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A dash of Manhattan magic

Fern Mallis, vice-president of IMG Fashion, spells out her vision for the Lakme India Fashion Week.

fashion and trends Updated: Mar 21, 2007 18:38 IST

She’s a front-row fixture at the Lakme India Fashion Week (LIFW). Her presence at New York’s Byrant Park and the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week are much talked about. In 1991, Fern Mallis took over as the executive director for the Council of Fashion Designers in America and turned the fashion week into a megawatt event.

Of beliefs and trends: Fern is a woman of strong beliefs. “Indian designers have been ahead of the trends and right on target with shapes, colours, patterns and so forth. With technological advancement worldwide, everyone can see each other’s work and be influenced,” says Fern. And the best place to display talent according to her are the various fashion weeks. From designers getting their message across, to having access to intensive media coverage, Fern believes the weeks, indeed, are a designer’s best bet.

“One never knows who will be reading or viewing the coverage of which designer and how it may alert a buyer to a collection they were unaware of,” explains Fern.

India calling She also believes that the event in India is on its way to become as magnificent as the ones in America and Europe. “This country will continue to make significant inroads on all fronts - attracting attention from US, Europe and Asia. There is always new talent waiting to be discovered on the runways here,” she says.

“While India is not a ‘must stop’ for the traditional international audience, the figures clearly demonstrate that more International buyers are making their way to the LIFW.”

At the last season’s Fashion Week, Fern sported her love for Indian designs. She wore a Sabyasachi Mukherjee outfit at the grand finale. “He has demonstrated a keen international style using India as his inspiration. There were several others who I was impressed with. Many Indian designers are qualified to compete on a global scene,” she says.

Fashion weeks galore The Wills Fashion Week starts today and the Lakme Week on March 27...Fashion gurus in India claim that the pot of gold is in Delhi, Fern maintains, “I think both the cities have a great deal to offer. Mumbai is special. It’s international and savvy .” Fern lives in Manhattan, where all the trends come first.

Her take on Mumbai on becoming as fashionable as Manhattan is, “The world is a very small place. Mumbai is already quite fashionable and it shouldn’t try and emulate Manhattan. It should maintain its own style and that will attract the stylish and the international from around the world.”

She cautions, “We don’t want every city in the world to look the same. India needs to invest in its own designers and their stores and businesses.” IMG Fashion’s portfolio is growing and has helped the Indian designers to be their business partners. “We want toconsolidate this industry so that the fashion community benefits f. Our vision is unlimited.. as India has extraordinary potential,” she ends.