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Indian fashion shakes dust off traditional craft

Raw silk, cotton, jute – India’s traditional fabrics are finding favour among top designers raring to break new ground in the Indian fashion market.

The tendency to ape Western cuts and style has seen the country’s rich craftsmanship take a back seat. But a reversal in the trend was evident at last month’s Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, one of the two most prestigious events on the Indian fashion calendar. Classic couturier Tarun Tahiliani marked the return to traditional craft with handmade Indian fabrics and embroidery in his signature draping style.

"I consciously used Indian fabric. I feel we’ve been a little too Western," Tahiliani says, lamenting the qualities that have been lost in the "hyper-explosion of brands, stores, distribution and price wars".

Tahiliani is not alone in his new-found mission. A host of promising designers are looking to affirm their cultural heritage.

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