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Quintessentially yours

THE GRADUATING ceremony of the 2004 batch of Wigan and Leigh Fashion School, aptly named The Quintessence, revealed that a brigade of young designers is all set to make a foray into the tinsel-world where the only creative expression is drapes and textures over the skin. , Gaurav Jagtiani received the award for `the most creative collection' at the glittering ceremony for his Maya-a collection with tailed skirts as its high point. "Mine is the cheapest collection of the season priced at Rs.1500 to 2500. And it's my idea of accessibility," said the enthusiastic youngster.

It was the office-going metro-sexual woman on the mind of Neha Nagpaul when she created her crinkled, patchwork skirts in all their variety. Rakshita Ghai's display of clothes in white and black checks received special applause from the audience due to the innocence and nostalgia evoked, while Rohit Kumar relied mostly on the punk, posse culture that is invading India.

The ramp also provided the pitch to designers from across the border, who came with couture reminiscent of the Sufi dargah culture. Hina Tayyaba, Principal of the Pakistan School of Fashion Designing, headed the Pakistani troupe and appeared overwhelmed to see the versatility of Indian wannabe designers.

The show, choreographed by Marc Robinson, featured models like Indrani Dasgupta, Meyhar Bhasin, Poonam Nath and a bevy of young models. Besides clothing, Asmi's diamond jewellery was also showcased. And to pass the verdict on the output of the designers were high-profile personalities from the world of fashion, media, advertising and the arts: Nandita Basu, Sharon Lowen, Anuradha Kaul Basu, Naved Akhtar and the fashion stalwart, Ritu Kumar.

Ritu Kumar found it the perfect occasion to make an appeal to the aspiring designers: "Youngsters in the fashion world should make it a point to use indigenous textiles for their designs, as millions of textile workers in our country eke out their living from it."

That must be the true message of an Indian fashion show.

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