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Wanted: Protocol at fashion week

If desi fashion weeks are to be taken seriously, designers need to stick to a brief when it comes to the lines they display on the ramp Shivani Kapur displays a creation from Ranna Gill?s Fall- Winter line for Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week 2006.

india Updated: Apr 09, 2006 17:02 IST
Vinod Nair

If desi  fashion weeks are to be taken seriously, designers need to stick to a brief when it comes to the lines they display on the ramp.

The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) decided to go one season in advance last year and briefed its member designers to come out with collections for the next season during India Fashion Week 2005.

This was a great piece of news for the industry in India that till then believed baking the cake and having it immediately. So, collections were made for Spring-Summer (or Fall-Winter) a little before the season and sold even as the season is on.

The above mentioned routine is fine as long as designers are selling their creations in their stores. But when it comes to buyers who come to fashion weeks, things work differently. They have to first see and identify what works for them during fashion weeks; then they have to go back and place orders after consultations pertaining to price, design, etc.

Then, the designer will start working on it on the styles and number of orders per design. Finally, consignments are sent to stores from where they will be retailed during the season concerned. So FDCI’s decision to have Fall-Winter designer creations on the runway right in the middle of summer did make a lot of sense. Breaking norms However, at last year’s fashion week, the concept remained just on paper.

Participating designers showed whatever they felt like — from Spring-Summer to resort wear to the stipulated Fall-Winter lines. No doubt, eyebrows were raised. Buyers and the media were confused when certain designers, after showing their SpringSummer collections, went on to claim that the creations in question were made two seasons in advance. Time to focus With two fashion weeks round the corner, it will be a good idea for all the de signers concerned to stick to the brief and present their collec tions accordingly. If the idea is to portray fashion weeks in India as pure B2B events, or ganisers of these events, on their part should ensure that only those collections that are made as per the guidelines appear on the runway. Only then will make perfect business sense to even those who come to expe rience just the glam our quotient woven around the fashion weeks.

More importantly, only then will the two back-to-back fashion weeks — indeed, Indi an fashion itself — will be taken seriously as solid business propositions.

Fashion weeks, after all, are not about wannabe so cialites sitting in the front row in their expensive, imported designer outfits, 'appreciating' the immense talent that the Indian fashion fraternity has to offer.