From Alexander McQueen to Jean Paul Gaultier, for decades designers from all over the world have embraced the rich culture of India. Although the traditional brightly colored sari is the piece of clothing most universally associated with Indian fashion, there is so much more.

Cutting-edge Indian fashion designers are gaining acclaim, and celebrity clients out west are challenging preconceived notions about Indian fashion. Manish Malhotra dresses all the A-list Bollywood stars in India, as well as Reese Witherspoon, Kate Moss, and Naomi Campbell. Getting these classically minimalist superstars into extravagant and brightly colored gowns is an impressive feat and a testament to a truly innovative designer. On the opposite end of the spectrum, much-loved designer Sabyasachi Mukerjee makes equally breathtaking gowns, but uses earth tones, small bursts of color, and unexpected modern twists. Both designers are honoring their heritage, while embracing the globalization of fashion and keeping India on the forefront of innovation.

Manish Malhotra – Amazon India Couture Week 2015


Bold Colors & Mixed Prints

Whether you’re planning to wear a classic sari or smaller, inspired accessories, don’t shy away from bold colors and intricate patterns this fall. If your winter wardrobe is mainly black and navy, take a cue from these breathtaking street-style shots from Mumbai and New Delhi. Add some bright orange, fuchsia, or kelly green into your fashion rotation for a modern attention grabber.

We are especially obsessed with the masculinity of Paloma’s oversized, geek-chic plaid jacket and worldly, feminine, patterned maxi skirt. This is print mixing perfection that can translate to any season. Keep the focus on your outfit with a luxurious handbag in a neutral color and earth-toned shoes.


Decadent Jewelry

The layered and decadent jewelry of India is not only the best way to add dimension and interest to any outfit, it’s also the lazy girl’s style hack to holiday party dressing. A simple work sheath or inexpensive body-con dress gets an instant glam edge when you add a decadent piece of jewelry. We especially love styles from Tom Binns and Dylanlex. Or make your own and keep costume jewelry out of landfills with this DIY tutorial. All you need is a pair of pliers and some broken costume jewelry, which you can usually find at thrift stores, yards sales, or even on eBay.


Rihanna x Jacquie Aiche flash tattoos

Body Art

Traditional Indian jewelry, like the Nath and Maang Tikka, have made their way onto runways like Givenchy’s most recent show. And the always gorgeous henna treatments that are traditionally used in Indian wedding ceremonies are not only inspiring clothing designers and a fake tattoo revival that no one saw coming, they are also permanently sported by Rihanna.


Bloggers to Follow

Another way to take style straight from India is to go to the source: Indian style bloggers are diverse, multi-talented, and ready to dish out inspired advice. We are currently obsessed with the Bangalore-based style blogger, behind Big Hair Loud Mouth, Nilu Yuleena Thapa.

Bangalore-based blogger, Nilu Yuleena Thapa

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