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Valaya pulls in crowds sans showstoppers

fashion and trends Updated: Sep 18, 2008 19:04 IST

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Despite the lack of Bollywood biggies, couture czar J.J. Valaya managed to pull in the crowds with his royal signature collection that mesmerised the audience with its impeccable style quotient at the HDIL India Couture Week here.

"Bringing a Bollywood celebrity is a mere gimmick and nothing else. Let your collection speak for you. No glamour quotient can save a bad collection from getting brickbats," Valaya said after the show here late Wednesday.

Valaya chose to be different from all his contemporaries and this was quite evident from the manner in which he decked the runway in a blood red cloth to create the impression of a red carpet.

The rest of the backdrop initially seemed bland - till the lights went off. Then, as the thumping music of the drums took over, vertical lines of light first created an undefined structure and then transformed into "The Royal Valaya Kingdom". Against this backdrop, Valaya proceeded to narrate the tale of a kingdom that was royal, ethnic and sophisticated and was guarded by young warriors who exuded confidence. It all made for one great adrenaline rush.

For the men, Valaya offered embroidered skirts and big leather belts with a knife at the hip, while the women donned lehangas and small cholis accompanied with fur waistcoats that gave them the look of warrior princesses. Speaking about the material and the embroidery, Valaya said: "I have experimented a lot in terms of fabrics and embroidery. I have used every possible material and embroidery one can ever think of."

Commenting on the collection, former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin said: "Amazing is the only word that comes to mind after watching this collection." Model Nethra Raghuraman, who walked the ramp for Valaya, told IANS: "His clothes are stylish and sophisticated, and yet feminine at the same time. He makes one look like a sexy warrior."

The India Couture Week is the latest initiative of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), which annually stages two editions of the hugely successful Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) in New Delhi. Apart from Valaya, the others who will be showcasing their collections at the event, which concludes Sunday, are Manish Malhotra, Anamika Khanna, Manav Gangwani, Pallavi Jaikishan, Rohit Bal, Suneet Varma, Tarun Tahiliani and Varun Bahl. Fashion diva Ritu Kumar and Ashish Soni have already showcased their collections.