Style meter Ramp-age
They dress to kill, and charge likewise. A chat with fashion designers to find out what's in store for 2004
REALITY CHECK: Indian designer wear is pegged at 0.9 per cent of the total apparel market. Big names are selling their lavish designs - after ripping off the labels - at one tenth the price to Mumbai stores. Yet Vinod Kaul of Fashion Design Council of India, which holds the biggest annual fashion carnival, Lakme India Fashion Week, maintains, "The fashion industry has grown by 30 per cent this year and LIFW alone managed to win orders worth Rs.30 crores."
Figures: Your figure should score a perfect 10 to fit into designer sizes. Still no research has been done to fathom the Indian reality. Rina Dhaka counters, "Fashion, the world over is meant for trim bodies."
Pręt: Huge shoes, twigs in the hair and backless attire with Moghul and mythological figures in front. Kaul argues, "Pręt is just two years old in India. We don't interfere in the aesthetics part but have advised the designers to make more wearable clothes."
Style statement: Male models with sindoor and earrings and females in all white bespectacled look. "It was to add some fun and humour. Otherwise people could not distinguish one designer from the other. People took notice of my work because of this," reasons Rohit Bal. Sabyasachi Mukherjee, whose Kora collection was a cry against war, says, "Fashion is part of the overall reality," adding, "Models were deglamourised so that people could concentrate on my designs."
The great divide: While top female models earn Rs.25000 per show, their male counterparts get just Rs.10000. Out of the 55 shows during the Fashion Week, just seven featured male models.
Saving grace: A young lot with practicality and functionality as the benchmark is mending the ramparts of Indian fashion. However, Rina holds, "Most of them are copying us."
Looking forward: FDCI has announced two fashion weeks - one in April concentrating on ramp shows and another later in the year emphasising business.
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