London may still be buzzing after the 25th anniversary Fashion Week celebrations, but on the other side of the world, India has been holding its own fashion festivities. Last week was also the 10th anniversary of Lakmé Fashion Week which took place in Mumbai. Asia is beginning to make its mark on the high fashion industry, both in terms of models and designers.
Lakmé Fashion Week was founded by Lakmé, India’s top cosmetics brand, and IMG, the leader in fashion week events organisation and top modelling agency. It was created so that India could follow in the direction of other countries’ and cities’ success, promoting their designers and making an impact on the fashion world.
New and aspiring models were invited to a casting call to feature in the fashion week. Although Lakmé and India Fashion Weeks might not receive as much coverage as the big four, IMG models Monikangana Dutta and Vipasha Agarwal, as well as Slumdog Millionaire star Freida Pinto, were discovered on the catwalks there. Three hundred and thirty-two models turned up for the audition, and surprisingly the majority of these were men. Eight men and seven women ultimately made it through to the final selection.
The collections at Lakmé Fashion Week were interesting and varied. Designers such as Vikram Phadnis and Raakesh Agarvwal featured pieces that had obviously been directly inspired by traditional Indian dress. Gauri & Nainika’s collection was extravagant and elegant and would be well suited for any red carpet appearance. There were also some more bizarre creations from Imcha Imchen, Mehak Jain and Aki Narula.
However, there is concern about this rising interest in fashion in India. One article in The Times of India raises the debate of whether it will have any direct positive impact on the economy, and certainly gives us something to think about.
“With each Fashion Week trying to out do the other, is there a serious fashion fatigue in India?” questions the author. “Are the buyers, fashion lovers, designers, models and media beginning to feel bored with back to back events which often witness repetitive designs on the ramp? Are the consecutive Fashion Weeks a mere costume drama?”