'India Fashion Week on target'
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'India Fashion Week on target'

The director general of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), Rathi Vinay Jha, talks on the new-look Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week.

india Updated: Apr 09, 2006 17:44 IST

Rathi Vinay Jha, often dubbed a one-woman army who has raised the India Fashion Week to a highly professional level, can't help smiling. The seventh edition of the event is heading for its Wednesday opening here like clockwork.

"Everything is going on schedule. We worked a lot on the planning and organisational aspects this time and this has helped us because the logistics are working out very well," said Jha, director general of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) that organises the event.

     Rathi Vinay Jha

"We are keeping our fingers crossed because till it all happens, one should not speak. But I have a feeling we are going to be very much on time to take on the event.

In fact, till the last event, we used to hand over the stalls to designers hardly 24 hours before the event. Last year, we were even more late," Jha told IANS in an interview.

This time it will be earlier, she said.

The event will be known as the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WLIFW) from this year with hospitality major ITC coming on board as the principal sponsor.

One MSA (main show area - the runway and its attendant props) is coming up inside the huge ballroom of The Grand hotel where the event is being held.

Outside, another MSA is being replicated under a sprawling black marquee. This will enable the staging of eight fashion shows a day - a staggering 40 during the five-day event that runs till Sunday.

"Having the second ramp's been good because this gives us a little more breathing space. All this has led to a much bigger event and therefore, much more expenditure," Jha stated, citing a confidentiality clause against naming a figure.

Opposite the MSA marquee is another of equal size that will function as the trade area.

"We are evolving. And each year, we are learning by whatever did not happen the previous year. I think we've learnt out lessons, the experience has been fantastic. Therefore, we are more prepared," a confident Jha maintained.

"I must say every designer has complimented us on the arrangements this time. Everyone seems to be very happy," she added.

The twin runways apart, WLIFW will also see other significant changes.

"Our guidelines have gone beyond designers this time to choreographers as also the other talent teams," Jha said.

"The designer docket is what we give every year to designers covering all the dos and the don'ts, what to expect and what not to expect and if they want to do anything more than what is in the guidelines, how they should approach us and ask us.

"For example, a lot of designers want to have fancy props. Most understandable, but very often, we have to say no. For example, last year, someone wanted to have candles and we had to say no because of the safety requirements.

"Now, very often, we look at what is happening, what they want and we try to see whether they can do it in the time limit we are giving them," Jha explained.

First Published: Apr 03, 2006 17:41 IST