Indian handloom, textile real luxury for us: British designer

Mumbai: While many Indian designers are trying to hit international runways with their creations, here is one Briton who is fascinated by Indian handloom and textiles. Designer Natalie Jolliffe of brand Miss Bennett London says that such elements are “real luxury” for someone like her who hardly find such products in her hometown.

Jolliffe, a frequent visitor to India since the past few years, says she has stocked her wardrobe with a lot of Indian handloom pieces.

“I have taken them back whenever I have visited India. They are beautiful and it’s something that we can’t get in England at all. It’s real luxury to us and we admire it,” the designer said on the sidelines of summer-resort edition of Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) here.

The five-day fashion extravaganza that started on Wednesday is taking place at Hotel Palladium. Jolliffe the designer was here to present the spring-summer edition of her brand on the Jabong stage in front of Indian fashion enthusiasts.

The designer, who went to London College of Fashion to graduate in Fashion Management, has been in the fashion industry for 16 years. Her next big plan is to make Miss Bennett London a popular name on the global map of fashion.

Is the Indian market a key focus?

“I have been visiting India over the past 12 years, so I have seen a considerable change in terms of fashion here. The youth market here is huge. Most girls in India have iPhones and they know what the trends are and they are eager to adapt.

“There aren’t many brands to facilitate their need for fashion and that’s one of the reasons why we decided to launch in India with to give them more exciting options,” she said.

Her brand offers a mix of ensembles like crop tops, mini dresses enhanced with floral, marble and graphic prints mixed with elements like track pants and sneakers for the fashion forward young women looking for a distinct style statement.

Jolliffe feels that the Indian youth are willing to experiment and Miss Bennett London can serve their taste.

“We are focusing on the young and the trendy real teenagers…and those in her early 20s where she really wants to experiment with fashion. I think not too many brands are doing that, and that’s the reason why we thought India is perfect market to bring our brand,” she said.

Among Indian designers, she loves the works of Manish Arora, Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and “many more”. But a word of advise from her to fashion makers here is that “they need to focus is styling”.

“We can definitely bring the brand to India, but we would really want to see more magazine, bloggers and online portals showing customers how to wear things. We can bring products, but it’s more about educating people of what to wear with what,” she said.

“I think that is very important for young customers in building their confidence in fashion,” she added.