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Affordable? Yeah right

Yet again, designers offer pret wear at prices better suited for couture.

fashion and trends Updated: Apr 12, 2011 14:15 IST
Roma Arora

The Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week ended on a grand note, but just like previous seasons, it left a key question unanswered. Were the designer creations showcased under the pret wear bracket affordable? The answer was a resounding no.

With most designers pricing their collections upwards of Rs 20,000, they seem to have forgotten that pret, by definition, implies clothes that are affordable. An outfit by Shantanu and Nikhil, is priced at Rs 58,000. Designer Manish Malhotra has kept Rs 22,000 as the base price for his collection. Jyotee Khaitan’s most expensive outfit retails for Rs 80,000. Designer Ashish Parikh from label Virtues, has a ‘pret’ creation that will make you poorer by a whopping Rs 1,75,000. However, Anupama Dayal is of the view that “Pret should range between Rs 1,500 and Rs 7,000”.

“Pret prices should start from Rs 5,000 and not be more than Rs 12,000. But here, it’s as though designers are having a private exhibition,” says designer Rina Dhaka.

While fashion choreographer Harmeet Bajaj places the cost of pret in India between Rs 3,000 and Rs 12,000, designer Rahul Khanna says, “Keeping in mind VAT and excise duty, pret should start from Rs 5,000.” The high prices are a put-off for visitors too.

“Isn’t pret supposed to be something in your range? I don’t want to go beyond Rs 4,000 for a dress,” says Riya Saxena, 28, an MNC executive. “Looking at the price range here, it seems they’re targeting only the classes,” says Shweta Nagpal, an MBA student.

What is Pret?
Pret, by definition, implies ready-to-wear garments without much alteration. Internationally, pret wear ranges between $200-$500. Here in India, leading designers start their pret range from Rs 15,000, though it goes up to a whopping Rs 2 lakhs, a price better suited for the more exclusive ‘couture’.