Falguni Shane Peacock’s New York Fashion Week comeback, directed by famous Hollywood fashion designer Lou Roach, has cemented India’s place on the global fashion map.

2004. This was Falguni Shane Peacock’s first show at the Lakme Fashion Week in India. There were no expectations from the husband and wife duo. On the runway that year, thongs appeared like never before. Rajesh Pratap had presented a gothic-inspired collection, which he joked would be interpreted as “suicidal”.

For its first collection, FSP had to cultivate a sound all its own, a unique vision that encompassed everything luxe from crystal-encrusted pants to beaded blouses. A theme emerged that would be a mainstay of the design duo’s work from that day on, which is that Indian sensibilities must be married to Western consciousness in a way that doesn’t dilute either, and it’s not like they’re trying too hard. This was evident in floral-print dresses, leather-fringed gowns and ruffled skirts. Not surprisingly, retail giant Harrods bought the entire collection.

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When the designer duo presented their collection at New York Fashion Week, nineteen years later this week, it made even more apparent the sensibilities at play on that hot July day in Delhi. Creatively directed by Lou Roach, this work presented a narrative of the present, of silhouettes that played with form and function, amplifying the way feathers could marry with graphic prints.

“It’s not just about looks; “It’s about embracing diversity and individuality,” Peacock says Vogue magazine India, as only recently, even at an India Couture Week show, queer model Raban Victor wore a gold fish dress with a sheer veil and a sweeping train. “New York culture enriches our designs, blending tradition with modernity, and we established our first international office here in 2022, marking a significant milestone, so our relationship with New York will continue to move forward over time.”

Even on the international stage, this isn’t their first time participating in a rodeo. Their journey began in 2008 when they made their debut at both Miami Fashion Week and Los Angeles Fashion Week. The following year, 2009, saw them debut six consecutive collections at London Fashion Week.

“In our previous exhibition, we already celebrated the rich tapestry of cultural exchange through our design language. Now, with 2.O, and with Lou Roach as creative director of the show, you will see this collection delve deeper into the fusion of diverse influences, seamlessly weaving them into a whole. “Here, we continue to explore the interplay of contrasting elements, embracing the raw intensity of street aesthetics and fusing it with the complex grandeur of luxury couture.”

It was a conscious effort on their part to not be too specific either, and not to limit themselves to a specific cultural continuum. So, the NYFW collection also presented abstractions of shapes that can mean many things. In a journey spanning decades, Lou Roach’s appointment as creative director of the collection was the culmination of many runway explorations and a vision of the future with great clarity.

“With Lou Roach as creative director of the show, we’ve infused our collections with a unique blend of street meets luxury and audiences will see a new perspective on how to wear our signature luxury pieces – think pairing a sweatshirt with a luxury skirt or a luxury jacket with track pants.” It has a narrative of luxurious New York City meets street style, while the highlight will remain the richness of Indian craftsmanship in the lights of New York City, suggesting cultural exchange. Lou (Roach) has given this season’s look a whole new dimension, where luxury and urban elegance blend together to give a refreshing touch to our brand identity.

According to various reports, Indian consumer spending on luxury goods is expected to more than triple by 2030, most of which will be sourced outside the country from tourists and expatriates. Whether global brands make it big in India is a well-documented struggle, mired in operational conflicts and bureaucratic tussles. From the way they look at it, what sets Indian handicrafts apart is not just their historical depth but also their diversity, as our artisans possess an unparalleled skill set that encompasses a wide range of techniques – from intricate hand embroidery to textile weaving, printing on… Templates, and much more.

“This diversity allows global fashion houses like Dorna to tap into a deep well of inspiration, creating designs that celebrate the country’s vibrant tapestry of cultures, traditions and art forms,” says the duo. “Through our artisans, we preserve ancient techniques that are both exquisite and rare – enriching the global fashion scene with its ability to bring a sense of history, art and authenticity to clothing and accessories.”

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