The Indian design scene is looking better than ever — in my opinion, this is because India is finally embracing its own unique position within the industry and creative worth.
There was a time when the Indian design industry — fashion and product — would try to mimic the West, shying away from an Indian aesthetic with the view that West was best. It has been a long time coming, but I am absolutely reveling in the trend of Indian designers celebrating the nuances of their homeland.
This playful feature looks at designers using India-centric narratives in contemporary design and the specific vernacular of their regions; for once, design made in India for Indians. Scarves printed with various amusing neighborhood characters on their morning walks in Calcutta, embroidered cushions detailing the chaotic tapestry of rush hour, and product details that update traditional Indian design like the ubiquitous woven “Muddah” stool. —
A potent shot of chai or tea, served in small iconic glasses - commonly sold in shacks on the streets of Calcutta and across India - served as inspiration for Calcutta-based designers
Jit Art Studio's
range of illustrated, block printed products, "Cutting Chai."
Another collaboration by Calcutta-based designers
Jit Art Studio
, "Morning Walkers" is a playful take on various characters on their morning walks in Calcutta - the guy from the Laughing Club, a man wearing a monkey cap, an old man dozing off to sleep, and so on. The morning Walkers or Joggers range of products include silk chanderi scarves and sarees.
"Morning Walkers" detail.
Internationally renowned Bengali fashion designer Sabyasachi's exciting new collaboration with wall covering brand
is inspired by distinct Indian narratives and celebrates five different regions. India Baroque, Spice Route, Jodhpur, Mahkmal and Varanasi are inspired by hand-painted pottery and block prints, crumbling family homes and India's royal reigns.
Read more about the stories
The fashion world meets interiors in another image from Bengali fashion designer Sabyasachi's new theatrical collaboration with wall covering brand
The description of
The Play Clan's
"Yatayat Jam" embroidered cushion cover is too amusing not to include...
"Fasten your seat belts, rev up the engine and hit the roads only to find yourselves immobile for hours.
See Unity in Diversity as vehicles, along with people and animals, of all shapes, sizes and forms unite only to diverse in every possible direction.
Speed of cars is challenged by that of cows as both parties try to reach their desired destination by disobeying the ever-absent cops.
Here you might want to agree with us when we say that snail's pace seems faster than the pace of turbo-charged engines.
On our roads, Indian Standard Delay is inevitable.
We wish you and ourselves a happy and safe journey."
The "Chora-Chori" Chai Mug set [roughly translated to guys and girls] by
The Play Clan
Inspired by the street hawkers stands, selling "chaat" (a spicy, savory snack) across the streets of Bombay, the Bhel Puri Stand was initially designed by Australian designer
(living in India at the time) as a series for
Abode Boutique Hotel.
Made from recycled Burma teak hardwood, with a German matte varnish and powder-coated thali plates, the piece is handmade in India.
This beautiful hand screen printed and quilted hot water bottle cover by
reads "Hot water" on one side in English and "Garam pani" (hot water in Hindi) on the other. Finished with zig-zag, bunting-like piping.
The ubiquitous and humble Indian "Muddah" stool is used in households all over India.
(a collaboration between
) reinterprets the traditional stool in striking contemporary colors and with hand-braided cotton cords.
The exquisite Bombay store
has been celebrating India's rich heritage for years with tasteful housewares that weave folk tales into its collections.
This "Kokand" table linen is a tribute to the rich cultural heritage of the city famous for its splendid palace of Khudáyár Khán. Inspired by the colors and textile traditions from the crossroads of the Silk Route, the table linen features embroidered Suzani inspired Butah motifs. The design story includes tablecloths and napkins in hand-spun linen.
The "Zeenat" collection of tableware from
is inspired by the Mughals love of gardens, floral patterns, refined crafts and a legacy of luxury. The Zeenat design story is adorned with a sublime floral "Butah" set in a latticed "jaali" arabesque.
A series of fantastical art prints from housewares brand
, "Nandi," the sacred cow of India has become the muse of the brand and her portrait dominates the collections. Here, she is dressed in No-Mad's "Gunjan" design.
Kitsch lifestyle brand
is a riot of colors and draws from a wealth of playful Indian motifs. I just love this vibrant "Kettle Calling" tote bag which celebrates the humble Indian kettle.