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Time to unite

india Updated: Sep 26, 2009 18:33 IST
Vinod Nair
Vinod Nair
Hindustan Times
Lakme Fashion Week

Celebrations on the 10th year of fashion weeks in India at the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) brought together most of the designers who till now have been seen as the ‘warring factions.’

If our designers try and match their action to the theme ‘Then, Now, Forever’ — together then, divided now and together again, forever — I guess the event, apart from celebrating the decade-long existence of fashion weeks in the country, can also continue its celebrations in the coming years with no division in sight.

But will that happen? Well, if the indications that I received from the designers who have stayed away from LFW till now can be believed, it will happen by next season… at least some are likely to be part of it.

To put things in perspective, when Lakme and IMG severed their association with the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) four years ago, owing to their differences and formed LFW, it was FDCI that had problems with its member designers taking part in LFW. LFW always maintained that every one is welcome to be part of it.

Then, FDCI got fragmented once again when another council, Fashion Foundation of India (FFI) was introduced with some of the FDCI designers choosing to be part of the Delhi Fashion Week, held under the aegis of FFI.

Later, FFI merged with the Fashion Design Promotion Council (FDPC), formed with much fanfare with the involvement of the Ministry of Textiles. FDPC subsequently faced a string of controversies and both the government representations and leading names from the fashion industry pulled out of it. Now FDPC looks like just other body. I am not even sure how many of our fashion designers are actively part of it at the moment.

Under the circumstances, I think what some of our fashion designers are thinking at the moment is good for them. Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) held in Delhi by the FDCI is an established event in Delhi now for 10 years. The same can be said about LFW for Mumbai. For those looking for exposures in both these big cities, it’s always good to be part of both.

While LFW never had any problems with FDCI designers being part of it, things have changed at FDCI as well. With the change in leadership there, I don’t think there are any issues with the present FDCI president Sunil Sethi or his board on FDCI designers being part of LFW. And for those designers, who have been first part of FDCI event, then FFI’s and then (again) FDPC’s and now looking to be part of LFW (if LFW is still willing to take them on board), I think it will also mean that the war is finally somewhat getting over and both Delhi and Mumbai designers will then be seen as ‘one’ forever now!