Roping in Bollywood celebrities as showstoppers may be the general trend in fashion shows, but a majority of designers opine that a celebrity's presence on the ramp show displays a designer's lack of confidence in his creations.
The Lakme Fashion Week which started in Mumbai on Monday, till date has seen various celebrities from Bollywood including Priyanka Chopra, Mugdha Godse, Kangana Ranaut, Rituparna Sengupta, Sonam Kapoor, Sameer Dattani, Prachi Desai Adah Sharma, Sameera Reddy and Sonakshi Sinha (Shatrughan Sinha's daughter) walking the ramp.
But, a section of designers participating in the show feel the presence of the celebrities not only shows lack of confidence on the part of the designers but also takes away the limelight from their creations.
Sabyasachi Mukherjee, who will display his wedding collection at the grand finale on the concluding day of the event on Friday, said he will not have any showstopper for his show.
"I have never used a showstopper for any of my shows till date as I don't believe in them. I feel my clothes are showstoppers or rather traffic stoppers, and I don't need any celebrity to carry them. If any designer is not confident about his clothes then he needs a showstopper to carry them," Mukherjee told IANS.
Mukherjee said acting and modelling are two different professions and the actors and models should be left to do their own jobs.
"Whenever an actor or a celebrity walks on the ramp, people do not talk about the clothes. They only speak about the celebrity and if anyone is happy with such type of indirect publicity, then it is OK for them but I am not for it," Mukherjee maintained.
Kallol Datta, an established designer from Kolkata, also expressed similar views.
"Celebrity! Who is a celebrity? Do you want me to celebrate their lives? Honestly, I don't think of celebrities. It depends on people. It's different strokes for different folks. Whatever suits is fine," said Datta, who is in his third season at the fashion week.
On using a Bollywood celebrity as a showstopper, Datta said: "I will never use a known face or who is popular to walk down the ramp just because he or she can get me more mileage. Then, I think your clothes are not strong enough to get mileage on their own."
Delhi-based designer Zubair Kirmani, who has been in the industry for the last five years, said: "Designers rope in celebrities so that they can get media attention. There are very few people in the media who understand fashion, so if there is a celebrity then the media writes about it and the news reaches every corner of the country."
"As far as I am concerned, I don't believe in it as I think as long as one believes in his work, he does not need to get other people to endorse for him," Kirmani explained.
However, a few designers felt that roping in a celebrity and getting them to wear their garments boosts confidence in them besides giving them publicity and good business.
"It is not necessary that if you get a celebrity for your show, then he or she is going to wear whatever you have designed for them. It has to be comfortable, at the same time it should carry them in a desired way," said designer Pallavi Jaipur from Rajasthan.
Pallavi, who roped in actress Rituparna Sengupta, Raell Padamsee (daughter of Alyque Padamsee) and Aalia (daughter of Pooja Bedi), said: "When I took the clothes to Rituparna and Raell or even Aalia for that matter, they first saw it and when they were confident about the dress, agreed to wear it."
"So, that gave me a confidence about my product," said Jaipur, who made her maiden appearance in the fashion week with Indian and Western collections.
Rimzim Dadu, a 22-year old designer from Delhi who is attending the fashion week for the third season, feels that having showstoppers can boost one's business.
"I don't think that there is any harm in having celebrities in fashion weeks as everybody wants to catch them and one can put their best clothes for getting noticed," Rimzim said.
"Although the fashion week is all about clothes, I feel if the presence of celebrity gets you more business, then there is no harm in it," she added.