Buttons sit on the cuff of a man’s suit. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Crafting A Sense Of Style: What Fashion Designers Read

Folklore from a tribe in India. Knowledge from the old scriptures. Celebration of the artist as a rebel. These are the themes that have inspired some of India’s top fashion designers.

BloombergQuint spoke with India’s top fashion designers about their favourite books.

Anita Dongre

Founder, House of Anita Dongre

Designer Anita Dongre at the Lakme Fashion Week. (Image courtesy: Anita Dongre) 
Designer Anita Dongre at the Lakme Fashion Week. (Image courtesy: Anita Dongre) 

Vedanta Treatise, By A Parthasarathy

“This is one of my favourite books that teaches the true art of living, guiding you on how to hone your intellect, how to deal with life and other people,” Dongre said. “The Vedanta Treatise has helped me better understand myself and the world I live in. It also moves my design philosophy by helping me serve my craft with passion, and I gain new learnings with every reading.”

Crafting A Sense Of Style: What Fashion Designers Read

Fashion And Sustainability: Design For Change, By Kate Fletcher And Lynda Grose

This book calls for a much-needed change within the fashion industry to move towards sustainability, she said. It explores the life cycle of textiles and restructuring of business models in a bid for slower, more meaningful fashion. It also highlights the responsibility of the designer as activist in this revolution, according to Dongre.

Crafting A Sense Of Style: What Fashion Designers Read

Crafts Of India, Handmade In India, Edited By Aditi Ranjan, M P Ranjan

“This is a classic book on Indian handicrafts that I keep going back to. It’s a great collection of India’s regional craft clusters, and explores the social, cultural and historical influences on design and craft processes,” Dongre said. “It also includes some stunning pictures.”

Crafting A Sense Of Style: What Fashion Designers Read

Ritu Kumar

Founder, Ritu Kumar; Padma Shri Awardee

Ritu Kumar presents her creations at the Lakme Fashion show. (Image courtesy: Ritu Kumar)  
Ritu Kumar presents her creations at the Lakme Fashion show. (Image courtesy: Ritu Kumar)  

Threads Of Identity: Embroidery And Adornment Of The Nomadic Rabaris, By Judy Frater

This book talks of the Rabari community and their rich heritage of folk art and culture. One can get a glimpse of the intricate embroidery and dressing styles of this community, according to Kumar.

Rapture – The Art of Indian Textiles, By Rahul Jain

This book talks of textile art, tracing a history of more than 500 years, she said.

Costume Patterns And Designs, By Max Tilke

This book covers extensively, costume patterns and designs of all periods and nations from antiquity to modern times, according to Kumar.

Rocky Star

Founder And Creative Director, Rocky Star

(Image courtesy: Rocky S)
(Image courtesy: Rocky S)

100 Years Of Fashion, By Cally Blackman

The book takes you on a journey; the transformation of fashion and its diversity through imagery, he said. “It, most importantly, makes one understand the power of clothing, the significance of expression that it carried at a particular time and the different cultures it represents. It gives you a peek inside the history of fashion, its evolution from timeless elegant styles to a period focused on highly experimental fashion.”

Rocky Star presents his Fall Winter collection in London. (Image courtesy: Rocky Star) 
Rocky Star presents his Fall Winter collection in London. (Image courtesy: Rocky Star) 

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, By Andrew Bolton

This book looks at fashion as an art, a designer as an artist and his creations as masterpieces. While it takes you through the designer’s journey in fashion to building a powerful, ahead of its time fashion house, it also stresses on the importance of believing in your creativity without falling prey to external influences, he said.