQ Fashion Nights, Ujjawal Dubey of Antar Agni added another layer to his looks for the show by introducing a sports-luxe twist to his drape-heavy garments.
This year alone, we’ve seen people like Arjun Kapoor, Ayushmann Khuranna, and R. Madhavan rocking their Antar Agni gear. We want more!
LoveBirds: New Kids On The Block
Bringing the cool, easy vibe of boxy layers is a new label called LoveBirds! They debuted on the runway in 2015 and instantly caught the fancy of magazine editors, stylists, bloggers and fashionistas. Some may call them a little alternative, but we love that Lovebirds give us clothes that are beautifully cut and have room for movement.
They are fashion’s new kids on the block and we’re glad that they are here!
Am.It: Radical New Direction
Two seasons old and in a new direction is Am.It by designers Amit Aggarwal and Amit Hansraj. Their first collection re-invented the bindi and the second collection presented Harajuku with a hardcore sports edge.
We are absolutely stoked that Am.It carries forward a story started by Manish Arora and Little Shilpa – A story that represents a fun, eccentric side to Indian Fashion.
Armaan Aiman: Big Splashers
They’ve managed to take over our Instagram, and Facebook news feeds with their fox printed shirts. Fashion favourites like Athiya Shetty, Neha Dhupia, Anushka Manchanda, and a bunch fashion faces have regularly been posting #OOTDs in their Armaan Aiman gear. As Armaan Randhawa of Armaan Aiman puts it- we #LOUE!
Huemn: The Cool Peeps
Pranav Mishra and Shyma Shetty, of Huemn, are cool as f*ck! And they bring their cool vibes to their collections. If there’s an international trend brewing, Huemn’s picked it and made it their own! In fact, the duo have mastered the art of taking relevant fashion themes like animal prints and adding a cool, Huemn twist to it.
It’s their sense of being light-hearted with a strain on presenting strong collections that have interesting design elements, which makes us love them a lot more! P.S. This year, they also managed to steam up our screens with their ultra sexy ad campaign!
Miuniku: The Game Changers
When we first saw their lookbook, we didn’t know their origin and took it for granted they were an international label. Having said that, Miuniku IS a global label and have shown their range in Milan and Dubai. While change in fashion is constant, this year, the label has maintained a strong story in their collections with their trademark layered looks in a jolt of colours.
Ikai: The Rebel With A Cause
For Ragini Ahuja of Ikai, graphic looks are a statement and she designs them with no apologies. From cigarette motives to oversized sleeves, she is a rebel, and a good one. This year, she proved that she is not just restricted to visually bold garments. She makes clothes for the women of today, the kind that won’t stick to norms and won’t succumb to the rigid rules of the dressing game.
At MissMalini, we love a rebel the moment we see one!
Writing this list has really worked up our appetite for what’s in store in 2016. Who do you think will break out in 2016? Tell us @MissMalini.
To read more of our Best of 2015 post, click here!