As you may know, Virgin Media Pioneers and Virgin Atlantic kindly whisked me away for a Mumbai city break as one of their young entrepreneurs in celebration of their new London-Mumbai route. As well as picking Richard Branson's brain, learning from the Virgin team and meeting Indian entrepreneurs, one of the reasons we wanted SBA to be involved in the trip was to see how young people in India were reinventing traditional fashion into something more relevant to their taste. Prints are just as big in Indian fashion as they are in African, so it was so inspiring to see them being done in such fun ways. Case in point, how cool is this Pacman sari by Yogesh Chaudhary on Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor?
One of Virgin Atlantic's Delhi based air hostesses also put me onto designer Masaba Gupta, who I've grown to love not only because she's a similar mix of Indian and black like me which I've never seen in India, but also for her really cute and quirky prints. She's put cows on sari's (see actress Shilpa Shetty working it here), camera's on kurta's, and completely convinced me to attempt wearing her modern version of the Indian 'dhoti', a traditional garment for men made famous by Gandhi.
Masaba says her design aesthetic is based on reviving Indian culture, simply modifying it for the younger and more restless. This reinterpretation of traditon to appeal to a younger more internationally influenced audience is relevant to the craze of African print being incorporated by young people into all kinds of design. Mumbai however, showed me a whole new way of design that balances both cultural and global relevance. The haven of cool that is concept store 'Bombay Electric' shows perfectly how its done. Described as the Colette of Mumbai, it features unique modern Indian fashion which is as ready to wear for any of Mumbai's 'Bollywood Babes', or the tourist who's looking for some international cool.