Search for India’s YSL: Notes from India fashion week

October 19, 2008

fashion1.jpgI have always been a bit cynical about the Indian fashion industry. I used to think the country’s fashion designers were wannabes trying to break into a glamorous industry despite having little or no aptitude for the trade.

But spending time at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week has lessened my cynicism to some extent.

I realise now that our designers are not ‘darzis’ putting together trousseaus for Indian brides, they really do want to make a dent in the international market with their ready-to-wear collections.

fashion2.jpgBuyers like Anthropologie from U.S. and British India in Kuala Lumpur see potential in Indian designers, saying they are as much in sync with global trends as their Western counterparts.

In fact, Sumeet Nair, organiser of the rival Delhi Fashion Week, says it’s a good opportunity for Indian designers to make a mark for themselves in times of recession — with trendy clothes at affordable rates.

However, what disturbed me was the herd mentality in the race to appeal to international buyers. It seemed everybody was doing dhoti pants, geometrical prints and high-waist pants.

The silhouettes, attention to detail, good play of colour — everything was there. But missing was that one dress with the potential to become a rage, like gladiator shoes or Yves Saint Laurent’s trouser suit for women.

Well, I can safely say the search for India’s YSL is not over yet.

BOLLYWOOD ON THE RAMP

fashion3new.jpgAs for glamour, there was no dearth of it at India Fashion Week, with several Bollywood starlets making an appearance on the runway.

Actors walking the ramp for their favourite designer is not something new but this time some did it for a cause.

Sameera Reddy and Minissha Lamba walked the ramp for Shane and Falguni Peacock to promote breast cancer awareness while Deepika Padukone came in for friends Shantanu and Nikhil.

Director Onir and the cast of his film “Sorry Bhai,” including Chitrangada Singh, were present at designer Anita Dongre’s show.

FRIENDS OR FOES

I spotted Rohit Bal roaming around at the India fashion week, and it seemed no big deal, until I remembered his show was at the rival Delhi fashion week.

fashion3.jpgSo what happened to the warring factions?

“We are friends, we meet together, we party together on many projects with Rohit Bal, with Tarun (Tahiliani). There is no break-up in relationship,” said Sunil Sethi, president of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) which organises the India fashion week.

But there is no word on any reconciliation either. I wish there was — the venues for the two fashion weeks are miles apart — and I ended up missing several shows by good designers.

I guess you can’t have everything — even in fashion.

6 comments

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I totally agree with the blogger. This split is hurting the fashion industry more than even they can fathom

Posted by Shilpa | Report as abusive

Dream on – there’s no YSL in India. There might be a few good designers at the fashion weeks but the rest are just glorified darzis.

Posted by Natasha | Report as abusive

Dream on – there’s no YSL in India. There might be a few good designers at the fashion weeks but the rest are just glorified darzis.

I totally agree with the blogger. This split is hurting the fashion industry more than even they can fathom

Why markets are crashing. Why ganguly decided to retire. Why girls go behind fashion. Its all waste of time and money. Please get back to work and do your duties. It will save a lot of time and money and facilitate career growth.

thanks
Sami

Until India has a real and substantial social revolution, it will never be a global fashion powerhouse. The big appeal of fashion is its fantasy worlds, its modernity. You can’t get people excited with a bunch of stuck-up Brahmans playing at being big guys. In the end, a sweatshop owner in cashmere is still a sweatshop owner, allbeit, in cashmere. If you want to learn how to play with the big boys, look at Japan and study how they did it.

Posted by Bob Macdonald | Report as abusive

I agree with the blogger.