Designers and their muses

Jun 20, 2014, 08:01 IST | Ruchika Kher

International media is abuzz with speculation that German designer Karl Lagerfeld’s new muse is British model Cara Delevingne since she opened his Autumn/Winter show in March. the guide showcases a few Indian counterparts and their muses

Karl Lagerfeld
Karl Lagerfeld, flanked by Cara Delevingne, acknowledges the audience at the end of Chanel 2014/2015  Autumn/Winter ready-to-wear collection fashion show in Paris. Pic/AFP 

Mayyur Girotra
Who: Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan are both show stoppers in real life. They are the maestros of sarod, and are taking forward their rich lineage. They are not only immensely talented but also strongly rooted to their culture and at the same time, chic and edgy. They are perfect as muses for my work as my new collection focuses on minimal fashion that speaks for itself.
Why: For a designer, it is necessary to have a muse as it reflects a lot on your seriousness with your collection and work. It is important to choose the right celebrity as it talks a lot about your brand and your associations. A muse can help bring out the true beauty of an outfit that perfectly compliments them.

Mayyur with  Amaan Ali Khan

Ayaan Ali Khan
Ayaan Ali Khan

Rocky S
Who: Bipasha Basu is my muse. She is experimental with her style and is always spontaneous with upcoming trends.
Why: The muse plays an important role in developing a concept, and setting the mood board for the collection. It helps a designer to merge his/her thoughts with the inspired ideas.

Ritu Kumar
Who: I had worked with artist Prarthna Singh, a couple of times. One of the collaborations was a series of self portraits she did which we showcased in the store. She is a talented independent creator. She is one of the women who are forging their own paths, and I feel my brand, Label, Ritu Kumar, has the same ethos and philosophy. That is why she was an ideal muse.
Why: We use ideas and inspirations — sometimes they are people who inspire.

Prarthna Singh

Ritu Kumar

Neeta Lulla
Who: I would regard Shilpa Shetty as my muse. There are many actors I have worked with right from the time they got into this industry. Though I cannot mention everyone in the industry, I would consider Shilpa as my muse as she is elegant and I have worked with her from her first film. She has worn a variety of my designs, ranging from the most simplistic gowns to stylised outfits to bridal couture and lehengas. Apart from working with her and her films, she has also worn my attire for many of her personal events
Why: During the process of working with a celebrity, a rapport is developed, eventually; a comfort level is shared between the celebrity and designer. A designer needs a muse, and a muse needs a designer. A garment is recognisable when worn by their muse and the muse is recognisable when he/she wears a particular designer.


Neeta Lulla

Tarun Tahiliani
Who: Fashion is my muse! Art, architecture, interiors, history, travel, Maharajas! My inspiration comes from many things. Sometimes, it’s from beautiful inlay work I’ve seen in a fabulous monument; other times, my inspiration can be something as simple as a beautiful kanjeevaram weave. Ultimately, however, my inspiration comes from India’s rich traditions of craftsmanship, particularly when it comes to embroideries, that we have in India. Nothing is more amazing than beautifully executed, intricate, fine technique.
Why: A designer does not necessarily need a muse. What a designer needs is inspiration. It could be art, architecture, everyday things. Inspiration is what creates the collection.

Tarun Tahiliani

Iconic muse-designer collaborations
A file photo of Madonna from 1991 wearing an outfit, designed by French Jean-Paul Gaultier at the Cannes Festival Palace after the screening of her movie, In Bed with Madonna.

A file photo of Madonna from 1991 wearing an outfit, designed by French Jean-Paul Gaultier at the Cannes Festival Palace after the screening of her movie, In Bed with Madonna. Pic/AFP

Hubert De Givenchy > Audrey Hepburn
Jean Paul Gaultier > Madonna
Mac Jacobs > Sofia Coppola
Christian Louboutin > Dita Von Teese

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