Indian designers who are at the forefront of international red carpets

From Sabyasachi to Gaurav Gupta, these Indian couturiers shine at the Met Gala 2024.

Harper's Bazaar India

It’s the MET Monday, and our feeds are blessed with artists strutting on the red carpet in their glam fits. The 2024 Met Gala theme, The Garden of Time, was inspired by J G Ballard’s 1962 short story by the same name. Ballard uses the garden and flowers as a metaphor to symbolise human evolution and explore the perpetual cycle of creation and destruction. Of course, a theme that has a little bit of literary context and a whole lot of fashion was bound to get people excited and speculate about some of the looks, given the history of fashion at the Met Gala.

Florals, of course, were a major part of this year's Met Gala; not exactly groundbreaking (cue in Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada), but stunning nonetheless.

However, what really caught our attention was seeing the works of Indian designers on the red carpet. While Alia Bhatt chose to wear a timeless Sabyasachi saree, Isha Ambani opted for a beautiful Rahul Mishra saree gown with floral motifs. Add to that, American actress-comedian, Mindy Kaling dressed in a stunning beige sculpted gown by Gaurav Gupta. 

Without a doubt, it can be said that these designers' iconic creations not only have the ability to make breakthroughs on several international carpets but also, their collections possess such timeless appeal that celebrities are often drawn back to them repeatedly.

Let’s take a deeper look at their red carpet looks: 


Alia Bhatt made her second appearance at the Met Gala in a sensational Sabyasachi ensemble. Aligning with this year's theme, the couturier designed a beautiful sky-blue saree featuring an embellished blouse and an exaggerated trail. The saree was hand-embroidered with silk floss, sequins, and semi-precious stones, and fringed with glass beads in intricate floral patterns, while the blouse was embellished with emeralds, Basra pearls, tourmalines, and multi-coloured sapphires.

According to the designer's team, the ensemble took 1,965 man-hours to handcraft, including a team of 163 master craftspeople, embroiderers, artists, and dyers. “It was one of the best looks of the night and arguably her best appearance on a red carpet in a while. I was thrilled to see her fully embracing the moment. Plus, the Sabyasachi High Jewellery’s Bengal Royal collection, studded with emeralds, Basra pearls, tourmalines, and sapphires, was absolutely stunning,” said celebrity stylist, James Lalthanzuala. 

This wasn’t the first time a Sabyasachi creation was seen on an international red carpet. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who can be classified as one of the designer's favourite muses from the early 2010s, has adorned Sabyasachi creations on numerous international red carpet events. She turned heads at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010 in a sheer Sabyasachi saree, adorned with heavy embellishments, and in 2013, when she opted for a dramatic black-and-gold velvet Sabyasachi saree at the celebration of a hundred years of Indian cinema at Cannes. Apart from Aishwarya Rai, Deepika Padukone too, has donned Sabyasachi ensembles at a few red carpet events like the BAFTAs and Cannes. She recently wore a sequined saree from the designer's collection for the 2024 BAFTAs red carpet. 


Last year marked a significant milestone for Gaurav Gupta as his designs reached new global heights, and going by the 2024 Met Gala, it seems this trend will continue this year as well. For her 2024 Met Gala look, actor Mindy Kaling chose to wear a beige structured gown called ‘The Melting Flower of Time’ by Gaurav Gupta. The designer explained the ideology behind the gown in an Instagram post captioned, “Just as a flower blooms only once before withering away, this gown embodies the transient yet exquisite essence of style.” He describes the creation as almost melting away in time. 

“First of all, only a technical design genius can work with organza and make it look this breathtaking. The imagination behind the theme is beautiful. What I love most are the twists and turns at the back of the garment. It’s like diving into a never-ending maze,” says Devanshi Tuli, a celebrity stylist.

Previously, international celebrities like Beyoncé, Lizzo, Jenna Ortega, Halle Bailey, and even Cardi B served as muses for the designer. During the Renaissance tour, Queen Bey opted for multiple Gaurav Gupta outfits, including the gown from his 'Hiranyagarbha' Paris Couture Week collection. Safe to say that Gupta has indeed become one of Hollywood’s favourite Indian designers and he sure has a long way to go! 


Another creative genius whose work is making global strides, Rahul Mishra had an exceptional creation at The Met Gala 2024. Indian businesswoman, Isha Ambani wore a bespoke hand-embroidered couture saree gown by Gaurav Gupta, which is nothing short of a masterpiece. It took over 1,000 hours to complete—a fact shared by the designer in an Instagram post—and featured delicate flowers, butterflies, and dragonfly motifs. The designers used distinct applique and embroidery techniques such as fareesha, zardozi, nakshi, and dabka, as well as French knots, to achieve the unique designs. Mishra intended to convey a message of birth and rebirth through this creation.  

Apart from Ambani, popular American stylist, Law Roach also chose a custom AFEW Rahul Mishra for his second look on the Met Gala carpet. The ensemble consists of a sculpted double-breasted jacket embellished with three-dimensional Rousseau-esque vegetal forms and glimmering flared trousers, all in ivory white. This look too, took over 1,000 man-hours and a team of 35 artisans, tailors, and designers to accomplish. 


A post shared by Law Roach (@luxurylaw)

In the past, the Oscar-winning American actress Da’Vine Joy Randolph opted for a velvet-embellished strapless dress from AFEW Rahul Mishra for the Fashion Trust US Awards red carpet event. For the NMACC launch, Zendaya chose a Rahul Mishra saree that left a lasting impact, although it wasn't the first time the actor opted for the designer. Back in 2020, Zendaya channelled her inner boho queen at the Bulgari party in New York with a white multi-leaf long jacket from Mishra's Spring 2020 collection. We can tell, Mishra is secretly one of her favourite designers.


Another breathtaking Indian designer moment at the Met Gala 2024, courtesy of Tarun Tahiliani, was that of entrepreneur, Sudha Reddy. The outfit comprised a long white gown laden with heavy embroidery, including flower and butterfly motifs, and an Indian princess adorning the back of the gown. This intricate detail was a nod to India's rich craftsmanship. 

Tahiliani certainly is a beloved designer in his home country. But he has garnered praise and appreciation on a global platform as well. Remember back in 2017, when Lady Gaga stepped out in a custom Tarun Tahiliani saree? The singer and the designer’s collaboration was a significant win for the Indian fashion industry. Other celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas have also opted for the designer, making appearances on several red carpets.

Lead image: gauravguptaofficial 

Also read: "There's nothing more timeless than a saree"—Alia Bhatt at the Met Gala 2024

Also read: Total recall—the most iconic Met Gala looks of all time