Going beyond the looks
The Lakme India Fashion Week , concluded this Tuesday, has left a trail of positive trends and biting questions
There is growth but it's intangible because designers don't share creative intelligence Rathi Vinay Jha
Photo: R. V. Moorthy
COLOURFUL FIESTA: Model displaying the Sabyasachi Mukherjee Collections at the Lakme India Fashion Week in New Delhi
If fashion is a science of appearances, the Sixth Lakme India Fashion Week wore a focussed, disciplined and sedate look.
With business taking precedence for the greater part of the Week, the shows started almost on time and the Fashion Design Council of India managed to restrain the revellers from partying at the venue.
Raymonds' Gautam Singhania remarked, "Just a little more discipline and we are on the right track." Elisabeth Pederson of Selfridges declared, "We are pleasantly surprised."
Raghavendra Rathore, who has consolidated his tie-up with Shoppers' Stop, summed up the mood. "The clouds are here, now it depends on how we sow and plough the fields."
As for trends, the gypsy look was a noticeable feature. There was absolutely no glitter, as exemplified by even Valaya's resisting the charm of Swarovski. He justified his brand ambassador tag by using the crystals only on accessories.
Bouncy, flowing skirts, tunics worn with a belt giving a bounce to the silhouette or fitted tunics with long tapering sleeves, flap pants, overlap dresses, even tropical prints and multiple texturing could soon reach the streets. Some outstanding statements included Sabyasachi's voluminous shirts, Geisha designs' empire line tunics, Rina Dhaka's all black outfits and Varun Bahl's Victorian elements. Ashish Soni turned out to be the dark horse of the Week.
There appeared a surprising push from West Asia, but many of them were smallish buyers. Rathi Vinay Jha, Executive Director FDCI said the real business comes from such buyers rather than the big ones from the First World. Remarked Dhaka, "Michael Fink (of Saks Fifth Avenue) has to choose seven designers from across the world. I may have risen a few notches in his ratings, but whether he would really do business with me is anybody's guess."
The discipline required for prêt and even diffusion has yet to reach the mood board of some creative souls. Rohit Bal surprised even the buyers by going for a women's line.
Commented an industry source, "His work may be good, but you just can't go out of track without taking your buyers into confidence. Satya Paul has done something similar." With the price tag of Rs.42,000 for a jacket, even Rohit's separates couldn't be ordered in quantities. Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla made a belated debut at the Week but could not shrug off their couture mindset. Their ribbon-strewn white outfits could create drama only in front of fans, otherwise they were like roots hanging from a banyan tree. Sources said such mood swings kept the domestic corporate houses away from supporting the fashion industry.
Six years down the line, we are still waiting for FDCI to share some figures. Said Jha, promising two Weeks from next year, "There is growth, but it's intangible, because designers don't share creative intelligence."
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