Of India’s Cultural Heritage: Pathways to the Modern
Laila Tyabji
JOURNEY TO INDIA MODERN by By Tarun Tahiliani Roli Books, 2023, 320 pp., Fully illustrated, price not stated.
INDIAN CRAFTS INTERIORSby Edited by Aman Nath and Jaya Jaitly Institute of Indian Interior Designers/MAPIN Publishing, 2023, 260 pp., fully illustrated INR 2950.00
July 2024, volume 48, No 7

Suddenly, over the last decade or two, India (and with it the world) has woken up to the fact that traditional crafts and textiles are not just a picturesque part of our past but can be a fantastic part of our future. Enhancing our lives, homes, clothes, and identity. Adding something uniquely different, Indian, but also contemporary.

Designers, merchandizers, lifestyle gurus, and influencers have realized that our techniques and traditions are not static and sacrosanct but should be the basis and catalysts for exciting new development and design, setting us apart from the rest of the world, yet part of its present. Whether in interiors or fashion, what Tarun Tahiliani appropriately calls, ‘India Modern need not be a déjà vu replica of Mughal-e-Azam; it can be something both fresh and distinctively our own. Using India’s multiple skill sets and materials, its motif directories, its costumes and cuts as inspiration, not carbon copies. The past should be a springboard, not a cage.’

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