Harper’s Bazaar India turns eight this year—a milestone even more significant as the original celebrates its 150th anniversary. Since its launch, Bazaar has stood for ‘Thinking Fashion’, and that is the legacy we honour in the pages of this, our big anniversary issue.
In keeping with this theme, we brought together Alia Bhatt and Sabyasachi Mukherjee for our cover. Both icons in their own right—Alia for a portfolio that is complex, determined, and versatile, Sabyasachi for his treatment of Indian textiles and weaves—together they best introduce the thought behind this issue.
Within the pages of the magazine, we looked at the very fabric of Indian fashion, and the people who championed it relentlessly. We tell the stories of AshaBaxi, who taught designers like Manish Arora; Suraiya, who has dedicated herself to revive weaves like himru; LailaTyabji, of the crafts NGO Dastkar; Sally Holkar, textile educationist and revivalist; RtaKapurChishti, a scholar and definitive authority on the sari; textile curator and patron Martand Singh; designer and historian Rahul Jain; Uzramma, who has taken up the cause of humble everyday textiles; and AhalyaSakthivel, a kanjivaram curator.
We also look at traditional motifs like the paisley and peacock, which are making a comeback on runways, Indian and international. We show our readers how wear staples like the haathphool and choli in a contemporary way. We style heirloom jewellery of people like GauriDevidayal and NanditaMahtani in a new look. We choose the upcoming Indian designers you need to know—their photographs, shot by Bandeep Singh, are works of art in themselves. In beauty, we feature a shoot inspired by the colours and textures of Holi. Designed to be kept, remain relevant through the years, this books stands for all that is India Modern.
That doesn’t take away from the rich, international content—Bazaar, after all, is a global force. No wonder then that we have bigwigs from Christian Louboutin and James Ferragamo to Lucia Silvestri of Bulgari not only wish us a happy birthday, but also sketch their most iconic accessories that have stood the test of time. In a rare interview, Helmut Lang talks to us about his life as an artist.
In its years in India, Bazaar has established itself as the magazine of choice for, in the words of legendary editor Carmel Snow, “the well-dressed woman with a well-dressed mind.” Which is why our pages also feature contributions by the likes of ManjuKapur, Nisha Susan, Janice Pariat, and MeenaKandasamy, all of whom wrote essays on beauty. We also engineered a shoot at the home of art patron and entrepreneur Radhika Chopra, wherein we reimagined iconic paintings of women against contemporary pieces—the resultant images inspired exclusive short stories by authors Raghu Karnad and KanishkTharoor. And in our travel pages, designer JJ Valaya writes on Jaisalmer.
NonitaKalra, Editor – Harper’s Bazaar India says, “We’re very excited that we’ve got an exclusive with Sabyasachi Mukherjee to style Alia Bhatt for the first time. He’s gone for a minimal yet opulent look in keeping with her age. This is a younger, fresher, newer Sabyasachi to celebrate a younger fresher newer Bazaar.”