BACK IN FASHION: What does The East India Co., the British colonial trading firm from centuries past, have to do with fashion? Quite a lot, actually.

“The East India Co. was actually the biggest textile trader in the world,” said its new owner Sanjiv Mehta, who bought intellectual property rights to the brand from the British crown in 2005 and has since launched fine foods and jewelry.

His London-based firm presented a capsule collection of 12 evening gowns on Sunday at the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, a teaser for a full women’s ready-to-wear line, focused on evening attire and including tuxedos, smoking jackets and pants, to show in Paris next March.

The capsule collection is a series of flowing, ornate gowns in a palette of neutral shades covered with handcrafted embroidery or encrusted with gems, some inspired by the Elizabethan era in tribute to Queen Elizabeth I of England, who in 1600 bestowed a royal charter founding the East India Co.

Retail prices for the line, which Mehta plans to sell to a handful of boutiques worldwide, range from 2,000 pounds to 4,000 pounds, or $3,233 and $6,466 at current exchange.