Can you make it in the west without erasing your cultural identity?

In the fashion world, it’s always more about the story than the pieces themselves.
And time and time again, fashion has been political.
Rising hemlines came with the Nineteenth Amendment.
Chanel’s cardigan jacket was a form of liberation.
In the 1960s, fashion politics manifested itself through Mohanjeet Grewal’s minisaris: lengths to speak to female agency, and fabrics to speak to cultural heritage.
Each garment, a combination of tradition and vanguard. It was an icon of Mohanjeet: the label.
During all these years, Mohanjeet launched collections of fashion items, jewelry, interior decoration, modern and contemporary art.
"I define myself as a potter who has clay in her hands and does something out of it, not at all as a stylist... My inspiration comes from the Indian miniatures, if you look closely at the pattern you see seven to eight different prints," she says, mixing prints and combined materials - Indian silks, cottons and embroidered fabrics, hammered or brushed metal. Her frequent contacts with craftsmen guide her creations.
During the 80s, Asian fashion designers such as Miyake, Kenzo, and Mohanjeet have expanded the idea of fashion to new cultural horizons. Far from any cheap exoticism, they’ve honored a cultural know-how and art of dressing.

Her label dominated the press, with celebrity customers from Jane Fonda to Bridget Bardot and spreads in Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan and more. The intent of it — sincere, or commercial, or a strange mix of both — is hard to discern.

However, it's a case study in answering a very important question: you can make it in the west without erasing your cultural identity.

Stay true, darlings.

Aditi Mayer
Zehra Abbas
Mohanjeet Paris by Mohanjeet Grewal

*Mohanjeet Paris is located on 21 Rue Saint-Suplice, Paris, France.

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