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Designer Wars!

Deepa Mehta's Oscar outfits are making news but for a different wit.

india Updated: Feb 10, 2007 18:17 IST

Controversy is in fashion again, and this time designer Ritu Kumar is amidst it. It all began in 1993, when Sujata Singh made six illustrations for a special calendar celebrating 25 years of Ritu’s boutique. But now Sujata has a problem.

These illustrations were published in various newspapers, including HT City, recently and credited to Ritu.

The designs depicted in the illustrations are Ritu’s creations for Deepa Mehta’s Oscar walk. And Sujata’s complaint is that she should have been credited for the sketches.

Says Sujata, “I picked up the paper to find that they have been published in Ritu’s name. She has the original illustrations and has the right to use them.

But it’s unethical on her part to take credit for my work. It’s a creative and intellectual theft. A lot of hard work went behind the conceptualisation.”

Drawing inspiration:
However, Sujata admits that the sketches were inspired by Ritu’s designs as she “saw tapes and photographs of her show to get an idea of her work and later gave it an attitude of my own.

The idea initially was to produce a coloured calendar, but later we settled for black and white.” She does not plan to “go to the court or confront Ritu. All I want is credit for my work.”

My PR agency is responsible for creating the confusion - Ritu Kumar

Whose line is it anyway?

Ritu says the “styling” for the sketches was done by her and blames her PR agency for “creating the confusion.”

Though we are not sure whom to credit for the conceptualisation/ styling, the mystery behind the now coloured sketches is yet to be explored. “I’ve been looking for Sujata to engage her for a similar project,” adds Ritu.

First Published: Feb 10, 2007 18:17 IST