Roli Books

Tarun Tahiliani: Journey to India Modern

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Tarun Tahiliani Coffee Table Book
"Tarun Tahiliani's 'Journey to India Modern,' a rich tapestry of his three-decade fashion career, melds cultural identity with modern sensibilities, in a visually stunning book co-authored by Alia Allana." - Nuriyah Johar, Architectural Digest


For almost three decades, Tarun Tahiliani has galvanized Indian fashion. His vision and its translation into garments have reintroduced India to her own rich sartorial history and legacy. Journey to India Modern celebrates Tahiliani’s contribution not simply through bewitching clothing but also through a question that he aims to answer through his ensembles: Can the past and present be merged for the global contemporary society?

The book charts its way through the very first fashion photo shoot when there were limited expressions of fashion in India to the modern day. While garments and design retain the focus, the essays also illustrate the way Tahiliani explored and crystallized a vision of India—from road trips during the heydays of socialism to his arrival as a leading couturier to the most celebrated women and men in Indian society.

Garments from Tahiliani’s oeuvre are illustrative in understanding the past and reconcile histories that were affected by colonialism and globalization. While the book begins its life in Bombay, the journey is a tour of the country—from its urban slums to the farthest corners of the country and fashion weeks across the globe—in a bid to identify arts that were neglected and revived. It is embellished with anecdotes, imagery, sketches and stories that present a holistic view of who they are, where they are headed, and what it means to be an Indian luxury design studio in a rapidly transforming world.


Size: 10.25 in x 12.5 in

Pages: 324 Pages

Illustrations: 462 color


Born in Bombay, Tarun Tahiliani, a Wharton School of Business MBA graduate, co-founded Ensemble with his wife Sailaja in 1987, pioneering luxury fashion retail in India. After studying at FIT, New York, and gaining international acclaim, he founded the Tarun Tahiliani Design Studio in Delhi in 1995, and played a vital role in founding the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) in 1999, leading to India's own Fashion Week. In 2003, he became the first Indian designer at Milan Fashion Week. Beyond fashion, he has ventured into architecture and interior design, evident in his stores nationwide.

Alia Allana is an investigative journalist at Object, a narrative journalism magazine. As a crime reporter, she has reported from prisons, and covered conflicts across the globe. While her entry into fashion writing began as a cub reporter, it crystalized into a deeper enquiry on attire through a study of Tarun Tahiliani’s famed dhoti-sari. Since then, she has explored the challenges faced by artisans, the threat posed by industrialization to a craft-rich country such as India and the environmental consequences of fast fashion.

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