ELLE at 20

We dig our archives to trace James Ferreira's fashion through the years

Like wine, owning a slinky Ferreira dress only gets better with time

James Ferreira’s inimitable spirit is often the showstopper at his runway presentations. It is the same spirit with which he works out of 47-G, Khotachiwadi (one of Mumbai’s last surviving heritage villages). Kids line up for his help to organise local shows, students turn to him for mentorship, and to his peers, he is still the young-at-heart, creative soul who mastered the art of the drape, way back in the ’90s.

Ferreira’s breezy, summery designs — “India means resort; to make a winter collection is a waste of time and money,” he says — often sari-inspired and jewel-toned, stood out with their easy fluidity in ELLE shoots; on the lush beaches of Goa, in woody Lonavala, in the exotic landscape of Shillong (where he incidentally styled a shoot for us) and on regular women. “I’m beginning to understand the Indian figure much more. My clothes now look better on bigger ladies,” he reveals. But like wine, owning a slinky Ferreira dress only gets better, “I’m becoming more simple and classic as I grow — I want my clothes to be keepsakes,” he says.

On ELLE: "[The magazine] has always had the right focus, especially with younger fashion. You have grown to become an institution in India, more than the other fashion magazines, I would say.”