Heritage Fashion: The Style Setters

Historic style will always be influential: In the UK, the classic suit and the stylish evening dress; in South Asia, the Salwar Kameez, Lehenga Choli and the Saree are the smart, stylish traditional attire of choice. Attention to detail and cut is everything, style rules and quality reflects the status of the wearer.

Paul Smith (b.1946 Beeston) is one of Britain’s foremost designers synonymous with classic British tailoring and style. He is renowned for his creative spirit, which combines traditional cuts with modern patterns.

Fashion Facts:

  • Wanted to be a professional cyclist but had an accident. Whilst in hospital he was introduced to people from Art School who introduced him to fashion.
  • Learnt his art through evening classes and later in Savile Row where his design was worn by George Best the footballer.
  • Frequently visits his shops to talk to customers and see what they think.
  • Obsessive collector and hoarder, his Covent Garden office being filled with art and with paraphernalia sent to him by fans.
  • Dressed sporting heroes from England & Manchester United Football Teams to Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins.

“British fashion is self-confident and fearless. It refuses to bow to commerce, thus generating a constant flow of new ideas whilst drawing in British heritage.” Alexander McQeen 

Rohit Bal (b.1961 Kashmir): Rohit Bal's sense of aesthetic is finely honed. His work is handcrafted to perfection. He is recognised for his meticulous attention to detail. 
Rohit draws from influences, wide and varied - from the village crafts and traditional methods of design of India, to the transient phenomenon of the sub-continent's urban landscape. He is best known for his use of lotus and peacock motifs. He frequently uses rich fabrics like velvet, brocade and his designs are elaborate, inspired by the Indian grandeur and royalty.

  • Graduated from St. Stephens College in New Delhi with an honours degree in History.
  • Studied at the National Institute of Fashion Technology
  • Started his career with his brother Rajiv Bal in New Delhi in 1986, with the company Orchid Oversea, and started his own first independent collection in 1990.
  • Designed for the game show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?).
  • Opened a flagship store in Delhi, as well as stores in Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Chennai. 
  • Clientele list includes Uma Thurman, Cindy Crawford, Pamela Anderson, Naomi Campbell and Anna Kournikova.

J W Anderson (b.1984 Magherafelt, Northern Ireland): One of the industry’s most feted young designers, J W Anderson is internationally heralded as important and original, celebrated for his androgynous aesthetic. Established in 2008 by Jonathan Anderson, it is regarded as one of London’s most intuitive fashion brands.

  • Anderson studied menswear at the London College of Fashion. 
  • Worked as a visual merchandiser at Prada.
  • He was awarded the British Fashion Council's NEWGEN MEN's catwalk sponsorship.
  • In September 2012 Anderson's debut collection for Topshop was launched. ‘J.W.Anderson x Topshop’ was his first ready-to-wear high-street collection.
  • Loewe’s Creative Director.  


Other Style Designers to check out:  

Sir Edwin Hardy Amies founded of the Hardy Amies label and is best known for his official title as dressmaker for Queen Elizabeth II, from her accession to the throne 1952 until his retirement in 1989. He established the monarch's crisp, understated style of dress. "I don't think she feels clothes which are too chic are exactly very friendly".

FNKASIA – Amir Adnan: His mission was to revive the Sherwani, the traditional long coat, which was buried with the lords and maharajas of yesteryear.

Manish Malhotra: Manish Malhotra is one of India's most successful fashion designers. Malhotra has designed for many leading actresses in Bollywood.

Burberry: One of the most widely known luxury fashion houses in the world. Started with and is still famous for the Trench Coat.