The city’s biggest annual fashion event, Lakme Fashion Week (LFW), ended on a dull note on Tuesday night. The much-celebrated after-party, which is attended by the crème de la crème of the fashion fraternity, was cancelled to avoid a run-in with assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Vasant Dhoble. The organisers, instead, decided to hold a small cocktail party before the 10.30pm grand finale.
Dhoble, who heads the social services branch (SSB) of the Mumbai police, has been conducting raids on pubs and restaurants, which are violating rules under which they have been granted licences.
The LFW organisers had sought permission from the police to extend the 1.30am deadline to 3am, but were refused. “The last show usually ends at 11.30pm. What is the point in starting the finale party at midnight and then starting to wind up by 1am?” said Anjana Sharma, head of fashion at IMG Reliance, the organiser. “We tried our best to get permission, but were turned down.”
According to Sharma, the venue of the after-party – China House at the Grand Hyatt in Kalina – which recently reopened after renovation, has also undergone a facelift. “At China House, not more than 14 people can be on the dance floor at any given time. To make sure that there is no trouble from the cops, they [China House] have spread furniture all over the dance floor, and stationed a bouncer nearby to restrict the number of dancers,” she said. “Earlier, they used to have a dance floor on the same level as the bar. The hotel was told by authorities that it qualifies as a dance bar.”
Many from the fashion fraternity are also disappointed. “Everyone is puzzled as this is the first time ever that there is no after-party for LFW,” said Mumbai-based model Siddharth Rawal. “We will have to hold house parties to celebrate.”
Parties planned by sponsors have also been hit. Designer Pankaj Ahuja of Pankaj and Nidhi, who showcased his creations for the first time in Mumbai, said: “A sponsor wanted to throw us a party before our 10.30pm show. But with Lakme hosting their party at the same time, we had to cancel our plans.”