Yves Saint Laurent first introduced Indian supermodel Kirat Young--in fur stoles and velvet dresses that evoked tsar-era Russia--to the world in his 1976 Ballets Russes collection. "I had the perfect exotic look they needed for such an out-of-the-box collection," said Young. Tall, doe-eyed, and with a dusky complexion, Young was a muse to the late French designer, who kept a photo of her in his favourite room of his Rue de Babylone home. With inclusivity at an all-time high across runways, fashion houses this season also looked to the new East, the Indian subcontinent, for inspiration. From Hindu mythology-inspired beauty looks to Indian models slaying the runways, here comes the East wind.
Another star-studded model Bhumika Arora has also risen to the top, having walked for Chanel, Balmain and Fendi. Hailing from the city of Karnal, Arora made her debut walking for Dries Van Noten Autumn/Winter ’14. “When I started, everything was so new that I didn’t notice I was the only Indian girl. Backstage, all the other model from the same countries would be hanging out together, and I started to notice. Back then, South Asia was untouched. Now, there are so many Indian models being introduced,” shared Arora.