Hacker Chic: The name of the clothing line I’d design/I flesh out in my notebook when I’m on a bus/plane/train/car. It has nothing to do with what I have ever done, but fashion design has been something I’ve been fascinated with ever since I’ve come to India. Probably because there are so many fabrics, colors, cuts, designs, and I get really excited when I think about the fusion possibilities. And then I think about not just India, but what would a global fusion fashion line look like? The staples like Paris, New York, London, Milan, Tokyo, but being in India makes me realize that each country probably has designers that take global trends and put their local twist on it: Mumbai, New Delhi, Istanbul I have seen personally (and LOVE), but I now want to explore local fashion designers from other countries around the world. And then go on to answer bigger questions like: can you make a cohesive clothing/accessory line around it? Imagine (think: boutique) shoes from New York, dress from Mumbai, earrings from Buenos Aires, ring from Istanbul, scarf from Paris, and handbag from London- how cool would that be? Truly global citizen.
But in India, I love going to the Ritu Kumar store in Mumbai. Ritu Kumar is probably my favorite boutique Indian designer because not only does she design traditional Indian red carpet wear for Bollywood icons like Vidya Balan and Priyanka Chopra, but she also has an accesible Western/fusion collection for everyday wear (and amazing handbags!). I love her dresses because I use them as kurta’s in India, and when I go to the US, take off the leggings and they double as a dress. It’s a wonderful alternative/similar price point to purely Western brands like Zara and Chemistry. Whenever I go into her store, I get inspired by the beautiful intertwining of East and West.
There isn’t a lot of literature online about Indian fashion, mostly just going by what I see in the magazine adverts, and this great book I read some time ago called The Powder Room. But I feel like it’s more exciting that way, at least for me. I get to discover this new area on my own, and make up my own mind about what I see.
This is actually one of my favorite things to do when I explore a city: check out their local designers and see what clothing/accessories I would want to add to Hacker Chic, the yet to be created global clothing line.