In a dramatic last minute fall out, the HDIL India Couture Week 2009, that was slated to start last night, found itself without a grand opening show.
Designer duo Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, for whom Amitabh Bachchan was walking the ramp, pulled out at the last minute, leaving the organisers stranded. Citing “non-cooperation with the organisers” as the reason, Abu-Sandeep said, “We were given 220 seats out of which 28 were in the first row and 30 in the second.” They added, “We regret this...but cannot risk our guests being offended due to unorganised seating.”
Reshma Shetty of Matrix, that manages the event, said the duo wanted more front row seats as they were bringing in the Bachchans. “HDIL and we bent backwards to meet their demands. But all [guests] couldn’t be accommodated in the premium rows,” she said.
However, the question that remains is — who gets first rights of refusal on front row seats — designers or organisers? Designer Nikhil Mehra said, “The front row seats are partly given to designers if the show is sponsored and the rest remain with the organisers. For instance, in FDCI organised shows, 35 to 40 percent seats are given to the designer.” Designer Anjana Bhargava said, “The front row is important, and the division differs from fashion week to fashion week. But there must be a decorum that is followed to avoid such things in future.”
Delayed by a day, the Week begins tonight with designers originally scheduled to show today. FDCI president Sunil Sethi explained that it would have been impossible to put somebody else into the slot of the grand opening at this stage purely because of the number of celebrities involved.
With inputs from Minakshi Saini and Rochelle Pinto