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The mane course: Follow Ambika

Ambika Pillai, the official stylist for the Lakme India Fashion Week, will have an important role to play in the extravaganza.
PTI | By Natasha Grover, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 17, 2003 05:30 PM IST

Ambika Pillai, the official stylist for the Lakme India Fashion Week, will have an important role to play in the extravaganza. Along with Cory Walia and Jojo and Yatin, she'll determine the look to go with the creations of the designers. If you've got it, flaunt it, is Ambika's mantra for the woman of today.

All geared up for the week, Ambika is sure that wild and wacky cuts will make a style statement for dudes that'll walk the ramp at the LIFW. For the women, sensuality will be underplayed with a touch of drama.

"I am looking forward to a lot of bright colours for the eyes, generally shades of blue, orange, pink and green while the mouth will be pale and glossy."

Away from the ramp, here's a roundup of what Ambika thinks is cool in the city: For the hair, you can go in for the very short and tapered look. If long is what's on your mind, then warm, funky shades such as cappuccino, burgundy and red are a must to go with those long tresses. "It should be the opposite of the look that you're already sporting. For instance, if its curls, then go for the poker straight look or go for crimping to make all the difference to that Plain Jane look," she says.

"I wouldn't really suggest a particular shade to colour your locks in. The shade has to gel well with your skin tone," she advises. Make up too, has to be subdued. "No heavy duty shadows for that sultry look. Just smudge your lids with pearly, shimmery lippers," she suggests.
Ravi Bajaj, a founding member of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the Lakme India Fashion Week holds no promise. Not just because of the politics and the endless meetings but also, as he puts it, "I'm not looking at foreign buyers as the domestic market has great potential. The Ravi Bajaj label has a presence from Lucknow to Hyderabad. So, the fashion week is a waste of time."

There is also a lot of heartburn in the designer community about this year's venue and Goa-based designer Wendell Rodricks getting a chance to showcase his collection twice in three years. "If it was in Delhi I'd participate. Mumbai is tough with living in hotels and all the hassles of fittings and alterations," says Taika's Poonam Bhagat.

Couture king Suneet Varma has taken just one stall at this year's LIFW and is not showing his collection on the ramp. "I'm doing pret for the first time with my new label Spice. And I don't think a show will do justice to the clothes with the lights, drama and girls. It will take away the focus. A one-to-one with buyers would be a better idea."

David Abraham and Rakesh Thakore, who've been retailing from Liberty and Selfridges, UK, don't feel the need to be part of the LIFW. "I've never thought about it for the last four years but who knows I may be part of it next year," says Abraham.

Madhu Jain, known for her Kutch-embroidered kurtas, has also opted out because of the venue. "I already have a good retail network in Mumbai as I supply to Kimaya. I wouldn't be comfortable doing a show in a Mumbai when Delhi is the fashion capital," says Jain.

Why have the concerns of Delhi designers been ignored? After all, 28 out of the 52 participants are from the Capital. Is the FDCI listening?

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