“Ten years ago Natasha Rufus Isaacs arrived at the palace of the Maharaja of Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India, wearing fisherman’s trousers so worn out and ‘gap-year smelly’ that, she says, ‘they could have walked in by themselves’.
Today she has returned, this time gliding down its steps in a floor-length silk gown that she designed herself, making her way to a grand catwalk show that will feature dresses by her ethical, India-inspired label Beulah, at an event attended by some of the country’s movers and shakers and the very maharaja she bagged a room from a decade earlier.
Nice work. Because everybody wants a piece of India right now, especially those in the business of fashion. High-street giant H&M recently announced it is taking on the subcontinent, and big-buck brands from Louis Vuitton to Zara already have several outposts in this vast rupee-rich market, where an appetite for luxury is on the rise. If, like Natasha and her Beulah co-founder Lavinia Brennan, you happen to be in the business of making glamorous dresses in colourful silks that look right at home in, let’s say, the manicured gardens of a palace in Rajasthan, then you are most certainly on to a winner.”