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A couple of years ago, when Rahul Mishra — India’s best-known export to international fashion in recent years — was invited to participate in the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW), the Van Heusen Men’s Fashion Week in Delhi, the Lakmé Fashion Week in Mumbai (LFW), the Bangalore Fashion Week, the India Couture Week and the Goa Resort Week among others, he chose just two: the WIFW and the LFW. The reason was simple: WIFW (now the Amazon India Fashion Week), offered the maximum business and LFW, the most publicity. As a designer who had already made a name for himself, Mishra was choosing the best of both worlds.

Delhi-based textile expert Sanjay Garg of Raw Mango must have done the same math. For the longest time, he kept away from the hullabaloo of fashion weeks and worked from the anonymity of his studio in Chhatarpur, Delhi. Yet, this year, at the ongoing AIFW at the NSIC Grounds in New Delhi, Garg was the opening designer of the five-day fashion extravaganza.

Garg is already an established designer and Raw Mango’s clientele includes the who’s who of the subcontinent. Why, then, would he need a fashion week?

That’s because an umbrella trade event such as a fashion week is essential in bringing together designers, retailers and corporates on a single platform to generate more business. Traditionally, fashion weeks across the world are trade events where designers showcase their collection six months in advance so that buyers — boutiques and international retailers — can order in advance and received the consignments at stores in time for a new season or ahead of festivals.

From a fledgling India Fashion Week in 2001, India has, over the years, had over seven fashion weeks in a single calendar year. While the LFW and the AIFW remain the benchmark, there have also been fashion weeks in Kolkata, Bengaluru and Jaipur, among other cities. Goa has been host to a resort-wear fashion week, Mumbai even had a children’s fashion week a few years ago. Bridal fashion week and couture week flourish in Delhi and Mumbai; a men’s fashion week, too, has had its moment under the sun.

Fashion weeks in smaller centres are less business-driven, but they have their own purpose. Over the years, with the aggressive rise of social media, the plethora of fashions weeks have given birth to a lot of ancillary industries — independent bloggers, event organisers, stylists, photographers, fashion schools and magazines and even tourism. Why would established designers such as Garg or Mishra, with thriving businesses, participate in fashion weeks? The answer is simple: Fashion weeks offer them a chance to maximise their profit by working to their strength. It’s more of a branding exercise where they can break into a new niche market and also have celebrities in the front row wearing their designs and cheering for them.

For newer designers, it offers them a spot under the strobe lights where dreams can come true and talent is feted. An event such as the LFW, for instance, not only grooms selected designers, but also takes care of all the professional requirements of hosting a show that can be so daunting for a newcomer trying to make a mark in the industry (read, stylists, models, ushers, power back-up, security, music, venue, publicity, etc.) for a price, of course.

But does India need so many fashion weeks and do they serve any purpose?

In some ways, they do. In India, AIFW remains the most successful business forum for designers, while LFW ensures the best grooming ground, particularly for upcoming designers. The latter also ensures the maximum publicity, drawing in Bollywood A-listers by the hordes. In a country where the domestic market is the strongest, with a major chunk of business coming from the bustling wedding market, the couture week is more of a branding exercise targeted at individual customers, mostly NRIs and celebrities and domestic boutiques such as Kimaya, Ensemble, Aza and others. The domestic segment is responsible for 90 per cent of the business in India. Most of the buyers who come in from Europe contribute less than 1 per cent of the business. Buyers from the Middle-East account for the rest.
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After flaunting the mid-riff for a while now, designers are now focussing on a new region of attraction: the legs, to be precise. The Golden Hour by Arpita Mehta at Lakme Fashion Week was one such case. An ethnic and vibrant bridal collection with intricate mirror work embroidery, Arpita worked from heavily-worked anarkali to embroidered lehengas and flared long skirts making us excited for the wedding season with her drool-worthy collection. The thigh high slit lehenga had an aura of itself as teamed with a fitted black blouse with golden embellished yoke brought the modern touch to the bridal look.

Commenting on this trend, Arpita says, “I generally try to make my Indian wear a little more contemporary and usually women experiment with the blouse. So I thought let’s play around with the lehenga. So rather than making a different cut I added a little edge with thigh-high slits which satisfy my requirement of contemporising ethnic wear.” Malaika Arora Khan looked stunning on the ramp wearing a mirror-work lehenga which consisted of an off-shoulder blouse and a fish-cut lehenga skirt with a thigh-high slit. Arpita says, “The outfit Malaika wore is a flattering cut and quite glamorous and is perfect for a bride for her sangeet.”

Namrata Joshipura’s dazzling collection was a celebration of all things shiny and blingy. Impactful use of LED lights, something she has been loyal to since a couple of seasons lit up her shimmery creations. In a cool and calm colour palette with whites and blues, thigh high slits added the edge to the collection. Namrata says, “I wanted to make evening gowns look slightly sexier given that there wasn’t too much of embellishments in the gowns.” In solid coloured holographic sultry evening dresses these slits running right up the model’s leg were the focus and got the attention. She took the slit to arms as well.

One of the white sparkling creation with sequins also sported classy open slit sleeves. “The open slit sleeve is a silhouette that I did in March as well at the Amazon India Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2015 and it is a sleeve which is there yet not there. I feel it makes the outfit less serious,” maintains Namrata.

Edgy minimalism and sharp tailoring can only remind us of Selvage by Chandni Mohan. She, who also included a couple of slits in her chic collection, says, “For my brand it’s all about a woman who is really sexy. And my collection this time was based around the fact that our woman is really young, outgoing and free-spirited with a mature attitude. So the slits play with the sexiness of the woman with deep necklines. And these would be great for an evening occasion outfit.”
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London Fashion Week has sharpened its business focus over the past few years to usher in a new generation of fashion designers who blend creativity with a healthy dose of commerce.

Long known as the little sister to Paris, Milan and New York, London is fast becoming the place to build a successful fashion business and is home to leading brands like Burberry, Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith.

The emergence of a new generation of commercially savvy designers has made the city a key destination for global brands and retailers wanting to pair up with designers on projects ranging from soft drinks packaging to dolls' accessories.

London Fashion Week is estimated to bring in around 100 million pounds ($155 million) worth of orders each season, according to the British Fashion Council.

This year has seen more tie-ups with non-fashion brands, such as Sophia Webster's work with toymaker Mattel on designing a range of shoes for Barbie dolls, and a J.W. Anderson collaboration with Diet Coke - to name but a few.

Webster, who showcased a collection of colourful patterned heels and sandals at a mermaid-themed presentation, said she had been approached by Mattel to design a new Barbie range.

"It was my dream collaboration, it's a perfect fit for my brand. It's definitely a good way to reach a wider audience," she told Reuters.

Such projects help generate funds to invest in fledging businesses and raise designers' profiles among a range of new audiences.

"It is very important and it is very contemporary so I think it is an interesting way to get the finance capital whilst also saying something different," said Claudia D'Arpizio, a partner at luxury goods consultancy Bain and Company.

Scottish designer Holly Fulton, who showcased a colourful collection of denim jackets, high waisted jeans and tailored dresses with printed floral motifs at London Fashion Week, said collaborations have been an integral part of her business.

"My aim has always been to have longevity in the brand," she told Reuters backstage at her show. Fulton recently collaborated with Unilever on their Simple skin care range, and in the past has worked with jewellery firm Swarovski.

"You have to run a valid and viable business to be able to fund the collections and to make something that has legs."

The British Fashion Council has played an integral part in helping designers to capitalise on their creativity by running mentoring programmes, setting up online information on how to run a business and helping to secure funding and sponsorship for new brands.

"It helps you because you can approach a much wider client," said Turkish designer Bora Aksu. "The people who cannot afford your brand or if it's not in their platform can suddenly can reach your product and can get to know you."

Veteran designer Jasper Conran who has successfully collaborated with British retailer Debenhams for more than 20 years, said such tie-ups were just good business practice.

"Don't forget money is the thing that fuels design. It needs it. It needs a lot of it," said Conran, who clothed his models in loosely fitted trousers and cotton sundresses featuring abstract prints in an array of green shades at his catwalk show.

"When I started, it was very tough ... (but) I don't think there is any scepticism now."

($1 = 0.6437 pounds)
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Manipuri designer Robert Naorem is hosting the Kanglei Fashion Extravaganza here on Sunday to raise funds to help the flood victims in northeast - and also promote the region.

Now in its third year, the show was earlier titled Manipur Fashion Extravaganza and was held in the state's capital Imphal.

"I always wished to take the show to different cities of the country to spread awareness about northeast. There are a lot of issues going on in my hometown so, at this point of time I don't want to do a show in Manipur. The show promotes fashion and our culture, and youth from the state.

"I changed the name of the show to Kanglei Fashion Extravaganza as Kanglei is another word for Manipur. It has more impact," Naorem, now based here, told IANS.

While the focus will be on the fashion pieces from Manipur, he says the show is a tribute to the northeast.

"There will be five designers mostly from Manipur. I wish I could get more designers from other northeast states. But we will be showcasing a few pieces focussing on Arunachal Pradesh too. Then there are a few models from Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The show is a tribute to the northeast and also to help flood victims of the region," said the 29-year-old.

"Dynamic Manipur foundation is our cause partner. The entry is free so that we can get as many people as possible to watch the show and contribute to the cause. There will be a donation box at the venue," added Naorem, who will be the finale designer as well.

He is set to entice the audience with what he is best at -- Manipuri handloom work.

"I will open my show with gowns then move on to Indian saris with thread work and more, and finally present our traditional attire - phee and phanek," said the designer-cum-make-up expert.

Since he is doing a show in the capital of Karnataka, he has roped in a designer to present a collection dedicated to the state. "I felt that there should be a link between northeast and Karnataka."

The show, organised at a budget of Rs.16 lakh, will also see models from Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi. "Popular models like Carol Gracias and Nayanika Chatterjee will walk for us," he said.

Why no Bollywood names?

"We all know that Manipur doesn't allow Bollywood. Besides, the concept will be diverted to something else," said the designer, who has been in the industry for a decade now.

But he would like to take the show to the hub of Bollywood - Mumbai and even Delhi as he wants to create awareness about the region as much as possible.
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Ace designer Archana Kochhar promoted the Make in India campaign at the New York runway with her collection, made of Ahimsa Silk.

The designer presented a collection titled 'Ahimsa Resama' on September 13 and it was created with Ahmisa Silk to promote the Make in India campaign at the FTL MODA New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016.

"'Ahmisa Resama' is an amalgamation of global silhouettes with ethnic embroideries,A" the designer said in a statement, and added: A"By saving each silkworm in the process of creating Ahmisa Silk, they are set free as silk mothsA".

A"This transformation has inspired me to incorporate hundreds of tiny silk moth wings and cocoon-shaped textures which are then bound together in the form of intricate textural embroidery which is the focal element of the collection."

The colour of the collection varied from nude palettes of beige and ivory offset with rose gold embellishments. The embroideries were a melange of rich Indian traditional gold zari thread, intellectual texturing techniques and Swarovski sprinkle.
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It might not seem immediately obvious that a move from one of the country’s largest and grandest examples of 18th-century architecture to a concrete multistorey carpark is a step up in the world, but then British fashion has always lived by its own rules. On Friday morning, the 62nd London fashion week – 5,000 visitors, 52 catwalk shows, plus the consumption of an estimated 30,000 espressos and 15,000 bottles of Evian – set up camp in its new home, the Brewer Street car park.

To be fair, Brewer Street is an admired Soho landmark, which English Heritage advised listing in 2002. (It is, apparently, the third-oldest multistorey car park to feature ramps.) The new venue brings the shows “closer to retail”, as the British Fashion Council chief, Caroline Rush, says. Not just literally and geographically closer, but closer in spirit.

While the courtyards and fountains of Somerset House were undeniably picturesque, the new location – handy for Oxford Street – reflects how the character of London fashion week has changed over the past decade, from being a place where oddly dressed folk applauded largely theoretical suggestions about what people might wear if all societal norms were to be suspended, to a showcase aimed squarely at the business of selling clothes.

As a result, modish midi skirts and sleeveless coats were almost outnumbered by business suits at the opening celebration. Culture minister Ed Vaizey was accompanied by the paymaster general, Matthew Hancock, who said he was there because “London fashion week is such an important part of the future of Britain. It symbolises everything we want to be, as a country”.

Retail grandees Marc Bolland, chief executive of Marks and Spencer, and Johnnie Boden were also there. It was a first fashion week visit for Boden, who said he had been “rather terrified of it, but in fact it’s rather nice. The people are surprisingly friendly.”

The traditional opening speech was jettisoned, in favour of a movie-style trailer for fashion week emailed to attendees by BFC chair Natalie Massenet in advance. The key message trendspotters took from the morning event was that avocado on toast, recently derided as over in some quarters, was still an officially fashionable breakfast, as evidenced by the canapes.

Highlights of London fashion week


The clothes will have been all over Snapchat already, but the catwalk extravaganza at Burberry will have a sweetener in the form of a celebrity-studded front row seldom rivalled at London fashion week. This week, Burberry became the first global brand to curate a dedicated channel on Apple Music, a launch that will be marked at the show by a live performance by Alison Moyet.


Donatella Versace loves London’s youthful energy so much that she has moved her diffusion line to show in the city. Any Versace event is a party in spirit, and the Saturday-night slot promises high jinks. Versus is designed by Anthony Vaccarello, a 32-year-old Belgian-Italian designer fond of high splits and daring slashes. One to dress up for.

House of Holland

Henry Holland was one of the first designers to use the Brewer Street car park as a show venue back in 2010. This season, he moves his show to the site of what was once Collins Music Hall, in Islington. Holland’s Instagram-friendly friends – Alexa Chung, Pixie Geldof, Daisy Lowe et al – will no doubt be in full effect.
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Over the past few years, the trends seen during New York Fashion Week have taken us on a fashion-forward journey. From intricate details, to elegant basics, to flowing lines, to overpowering ruffles, and even color-clashing prints, NYFW always manages to kick off styles that will flourish for seasons to come. Before the 8-day Fashion Week mayhem departs New York and heads to London.

Many fashion industry mavens are taking note of the common trends seen amongst the hundreds of glamorous runway shows that took place on the New York catwalks. If you’re finding it difficult to keep up with the countless trends that graced the runway this past week, then check out below for a recap of what to expect trend-wise for the upcoming season. That way when you hear like-minded fashionistas discussing the odd, yet trendy facial accessories that adorned the Givenchy collection, you can insert yourself into the conversation and say, “I know what you’re talking about!”


Who says you can’t wear beach attire in the fall? Top designers like Tommy Hilfiger, Custo Barcelona, and BCBG Max Azria incorporated beach-inspired crochets with fall trends to create gorgeous handmade-looking pieces.

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MUMBAI: Lucknow, the city of Nawabs, will soon see a luxury residential project branded by Fashion TV. This will be Fashion TV's fourth branded residence project in the country that will be developed by the city-based builder New Modern Buildwell with an investment of around Rs 1,000 crores, the developer said in a release.

The work of the project, f-Crown homes, has already started after receiving approvals and the project is expected to be completed within a period of three to four years, the company said.

The ultra-luxury residential project in Lucknow will offer six categories of 3 BHK to 5 BHK homes available at Rs 1.30 crore to Rs 3.70 crore depending on the size, locations and the categories of services. The residents of f-Crown will be members of the Golf community which includes 18-hole Golf course and the Golf club within it.

"Lucknow is a city known for its class, fashion, style and splendour and we are proud to be a part of the city to create an the luxurious lifestyle at par with our global standards This will be our fourth project in the country and we are optimistic that f-Crown homes will live up to our discerning standards," Vishal Gurnani, Director and Promoter, Fashion TV in India.

The interiors of f-Crown homes will be designed by Marques & Jordy of France under guidelines with international touch of Fashion TV experience.

"India's luxury real estate segment is the fastest growing in the sector with an investment portfolio totalling up to 40 per cent in the realty market across nation," P. N. Misra, Founder and CMD, New Modern Buildwell.
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Though it had been a long week of fashion celebrations, there was one more to commemorate on Thursday night. The Fashion Group International marked its 85th anniversary with a cocktail reception at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Times Square that drew everyone from Carolina Herrera and Norma Kamali to Misha Nonoo and Wes Gordon.

FGI was created in 1930 as “a platform for women,” FGI’s president, Margaret Hayes, said. “In the Thirties there were very few careers open to senior women. The fashion industry gave women a great platform to excel.”

The party on Thursday was a testament to the progress made over the years.

“I think it’s a fantastic idea, promoting fashion all over the world and keeping the fashion world together, in New York,” Herrera told WWD.

“The fashion industry always needs a friend,” Norma Kamali told the crowd. “You always need a place to go where somebody is going to hold your hand. The Fashion Group has been a friend to anyone who has come into the industry who needed to know something — where to go, how to do it, what’s going on.”

When it was her turn, Marie Claire creative director Nina Garcia said, “to those pioneering women who founded the Fashion Group 85 years ago, I’m sure they are looking at us from above thinking ‘wow, good job, ladies.’”

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