The Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) has been conceptualised as a business-to-business event, but the just-concluded autumn/winter edition focused more on exploring design, creativity and brand-building.
Designer Kartikeya, who works with Isha for the label Dozakh, says the scenario has changed in last six years and there are other platforms to make profits.
“Fashion weeks are more about brand-building and being creative rather then focusing on business as most of the designers today have their retail spaces from where they make profits,” he told IANS.
“Six years back, designers were completely dependent on platforms like he fashion week to get orders, but things have changed now. Yes, fashion week is an ideal platform where everyone comes together and share their experiences,” he added.
The scale of the fashion event could be imagined from the fact that as many as 138 desingers showcased their collections on the ramp and the racks.
Some of the established names who dazzled the ramp with their creations include Abraham and Thakore, Anand Kabra, Anju Modi, Gaurav Gupta, Meera and Muzaffar Ali, Manish Malhotra, Rahul Mishra, Rocky S, Rohit Bal, Shantanu and Nikhil, Tarun Tahiliani, Abdul Halder and James Ferreira.
Designer Rahul Mishra says that this time it was all about discovering new options in design aesthetics.
“My collection had received rave reviews from the delegates of different countries and I also believe that it was one of the best collection I ever showcased,” said Mishra, known for his fascination for hand-woven technique.
He showcased an interesting tone of sportswear style mixed with handloom fabrics at the five-day event that concluded Sunday.
“Business has always been there but it’s the responsibility of designer to create new things with every season and I tried to set new benchmarks with this edition,” said the designer also launched his accessory line at WIFW.
Apart from established names, the season also witnessed 14 new runway and stall designers.
Accessory designer Pallavi Foley from Bangalore, a first time participant, said: “This is the first time I am participating and the response is just amazing. My stall has been full of people and buyers loved my 3D concept in jewellery design.”
Lauding the creativity quotient at the event, Hibaal Ateeqi, a buyer from Kuwait, told IANS: “Though I have been part of FDCI for long, this edition is good when it comes to creativity. Vineet Bahl and Tarun Tahiliani are some of the designers who took my breath away.”
Japanese designers, as a group, were invited for the first time to showcase their collections at the event. However, Japanese buyer Tomoko is a regular and said that this time, the event was high on creativity.
“I thought that some of the shows showed great progress in terms of creativity. Anand Kabra’s show was excellent. His prints and use of lotus motifs in an innovative technique were impressive,” Tomoko said.
Having said that, business was ripe with buyers from Kuwait and other Middle East nations, Australia, China and Singapore participating at the event and showing interest in the designs.
“WIFW has always been known for creating landmarks in the fashion world. All the participating designers received accolades for their collections and they are taking orders from buyers from across the world. We have added buyers from different regions like Pakistan and Japan,” said Sunil Sethi, president of event-organiser Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI).
Fashion is also about glitz and glamour and Bollywood stars added extra zing to the fest. If R. Madhavan, Bipasha Basu, Kangana Ranaut, Govinda and Nargis Fakhri scorched the ramp, the guest gallery glittered with the presence of Dia Mirza, Sameera Reddy, Mahima Chaudhary, and Urmila Matondkar, among others.