The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the apex body of Indian designers, unveiled Lakme India Fashion Week 2002 with the announcement of many designers from across the country participating in the event. In its third consecutive year, the Lakme India Fashion Week 2002 was held from August 2 to 8, 2002 at the Taj Palace Convention Centre in New Delhi. Spread over the entire Taj Palace Convention Centre, the venue contained the main show area, an exhibition area, an on-site media centre, trade buyer hospitality lounge, an on-site café and a section for other sponsor driven events.
The week long Lakme India Fashion Week 2002 claimed to be India`s largest and most high profile fashion trade event saw 53 designers from eight cities across the country presented their prêt lines to over 15,000 visitors. The event showcased one of two collections Pret-a-Porter (ready-to-wear) and diffusion (a line between ready-to-wear and couture/bridal) collections of the designers through seven days of frenzied business activity in either a Solo, 2-Designer or 3-Designer show.
FDCI was the proprietor of India Fashion Week with Lakme as the title sponsor. Sunsilk continued to be the associate sponsor. Kingfisher, Fiat and Channel V were the co-sponsors of the event, with Air Sahara returning as the Official Domestic Airline. Star World was the lead broadcaster of Lakme India Fashion Week 2002. Lycos was the official Website, Cathay Pacific was the official international airline, and Air Sahara was the official domestic airline.
Buyers from across India and from the USA, UK, UAE and Hong Kong, included names such as Raymond, Ebony, Pyramid, Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop, Ensemble, Origins, and Madam Butterfly from the domestic market and from the international market Selfridges, Aesthetics, Pegasus Fashion Imports ltd., Variety Silk House. The success of the event was evident from the fact that the participating designers received an average of 14 inquiries from domestic buyers and an average of three inquiries from the foreign buyers.
Among those who showcased their designer collections through the seven days of the convention, were Abhishek Gupta, Anamika Khanna, Anita Dongre, Anjana Bhargava, , Aparna Jagdhari, Gitanjali Kashyap, Jattin Kochhar, JJ Valaya, Kiran, Lina Tipnis, Malini Ramani, Monisha Bajaj, Monisha Jaising, Nikhil & Shantanu Mehra, Ranna Gill, Ritu Kumar, Rohit Bal, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Satya Paul and Suneet Verma, among many others. About 48 models presented the creations of the various Indian designers, displaying the Pret-a-Porter (ready-to-wear) and Diffusion (a line between ready-to-wear and couture or bridal) collections of 53 designers.
The models participating at the fashion week were Sheetal Mallar, Aditi Gowitrikar, Jesse Randhawa, Viveka Babajee, Nethra Raghuraman, Tapur Chaterjee, Diandra Soares, Shivani Kapoor, Bhawna Sharma, Sampada Inamdar, Tinu Verghese, Michelle Innes, Ayesha Prem, Poonam Nath, Shruti Sharma, Udita Gosawami, Fleur Xavier, Nina Manuel and Vidisha Pavate.
There was also the presence of Yana Gupta, Tupur Chaterjee, Kiran Rao, Shonali Rosario, Joey Matthews, Sapna Kumar, Indrani Dasgupta, Laxmi Rana, Vandana Saras, Tina Chatwal, Neha Dhupia, Shrishti and Bhavna Singh. Among the male models there were Rahul Dev, Inder Mohan, Zulfi Sayeed, Rajiv Singh, Tarun Arora, Ajay Balhara, Rajat Raina, Aditya Bal, Vijay Balhara, Praveen Sirohi, Niketan Madhok, Shawar Ali, Vishal Singh, Rajat Chanderlal, David Gaden and Rahul Bhasin.
The week included various styles by the various fashionistas. Ritu Kumar, in a departure from her usual style, focussed on natural fabrics. She displayed the stone washed denim shirts, lycra tops and cotton-wrinkled skirts.
Ashima and Leena had a line of stunning creations that were essentially Indian but with a strong western influence. They displayed Chinese georgette with Indian block printing. The kurtas were original some are knee-length and others sleeveless in free-flowing material.
This year Rina Dhaka with her transparent and semi-transparent attire provided the dare at the fashion event. Most of these designs were for her international clients one of which is Selfridges.
Another designer to watch out for was Nikki Mahajan. Her resplendent collection was a bridge between western and Indian ensemble. She has worked with lace, crochet and delicate braids as an ode to romanticism. Delicate chiffons, organzas and multi-layered fabrics are worked in traditional patterns and unique geometrical formats. The colour palette too was very vibrant.
One of the designers to look forward to was the former J.J.Valaya`s assistant, Ashish Pandey. The NIFT graduate has come a long way from his wacky designs of 1995 and has learnt a lot from Valaya in terms of striking the right balance between marketing and creativity. His garments had an unambiguous new age look with a special appeal for the new generation.
Another fast rising duo, Lalit and Sunita Jalan also made an impression in the fashion week. The couple used a wide variety of natural and ultra modern fabrics embellished with a touch of embroidery and surface ornamentation.
Over the last three years Lakme India Fashion Week has established itself as the most sought after trade event for the fashion design industry. And this year`s event too involved more designers, models, shows, buyers and visitors. In the first ever Lakme India Fashion Week 32 designers from eight cities across the country presented their prêt lines. Following the success of the event, the second Lakme India Fashion Week 2002, which was held at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, witnessed collections of 44 designers, showcasing both prêt and diffusion lines.
A `by invitation only` event, Lakme India Fashion Week 2002 was a trade event and had over 15000 visitors ranging from buying houses to domestic and international trade buyers, the textile industry, media as well as sponsor and designer guests. During the week, the event also hosted a range of interactive `business of fashion` seminars covering various facets of the industry. Attendees will not only witnessed the latest collections from India`s leading designers, but also got to see India`s best models, make-up trends, hairstyles and accessories for the upcoming season.
Business too was the most important part of the fashion week. Recognizing the need of the new designers to be prepared in advance on the sales and business front, FDCI organized a workshop titled, Business of Fashion which touched on subjects ranging from logistics, managing intellectual property, tax issues, labour laws and other issues pertaining to production and quality. The India Fashion Week year after year dips into the Rs. 55,000 crore ready-to-wear markets with price bands ranging between Rs. 800 and Rs. 10,000 a dress. The metamorphosis has come about after designers realized that it is one thing to relentlessly pursue moneybags with marriageable children and quite another to retail to the burgeoning Indian middle class. Though there is big money to be made in retailing at sensible prices, those who can strike a balance between the two would truly emerge as serious designers.