Anand Kabra is one of India' s most talented young designers – I see him as part of the next generation of talent which has one foot firmly planted in the global stream, and another set in India, with an understanding of how the country's aesthetic has evolved from past to present, and an investment in shaping where it goes in the future. Past seasons have seen Kabra experimenting with hand-painting and delicate prints on architecturally-draped silk dresses and separates that have an effortless minimalist form and show restraint in embellishment.
This season he shifted in a different direction, creating a more 'global' collection that had less of an overt Indian connection – you could see the influence of McQueen in the aggressive lines, strong shoulders and cracked mirror embroidery, but Kabra made the inspiration his own, incorporating his signature draping, and translating the mirrored effects in hybrid saris that blazed in the runway lights.
Kabra is one of the few Indian designers who has his eyes set firmly on an international audience, and the buzz following his show was strong – international buyers were eager to snap up his work, especially given the crisis. Indian designers' lower price points and elaborate hand work are one strategy that might lure shoppers back into stores – economics aside, the beauty of Kabra's work might be able to do the trick all on its own.