Anyone who’s ever attended a fashion show will tell you it’s all about the front row. Celebrities, obviously, get pride of place, and there are always a few upwardly mobile social climbers who think a seat here seals their status on the A-list. Now, turning the whole concept on its head is veteran designer Wendell Rodricks. For his upcoming winter/festive show at Mumbai’s Lakme Fashion Week, which kicks off today, Rodricks has transplanted his much-coveted front row, to row three.
“I’m just fed up of all the fuss,” declares the Goa native, known for his provocative yet simple designs. Funnily enough, there are only 24 designer-allocated seats on the coveted row, as the others are given out to sponsors, buyers and media representatives. “Some people actually say that they will only come for the show if they’re assured of front row seats!” To solve the problem, he’s shifting his confirmed celebrity guests like Arshad Warsi, Maria Goretti and Simone Singh. “I have only given the front row to people who’ve expressly asked for it. And I’ve informed the real celebrities that they will be sitting a few rows up, for the first time.”
“In India, there is no culture of RSVPs,” says Anjana Sharma, director of fashion at IMG Reliance, adding, “So to be on the safe side, designers send out 100 invites. You can imagine what happens when 50 guests turn up, and there’s only space for 24. It literally becomes a crisis management situation at that point.”