A few years ago, fashion weeks in India started showing collections in the international formats by showcasing one season in advance. So we have had the winter collections being showcased in summer and vice versa. At this ongoing Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week too, collections for next summer are being showcased even as winter is setting in Delhi. The idea was that after the fashion week, designers will have enough time to take orders, execute the same and deliver their merchandise to the stores well on time when the next season begins.
Lakme Fashion Week (LFW), which has also followed this format for some time, has now decided to reverse its format from the next season onwards.
Now LFW will showcase S/S collections during the summer and A/W during the winter season. The reason cited by Lakme’s Advisor, Anil Chopra, was that season after season buyers demand merchandise immediately from the participating designers. Since India hardly has any winter except in the northern region, chances are that S/S collections will rule fashion week runways here.
I have heard this many times as well, that buyers want their merchandise as soon as the fashion week is over. To begin with, this way they can cash in all the publicity that a designer gets during the fashion week as opposed to, let’s say, their collections hitting the store shelves five months later when the consumers have forgotten what these designers showcased on the runway or what kind of feedback or publicity they got from the media.
Experts here say that in India things work differently when it comes to fashion weeks and that every one believes here that a piece of ‘fashion cake’ always tastes better if it’s eaten straight from the oven.
Since fashion weeks are deemed to be purely commercial ventures, what works for designers and buyers in a particular country may be adopted so as to suit their needs. But then, it is also important that designers should be able to deliver the orders within the stipulated time schedules. This means that if fashion weeks are made for the current season, designers should be able to produce the numbers and deliver the same in the quickest possible time to the stores. For this, either they have to pre-empt the styles and start manufacturing them in decent numbers even before the fashion week starts or have appropriate production facilities that can manufacture the orders without delay.
In India, summer has always been designers’ favourite. Even on a winter runway, summer collections are often seen here. Whether it is summer or winter, if straight from the oven is what works in India, so be it… provided our designers can bake their cakes nicely, and on time.