Fashion is more than just something aesthetically pleasing to the eye; it is an art, a science, a thoughtful presentation of emotion.

Designers Bring it to Life

Ever wonder what went into the garments you buy? Or how a simple sketch goes from concept to production? Well, now you can find out! Let’s take a closer look at the design process—why? Because fashion is more than just something aesthetically pleasing to the eye; it is an art, a science, a thoughtful presentation of emotion that represents what is happening in our social and economic environment.

Guaranteed, you will stop and think about why you chose what you are currently wearing.

Behind the Sketch

What’s in a Trend?

It is natural to think a trend is merely a fleeting style concept that comes and goes as time passes, in a cyclical fashion and without much rhyme or reason.

We all can recall a time when our mothers or grandmothers recognized a current trend and said, “I wore that 40 years ago!” Yes, styles and silhouettes do repeat themselves from time to time, but in a modified form that is strategically thought through and applies to what is currently happening in the world i.e. pop culture, society, and economic elements collectively direct trends.

Cover Design

Let’s take a look at the historical fashion of the 60s and 70s, as an example, to explore this further:

In the East and West, this was a period of social change, reflected in fashion and creative industries overall. In the West, and particularly in the U.S., it was the time of the Civil Rights Movement which was marked with major campaigns of nonviolent protest, igniting much-needed dialogue between activists and government authorities.

In South Asia, and primarily in India, the late-60s and 70s reflected a social shift—, especially for women. Female activists and intellectuals were part of a Women’s Liberation Movement, working to protect and promote education and rights for females. This stemmed from pre-Indian Independence when English educated women began to break barriers and become pioneers for change. (Source:  Women’s Struggles and Women’s Movement in India).

Bollywood’s top actresses at the time promoted women’s liberation in their movie roles and especially in their costumes.

women’s liberation in their Costumes

Sadhana, for example, was known for her figure-hugging kurtas and short kameezes. Bee-hive hairstyles and winged eyeliner brought focus up to the face and accentuated the eyes. Saris were also draped and tied much below the waist, bringing attention to a woman’s silhouette and natural curves.

Sadhana/Photo Source: Pinterest

Zeenat Aman, another top actress at the time, brought a fresh boldness to Indian cinema and fashion with her sometimes risqué fashion choices that represented a carefree, confident vibe. Aman brought sensuality and daring confidence to Bollywood fashion.

Zeenat Aman/Photo Source: Pinterest 

It’s all in a Stroke

Once a designer has gathered inspiration from trend forecasters and industry professionals, the next step is the most creative and starts with sketching.

Most designers will keep a small sketchbook by their side at all times, forever ready to jot down ideas when inspiration strikes. The designer is his/her own worst critic and therefore, usually does not find the first set of sketches to be worthy of production.

Finally, when the right sketch hits him/her, it sticks and something about it is unforgettable. An emotional relationship form between the designer and the design.

Design concepts develop around the initial sketch—from the pattern and fit textiles, to color, and drape. For established designer labels, various team members take on specific roles from here: sourcing, pattern making, stitching, embroidery, costing, merchandising, etc.

For smaller labels, these functions are handled by the designer alone or perhaps with the help of only a few. The production process is easier than it seems, and staying coordinated and organized allows for a seamless(pun intended) result.

Here, we take a closer look at some of India’s most respected Designers and how they have contributed to the fashion and artistic world:

Manish Malhotra


Famed Costume Designer and Couturier, Manish Malhotra, has shaped Indian cinema fashion for decades now. His artful way of draping and creating soft and feminine form helped develop the on-screen style of mega stars like Karishma and Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukherjee, and Madhuri Dixit.

The designing mastermind recognized the influence of Bollywood’s top actors on consumer taste and was one of the first to capitalize on this concept.

Malhotra, along with other designers, encourages the entertainment community to not only attend Fashion Shows and events but to be show-stoppers and actually walk the ramp. Over time, looks are recognized as being synonymous with a famous Bollywood face.

Manish Arora


Known for vibrant colors and intricate detail that is both harmonious and chaotic, Designer, Manish Arora has given women a feeling of liberation that matches their innermost energy.  He keeps hues and tone artful and light and introduces whimsy in unexpected ways. Each piece is emotion-packed and full of vigor and brilliance, creating a sense of mystical bliss that is intriguing.

Masaba Gupta


India’s youngest fashion sensation and design genius, Masaba Gupta, is most known for her quirky edge, pop culture prints, and ultra-feminine silhouettes.

She brings modern fashion an element of raw, no-fuss, cool-girl personality! At just 19 years old, she entered the fashion scene with her first ever runway show at Lakme Fashion Week. Now as the Designer and Creative Director for Satya Paul, her work has become wildly popular due to its unexpected way of bringing humor to style.

Needless to say, fashion is more than what meets the eye. It is carefully and thoughtfully created, with every detail in mind—a true creative form.  Next time you go shopping, we encourage you to take a closer look at the garments you purchase. We guarantee you will see much more than a simple garment, and rather a piece of art.

This post was originally published on our partner site India.com and republished here with permission.