Putting Indian arts and crafts on the world map have been the goal for many Indian designers and brands. As you have seen on our earlier blog “Inspired by India” we talk about how India has inspired many brands. Recently at the first, ever Modest Fashion Show in Paris, Modestissime – a Niche luxury, Pret-a-Couture brand, and designer – Sahil Kochhar, specializing in unconventional textures & embroideries presented his first ever collection.
We caught up with him after the show to know about his ideas and views regarding Indian fashion going global. “Indian arts and crafts have still not been explored to its fullest,” he says. “We have such a vast range in the variety of embroideries coming from different parts of the country that we often focus on the obvious and known. As a designer, I wish to take my creations that are fresh and contemporary with an old world charm, inspired by the rich cultural heritage of India and the artistry of our craftsmen global.”
There are a lot of challenges that Kochhar faces, like to create a perception that Indian embroidery is not just traditional wear but can be used to create fun and contemporary outfits. He says: “There is no doubt that textiles and silhouettes are best found in Europe, but the hand-made embroideries and textures from India would complete an outfit and make it stand out. Another challenge is the lack of communication and opportunities for Indian designers to showcase at fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan, and Paris.”
Graduating from one of the best fashion schools – National Institute of Fashion Technology in 2006, his graduating collection won him the most creative designs and best performer in his program. After that, he joined a famous and renowned designer – Rohit Bal. Sahil talks about his 6 years with the brand: “My favorite memory in my career is the second show I worked for with Rohit Bal called – Sihai which is inspired by Islamic culture and means Ink. It was the finale show for fashion week and the idea was to make the models turn from white to blue. Many of the designers working on the show thought of it as impossible but I managed to create 4 white gowns with inner linings of blue patches. As the models walked on the ramp with their hands in the dress they were able to change the color and bring out the ink blue.”
Here is where we can say that Sahil is an innovator, a dreamer, and a creator. In less than 4 years he has managed to start his own brand and bank awards and nominations like the International Woolmark Prize in 2016, Grazia Young Fashion Award and the prestigious Elle Graduate Award in 2015. He is one of the most famous designers in Bollywood and currently retailing through stores across India, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. Sahil Kochhar’s intricate looks highlight his innovative approach to materials and craftsmanship and we look forward to seeing more of him on a global platform.