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Two much fashion

Two fashion weeks, one in Delhi and the other in Mumbai, has a few advantages too. Vinod Nair finds out.

india Updated: Feb 23, 2006 16:03 IST
Vinod Nair

The great Indian fashion divide, caused by the decision of rival bodies — Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and Lakme — to host separate fashion weeks, has no doubt stirred up a storm. But amid all the confusion, the situation is turning out to be a boon for certain people in the fashion fraternity. While many designers would ideally like to participate in both, there are several other professionals associated with the industry who will stand to benefit from two fashion weeks.

High on designs

Most designers, by now, have already decided with which fashion show their allegiance lies. Those who felt that FDCI is a body that stands entirely for the promotion of India’s fashion industry, have stood by India Fashion Week, now called the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (big names in this group include Tarun Tahiliani, Rohit Bal, Rohit Gandhi-Rahul Khanna, Ritu Kumar). And many others have gone ahead and signed up with Lakme Fashion Week (Rocky S, Wendell Rodricks, Narendra Kumar, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Ashish Soni).

In that sense, it’s more fashion to experience, for those from the high-flying set who can afford to attend both fashion weeks.

While WIFW will see the collections of most of the country’s top designers, LFW has the advantage of being a blend of senior designers along with a combination of young designers who will get a proper platform to showcase at such a big fashion event for the first time.

Big biz? Maybe...

If a nagging doubt still persists in the minds of many over whether two fashion weeks in such a short span will harm the industry or benefit it, organisers will have to be cautious.

Since the two fashion weeks are spaced only by a few days apart, it looks like international buyers (assuming the same set of buyers is invited by both parties), will stay in India from the beginning of Lakme Fashion Week (March 28-April 1) till the end of Wills India Fashion Week (April 5-9).

The best option would be to invite different buyers for the two fashion weeks, unless same individuals are willing to stay over 12 days in India.

The same goes for the foreign media as well. And if both parties can pull this bit off, it only means attracting more foreign presence to Indian fashion.

Spells more work

Meanwhile, the situation has also opened up new vistas for several professionals in the fashion industry. The increase in the number of fashion weeks spells increase in the number of fashion shows. So, the ones who will directly benefit are the models. That, in turn, also increases opportunities for choreographers and make-up artistes. The hosting cities — Mumbai (LFW) and Delhi (WIFW) — and its hotels will get better business. Others such as event managers, sponsors, musicians, PR professionals, etc in both cities also stand to benefit due to two fashion weeks. Of course, the complete picture will only emerge once both fashion weeks are over.

Only then will everyone connected with the world of fashion get to know if hosting more than one fashion week in the same country is a good idea or not. Since it is for the first time that such a situation has risen in the country, it is really is in the hands of participating designers of both the fashion weeks to make their respective events successful. After all, what matters at B2B fashion events like these is that whoever makes better clothes will be a better choice for buyers and the media.

First Published: Feb 23, 2006 00:00 IST