Asizeable chunk of the Indian fashion fraternity was looking forward to showing their collections in London this week. Slotted for April 9 to April 14, the Indian Premier London Fashion Week (IPLFW) was an attempt to introduce the work of Indian fashion designers to buyers in London.
However, the IPLFW has now announced that the dates will be postponed due to unavoidable circumstances. Vivek Agarwal, chief coordinator for the event, says that the sudden change was because a few designers failed to get their visas on time. “Out of the 37 participants, 11 still haven’t gotten their visas. If we went ahead, we’d be able to host only two days of the entire event,” explains Agarwal.
The shift has upset many participants. Speaking from London, designer Lina Tipnis says, “I was here well in advance to make sure everything went smoothly.
It’s okay that the dates got shifted. But I have been informed about it just a few days before and that is just not done,” rues Tipnis. Another participating designer, Babita Malkani, was not even aware of the change.
A flustered Malkani insisted on talking to the organisers before taking commenting. Designer Pria Kataria Puri was among the first to pull out of the event. Puri claims she had issues with the management of the event. Apart from having a sizeable clientele in London, Puri says she was eager to participate in the event because the IPLFW claimed to have a an impressive buyers list.
Eventually Puri pulled out because of “very poor organisation. I called a few buyers in London myself and they were not even aware of the event. Add to that, this event is planned in the middle of Easter holidays! All of UK is on holiday from April 1 to April 15. So the buyers or swish set of London would not be present to attend the event,” points out Puri.
Agarwal retaliates saying that except for a handful of designers, he has the support of 90 per cent of the participating designers. “We are in the process of finalising the new dates. We have to extend our contracts with various parties concerned with production. A bunch of them are currently off owing to Easter holidays in London. Once they’re back, we’ll release the new dates,” says Agarwal, who is still calculating the huge losses caused by the change in dates.
Unlike some fashion weeks in India, the IPLFW does not encourage complimentary participation. “The participation fee is Rs 3.5 lakh for a solo show. The amount is not inclusive of the designers travel and accommodation costs. A combined show is between Rs 2 and 2.5 lakh,” informs Agarwal. As of now, says Agarwal, only four designers have pulled out of the event.
“Pria Kataria Puri, Cue by Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, Ankur and Priyanka Modi and Gaurav and Ritika have backed out,” says Agarwal. If all goes well, the event should be held in May. The website lists Narendra Kumar Ahmed, Neeta Lulla, Archana Kochhar, Gayatri Khanna, Rahul Anand and Anushka Lula and Rehane among others as participating designers.