Fash flights to First City
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Fash flights to First City

The debate is finally over, and Delhi has emerged as the undisputed fashion capital of India, writes Vinod Nair.

india Updated: Aug 26, 2006 16:06 IST
Vinod Nair

The verdict is clear: Delhi is indeed the fashion capital of India. Mumbai may cringe at the thought, but the Fashion Design Council of India’s (FDCI) decision to hold its first Spring/Summer fashion week in the city has established Delhi’s status in the fashion ladder.

And this time, after the much-hyped split between FDCI and Lakme last year (with the latter launching its own fashion week in Mumbai), many die-hard Mumbaikars have jumped the fence to Delhi for the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WLIFW) S/S 07 starting August 30. Manish Malhotra, who rocked at the Lakme India Fashion Week last season in Mumbai, will be the star attraction at WLIFW Grand Finale. Rocky S, also known for his Bollywood connection, too has taken the flight to Delhi this season along with his Mumbai colleagues Shane & Falguni Peacock, Prriya Awasthy, Krishna Mehta and Anita Dongre.

The move seems obvious given that Delhi has always been home to the biggies in the industry — Rohit Bal, Ritu Beri, Rina Dhaka, David Abraham, Rakesh Thakore, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Ashish Soni, JJ Valaya, Suneet Varma, Ravi Bajaj...

Incidentally, the Capital boasts of the maximum number of fashion de signers in the country. Not surprising, considering the fact that the prestigious National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), is based here. The institute has churned out talents by the dozens, some of whom have even made it to the international ramp — Ramesh Nair who works with Jean-Paul Gaultier for Hermès in Paris and Manish Arora, who is hot in London. They are all names that found it wise to stay true to Delhi.

A few years ago, Tarun Tahiliani, with his rather strong Mumbai persona, moved lock, stock and clothes rack from Mumbai to Delhi as he, like many others, understood the Capital’s big wallets.

With its penchant for bling and all things big, Delhi has more purchasing power than Mumbai. Besides, according to foreign brands looking at India, Delhiites “have the will to buy designer products”. Little wonder that Louis Vuitton, Bvlgari, Hugo Boss, Chanel, Valentino chose to land first in Delhi. Clearly, the presence of international fashion labels helps establish Delhi as a fashionable city, as this has a rub off effect on our desi designers too.

So, did you say Delhi v/s Mumbai? Not a chance!

First Published: Aug 26, 2006 16:06 IST