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Military chic for a fledging industry

Fighting fight, perhaps that's the message India's fledging fashion industry tried to send down the ramp as it opened its fourth annual fashion fiesta.

india Updated: Jul 19, 2003 17:23 IST

Fighting fight, perhaps that's the message India's fledging fashion industry tried to send down the ramp as it opened its fourth annual fashion fiesta.

Outside the sprawling National Centre for Performing Arts, venue for the 35-show event this year, the monsoon clouds, a bit like war clouds, rumbled.

Inside, wearing a camouflage-green, knitted cotton vest, designer Aki Narula explained why his collection was being referred to as "sex goddess goes to war" by the official press release.

"Military is in," he said, nodding as if "in" was self-explanatory. "I've tried to go over the top and use, for instance, the buttons used in sofas on my clothes."

The result, combined as it were by sensuous, Oriental fabrics and gently whispering drapes, was, to use a war word, bombardment. It fell like mortar shells, shocking, stunning and leaving people spellbound.

Before the explosion of Narula, who has shown at London's Selfridges store, the rumble of Bollywood costume maker Rocky S. began the show Friday.

In a Goth-inspired meets street vamp line, Rocky S showed lots of slashing and fraying of fabric to create a dark, sombre collection. Something like the chain mail in Narula's line.

"I wanted to keep up the strong sense of conflict this season," said Rocky S. Everyone knew that the main trend, supposedly, this year was military. So the herd just went military, with, rather aptly, a vengeance.

There was no chain mail, but certainly heaps of vehement militarism in the line of Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna.

Bullet belts on camouflage jackets, frayed war pants in earths and greens and thick boots to complete the effect. Laser cut leather met tight fit jackets and strode down the runway as if straight out of the war chest.

The only relief was Ashish Soni, who stuck to his patent whites, ostensibly, this time, defining the "metro-sexual man". Whatever that means.

First Published: Jul 19, 2003 17:23 IST