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Tradition meets technology in fashion week

Ancient textile craft, asymmetric hemlines, surface texturing and digital technology -- these were the trends thrown up by the fourth India fashion week.

india Updated: Jul 25, 2003 13:02 IST

Ancient textile craft, asymmetric hemlines, surface texturing and digital technology -- these were the trends thrown up by the fourth India fashion week.

Around the world, fashion weeks work on trends that are really the key for the following seasons.

But in India, it has always been a little dicey with designers choosing to do whatever they feel most comfortable with rather than working within global industry uniformity norms of setting and following trends.

"It's a bit tough to locate trends at an Indian fashion week," said London-based fashion expert Laura Avery, who was hired as the chief fashion consultant and trend specialist by the organisers, IMG, for the fashion week this year.

"But, yes, textile craft, asymmetric hemlines, textures and digital technology are definitely the main trends this year."

Designer Anamika Khanna used traditional textile crafts, reviving block printing and 'kantha' delicate stitch work, with fellow Kolkata-based designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, and Delhi's Ashish Soni and Rajesh Pratap Singh taking texturing to new heights.

"Soni has worked to create this new light-weight yarn that is perfect for the Indian heat and humidity and, of course, the genius of Pratap lies in the fact that he can weave magic with just textures like no one can," said Avery.

This year, designer Anita Dongre became the first Indian designer to use the latest digital technology to produce sharper images on fabric. "This would bring new fabric and style details to life," said Dongre.

Pleats, in keeping with the Gaultier and Prada look this season, continue to make a big impact.

In spite of all this, there were no really developed trends. The fashion week began with designers trying to follow the global norm of military style this season, but that was soon abandoned and like the medley this country always is, it became a free for all.

That's perhaps why the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) is planning to set up a Rs.80-million trends council for the industry. The project would be funded by Raymonds, Swarovski and Trendz, the fashion satellite channel from the Zee bouquet.

The trends council would include textile, yarn and dye makers, and accessory producers and would be an essential guide to all in the industry.

"This is one more way of bringing more professional credibility to the industry," said FDCI executive director Vinod Kaul.

Some, however, feel there's a method in this no-trends madness. Said designer Anshu Arora Sen: "Why should we be all uniform and following set trends, let everyone do their thing, that's the spirit of true creativity."

First Published: Jul 25, 2003 13:02 IST