Fashion Week in Delhi: zardozi, colour, romance and some optimism

October 6, 2012

The Wills India Lifestyle Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2013 at Pragati Maidan in Delhi started off on a note of optimism but buyers are still indecisive on their final purchases.

There was colour, craft, embroidery, tradition, drama and “zardozi“, everything that makes Indian fashion unique — and increasingly popular.

Fashion Week, a five-day affair, began with debut designer Payal Pratap’s “gypsy folk” collection which drew inspiration from the costumes of the Kutch desert in India’s far west. Designer duo Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, and designer Suneet Verma presented the final show of the day in collaboration with Dutch designers.

Designer Anand Kabra brought romance to his collection based on the 17th century love story of Taramati, a forgotten, beautiful courtesan, with a sultan, Abdullah Qutub Shah, the seventh sultan of Golconda.

“All that is left is in memory right now. There is no actual image or a painting,” said Kabra, whose range included gold, royal blue, ivory and red, all keeping Taramati in mind. “We have one of the oldest history of costumes and colour is like in our DNA, that’s what makes us so different.”

The star of the day was Nagaland’s Atsu Shekose, who attracted a young and a stylish audience. Atsu looked homeward for inspiration; his collection of shorts, printed pants, parkas and skirts were inspired by life in the Northeast. His designs have been spotted on Bollywood actresses such as Kareena Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor.

Buyers, meanwhile, were undecided on how business look like this year.

“I have a lot of expectations as I have seen how Rohit (Gandhi) has grown up as a designer, and I want to see what else they have to offer because now they have to sell it quite a lot in Europe, so I have come to see the new collection especially for that,” said one buyer from Italy.

Masa, a first-time buyer from Japan, said “There is very good handwork, I think it’s the best in the world.”

A little more than a decade after India held its first fashion week, India’s fashion industry is becoming increasingly popular after some of its designers have made their marks on the world stage.

Chandrika, a second-time buyer from Iceland, wants to see a lot more in terms of colour, design and texture before deciding what she wants to take home.

“I have come with a very very open mind; I am not looking for a specific design or a specific designer. I have come to see what is available,” she said. “They are making it big in the international market.”

Designer Wendell Rodricks, who showcased a dramatic collection based on an imaginary nautical journey from his native Goa to Shanghai, is optimistic about business at Fashion Week.

“We always do great business at the Wills Lifestyle India fashion week, which is why we are here. Even if we are not doing a show, like I don’t do autumn-winter, but I take a stall every year,” he said.

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