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This is a Material World, But We Don’t Have to be Material Girls: Medusa at London Fashion Week

Sustainable, Contemporary, and Wearable. Medusa’s 2024 winter showcase offered a varied insight into the leading designers behind India’s growing fashion industry. 

Courtesy of Black PR Press Release(

Courtesy of Black PR Press Release(

If you’re a fashion aficionado then London Fashion Week is the opportunity to worship at the altar of industry gods. Vogue is the Bible and the sound of heels on a catwalk is the hymns. Medusa’s 2024 Winter Show in Hyde Park was no different - set against the stunning backdrop of stained-glass windows in St Johns Church, there was a truly ecclesiastical tone. With new collections from nine eminent Indian Designers, including Nitin Bal Chauhan, Gopi Vaid, and Tanieya Khanuja. 

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Each designer offered a unique reimagining of classic evening wear whilst paying homage to their Indian roots of textiles. The show opened with a series of densely patterned fabrics in deep jewel tones of dark umbers, yellows, and reds in the collection presented by Jigya M. Draped fabric, intricate embroidery, and handmade tassels set the stage for a show filled with the intricacies of Indian designs whilst catering to a global audience. These read-to-wear pieces were forward-thinking. These designers took confident moves to remind us all that India is, for good reason, one of the leading textile industries in the world with an export value of $37.11 Billion. 

A stand-out in this area of diverse fabric manipulations was Nitin Bal Chauhan’s smoky, charcoal colour palettes and finely woven, groundbreaking sustainable fabrics. His looks, which elicited audible gasps from those present, consisted of highly ambitious structural sculpting of ethically sourced sheep wool. From the Northern Indian Himalayas, Chauhan has been instrumental in making the crafts of the Himachal Pradesh, such as this sheep wool, so that their production is viable for urban markets. The designer conducts skill upgrade workshops and offers technical and design-based feedback to broaden the scope of market production in these rural areas. A level of eco-consciousness that is reflected in his cutting-edge designs.

The brushed felt was transformed into full skirts and hand-sewn corsets. 

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An attention to detail that marked out Chauhan’s design elements in particular was his use of accessories. Mesh headscarves, cleverly intertwined and draped over the face completed each look, and models wore John Lennon-inspired sunglasses. A move that spoke to the urban streetwear that is Chauhan’s staple as a designer. 

Havinder Kaur’s collection, from Khadi India design studio, also showed modern iterations of traditional design. With her six saris consisting of long draped cholis, mock necks, and sleeveless, tailored-to-perfection, vests, there was a synergy of long-established Indian designs with the timeless silhouettes of the 60s. A call-back is further emphasised by the use of blush pinks, royal blues, and cherry red hues. Ultimately achieving a contemporary, refreshing reimagining of the expected that caters well to modern audiences and allows for the expansion of her designs into global spheres outside of the Indian high-fashion market. 

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An aim and aspiration that is seemingly shared by all the designers exhibited in this show. These collections spoke for themselves. India's greatest forerunners in the fashion industry for both market development and cultural outreach have their sights set on the very top of the fashion industry. As Sonal Vig, CEO of Medusa, herself put it, Indian Fashion is going global…We’re heading to Paris, Milan, and New York.” 

A natural progression for these collections. The pieces showcased here were not simply innovative. They were, most importantly, wearable. Each collection had a variety of elegant, easily marketable pieces. 

Mouktika Style under the precise eyes of Padma Swarupa, for example, with muted tones of blue and gold, chic so-on-trend accessories (note: the pink metallic cowboy boots were a firm, personal favourite), paired with sophisticated, sharply tailored evening wear expertly toed the line between the traditional and the trendy. An ankle-length silk trench was perhaps the flagship look of this intention. It combined the sultry with the civilised and truly seems to cater to the cosmopolitan woman. There is a versatility to its design. This coat could easily be commonplace in sleek, upmarket restaurants. Likewise could be a quick throw-over to cover less stylish activewear on the way to the gym. It is a testament to the modern woman and her need for duality in design. It is a testament to the fashion industry’s increasing capabilities to recognise the need for practicality, whilst never compromising on style or material.

An outcome that was not merely a design one-hit-wonder. Swarupa repeatedly, both in this current collection and previous ones, is able to demonstrate her expert ability to produce thoughtful and flattering designs. As an example, another standout piece was a gold-tailored suit. Accessorised with a large statement broach and a large emerald necklace adorned with a feather, this look was the perfect fusion of femininity and power. The low-cut, single-breasted neckline of the suit jacket, paired with the sharpness of the tailoring and delicate, strappy heel, was the perfect balance. 

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A balancing technique that since the ‘pantsuit’ debuted in the 1967 Yves Saint Laurent Spring-Summer collections, has been fine-tuned to culminate into this perfect blend of alluring femininity and empowering statuesque silhouettes. Something that is only furthered by the design choice to use this covered patterned gold silk contrasting with the deep black. 

Swarupa clearly understands women. Their fashion wants, and fashion needs, and can find the harmonising balance between both. Her designs are stylistically modern whistle timelessly elegant. 

In fact, almost all nine designers showcased managed to achieve this. In different ways, with different styles, different materials, and different garments, each designer achieved their definition of opulence. Managing to cater to modern women, in modern scenarios whilst never compromising their designs or materials. This show truly managed to encapsulate the most exciting moves being made in fashion today. Sustainability, wearability, and innovation. A must-see and must-wear. 



Edited by Fashion Editor, Megan Shears