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French model slams Indian fashion scene

Former supermodel Anne De Champignuel takes a dig at the excessive "Westernisation" of Indian designers.
None | By Indo-Asian News Service, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 21, 2006 01:57 PM IST

Indian designers and cosmetologists must work on a common net if the country is to make a mark globally, a French expert says.

"I have seen a few shows (in India) and I find a disconnect between the skin tones of the models, their make up and their costumes," said former international supermodel Anne De Champignuel, now a consultant associated with events like the Paris, London and Milan Fashion Weeks.

A cosmetologist is a beauty specialist proficient in all forms of beauty care and can give hair treatments, facials, skin and nail treatments.

"It is important designers and cosmetologists work together. Fashion is all about a combination of the two - cosmetics complementing the outfits and the outfits complementing the makeup," Champignuel said.

The expert was in India to present the annual Les Trois Fileuses Dor award from the Paris-based International Association for Young Creators (IAYC) to fashion diva Ritu Beri. She stayed on to study the arrangements being made for the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai March 28-April 1 and the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in New Delhi April 5-9.

Champignuel will reportedly miss both the events due to other commitments but hopes to be associated with one or both of them in the future.

When it was pointed out that Beri would be unveiling a matching cosmetics range along with her summer 2006 clothesline at the Lakme Fashion Week, Champignuel said this was not exactly what she had in mind.

"This is not Beri," she began, pointing to the promotional brochures for the event, but then stopped short -- perhaps making a point diplomatically.

"It's not just cosmetics per se. You have to take into account different times of the day. Just like you have dresses for different times of the day, there are cosmetics for different times of the day," Champignuel pointed out.

"From my little knowledge of India, I don't think there are too many linkages between designers and cosmetologists," she said. "They have to work together for mutual adaptation."

And given India's rich variety of textiles and fabrics, it was important to also involve fabricators in the value chain, the expert pointed out.

Champignuel also depreciated the excessive "Westernisation" of Indian designers.

"I have not seen enough of India styles. What I see is mostly Western. I would like to see more of Indian styles," she said.

"Looking at Indian street fashion, I have discovered something. I am surprised your designers don't take this forward," Champignuel added.

According to her, "style is very important. What I have seen of Indian designers is too Western. They have to become more Indian. I don't recognise these styles, it's not the style of India".

Told that most Indian designers were looking at Western markets, she replied that what mattered was how hard they pushed. "If you push hard enough, you can always create a market."

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