Lakme India Fashion Week – A Review

Introduction

India is becoming the latest fashion hub for the fashionistas. Indian designers are no longer confined to the domestic fashion and apparel market, they are gaining recognition and fame from all over the world. The various government policies and a boom in fashion industry have made it possible. One of the major breakthrough provided to Indian designers to showcase their talents are through the medium of fashion shows. Lakme India Fashion Show is the most popular fashion show celebration of India where the talents of already established and upcoming designers are showcased.

This event is a fashion celebration laced with lots of glamour and national as well as international media coverage. This time lakme India fashion week was held at Mumbai from 31st Oct- 4th Nov. Many high profile designers as well as audience witnessed this fashion fiesta. Famous bollywood celebrities were part of it.

Eminent designers like Surily Goel, Narendra Kumar, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Nalandda Bhandari, Nandita Mahtani, Anand Kabra, Abhishek Dutta , Wendrell Rodericks, Anupama Dayal, Vikram Phadnis, Chaitanya Rao, Sanchita, Savio Jon, Payal Singhal, Sanjay Malhotra, James Ferriera, Priyadarshini Rao, etc presented their spring/summer 2007 collection. Also South African designer duo Sun Goddess and Clive Rundle presented their collection.

Brief descriptions of some designer’s creative work are as follows :-

Nalandda Bhandari

Nalandda Bhandari designs simple yet attractive and wearable collection under the brand name ‘Nasha’. She named her spring/summer 2007 collection ‘Free Spirit’. She covered all patterns and styles of contemporary women clothing, dress patterns like- tunics, kaftans, tube dress, skirts, shirts and burnt gold evening gown dominated her show. She played with glamour clad fabrics like chiffon, silk, georgette, voile, cotton and crepe. Her collection was largely ruled by animal prints and embroideries like African embroidery, sequin embroidery, etc. She also presented her men collection. She included her logo of rose embroidery in almost every outfit.

Narendra Kumar

The very famous designer Narendra Kumar presented his spring/summer collection 2007 at Lakme Fashion Week. The collection was named as ‘Love Touches You’. He presented a perfect blend of traditional and contemporary designing paired beautifully with each other. The women’s line of western collection had smocked & pleated skirts, balloon skirt with shirt dress, half collars, bloomers, chiffon with appliqué sleeves, etc which were created with the designer’s unique touch and detailing. The preferred fabrics by the designer were cotton, georgette, net, silk, mull and linen. The collection was unique but wearable in terms of design and pattern.

The men collection was very stylish and appealing in nature. Men models walked the ramp with elaborate embroidered batik styled shirts paired with stylish trousers completed with patch pockets and shiny zippers. Fun element of, feminity to male garments was provided by showcasing sophisticated floral printed baggy tops paired with tight fitting pants and capris. The choice of colors was dull jade, beige, blue, brown, saffron and white. Complicated embroidery, smocking, appliqué work and shadow work were part and parcel of his creative designing. The fun element was when the famous model turned actor John Abraham walked the ramp with white linen suit. Thus he complied every bit of creativity and entertainment aspects to his collection which gained him standing ovation by the audience and showering of red carnations.

Surily Goel

Surily Goel is young and talented designer who even designs for film personalities. Her latest creation on big screen was for actress Preity Zinta for the film ‘Jaan-e-Mann’. Her collection presented the carefree and sensual side of women’s clothing. This year’s collection was marked by knee-length skirts of georgette, crochets, chiffon, light silks and organdy, highlighting pleats and waist gathering with satin belts. Also single piece bubble outfits created in wide range of colors and fabrics. In this time’s collection she used more of small colored stones.

The presence of film personalities like Dino Morea, Sonali Bendre, Neelam Kothari, Fardeen Khan, Sameera Reddy and Tara Sharma in the audience during her collection put the star element into the show.

Chaitanya Rao

Chaitanya Rao’s collection was like early morning breeze with booming petals of budding roses. The delicate fabrics like georgette and chiffon provided that sexy feminine look to her collection. As her signature, she included moth in the form of embroidery or appliqué in all of her garments. The models took over the ramp with her mesmerizing feminine collection comprising of hem blouses with theme embroideries, pleated mini skirts with batik prints, moth appliqué blouses, long frayed double hem dresses, pale grey chiffon tunic, cream color chiffon bubble dress, dolman sleeved hipster blouses, the list goes on. To accessorize her collection she used thin and broad belts.

Sanchita

Sanchita’s collection presented in Lakme Fashion Week was bold yet wearable. She divided her collection into three segments- Punk chic, Copacabana and Swinging deco. The stunning designer pieces of bikinis and pareos, Hawaiian inspired kaftans, small balloon skirts, floaty dresses and minis provided the feeling of the beaches of Copacabana, St. Tropez and Riviera to the audience. Her collection was quite glamorous consisting of outfit like grey T-shirts with silver leggings, lycra T-shirts having sleeve ornamentations, strapless dresses accompanied with necklaces, earrings and brooches.

The men collection was marked by casual wear T-shirts, poplin trousers with detailed embroideries and white tuxedo jackets.

The garments were decorated with semi precious stones or with attractive patch works. Her line of collection was dominated by colors like white, apatite, agate, jade, opal and black onyx. The garments were accessorized with intrinsically crafted jewelry and bags.

Savio Jon

This designer emphasized heavily on the comfort factor of the garments. Savio Jon is well known for his simple yet attractive clothing lines which are high on value and seductive quotient. Unlike other designers he preferred his garments to hang loose around the body instead of body hugging/tight fitting clothes. He used free flowing fabrics like fish net, mul, chiffon, georgette and crepe.

Pinafore silhouette, long lean maxis, oversized blouses, deep shoveled armholes, low back and front necklines, were some types of garments he presented. In evening wear he glamorized the tubular silhouettes with shimmers. The ranges of colors choosed by him for his collection were beige, grey, brown, black, pale yellow and white. Thus the colors were also sober and subtle.

Payal Singhal

Payal Singhal for the first time presented her collection in Lakme Fashion Week. Her designer collection for women were designed keeping in mind today’s working women’s needs and comfort level. Stylish yet affordable was the key element associated with her collection. She beautifully used cutwork, satin, georgette, jacquard, tulle, cotton, crepe, taffeta, brocade and seersucker in club and partywear for dresses and tunics. Her display of outfits on ramp descended gracefully from daywear to glamorous evening wear. She started her showcasing of designs in oyster white color then, tea rose, yellow, coffee, watermelon to grapefruit color. Display of tunics and blousons were coupled with melon, gold or silver tights. The signature outfit was the oyster white kaftan embellished with golden embroidery.

Sanjay Malhotra

Sanjay Malhotra named his spring/summer 2007 collection -‘Dejavu’. The key phrase which inspired him for this collection was -Life through my rose colored glasses. He instead of sticking only to free flowing usual feminine fabrics, even experimented with fabrics like fur, leather, voiles, denim, suede and laces which were highly appealing to today’s power packed independent women. The beautiful mix-n-match of these fabrics in sober as well as striking colors presented a collection that was bold enough yet stylish and wearable. Few of the many outfits displayed by him were- ivory colored mirror jacket with chiffon sleeves, colorful corset skirt accompanied with net petticoat, tunic with fur edge, etc. His collection was for the woman who likes to seek attention of the crowd and be different.

Clive Rundle and Sun Goddess

Clive Rundle and Sun Goddess were two international South African designers who presented their collection at Lakme Fashion Week. Fusion was the key style of their outfits. Extravagant layered dresses and skirts, jackets, evening wear, loosely fitted shirts and trousers, long coats and tops were part of their garment showcase. Their choices of colors were mainly creams, cherries, plums, peaches, sapphires, maroons and mauves. The free flowing pleated and layered outfits depicted the south African culture and fashion essence through them.

James Ferriera

James Ferriera made his debut at Lakme Fashion Week. He named his collection ‘Bombay Tokyo’. His collections were inspired by Maharashtra’s rich textile heritage.

The collections were divided into seven segments which were even named. The sari, an ode to devnagari, the hardy traditional towel, black magic, the sholapur story, warli and diwali were the seven names given to the segments.

Traditional warli paintings and paithani motifs were done on the clothes. Very uniquely he transformed the traditional forms of maharashtrian clothing into contemporary designs, like nine yard saris were intelligently converted into tunics. Marigold and leaf motifs were used on black shirts with cowl necks.

To describe in a nutshell his collection used ethnic fabrics and designs on garments with style and attitude. The outfit presented during finale had black georgette garments with glittering Paithani embroidery designs on them.

Conclusion

This event is marked by presence of celebrities and traders all across the globe. Also it provides a platform for the budding designers to show their talent and establish themselves into the high profile fashion industry, for the already established designers to show their collection and maintain their popularity level. The above mentioned review is for few of the many prominent and talented designers. The nutshell description of the designers suggests that this celebration of fashion and style is a sure shot success for India’s designers and promote the export business too. The very presence of film stars on the ramp of their favorite designers and in the audience is the crowd puller factor of this celebration. Lakme Fashion week is extensively covered by media and promoted also.

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Indian Fashion Retailers Looking To Thrive

It is the augmentation in fashion trends in India that revolutionized the merchandising system in retail industry. Brands in apparel, textiles, jewelry, accessories, footwear, cosmetics and salons raised the business more than Rs 40,000 crore.

The Indian retail market is evolving rapidly. It is palpable that now Indian retail industry requires lots more of fashion. The organized retailing is developing at breakneck speed. It is amicable to all that fashion is a vital part of both the retail industry as well as the brands. Fashion has led the retail industry boom and it has sustained its dominance in every malls, markets and stores.

Since the spread-out of malls is increasing, the major issue will be how to organize fashion retails industry, has potential of making Rs 50,000cr business by the year 2007. Indian retail would cover-up 50mn sq ft by 2007 of sales space countrywide, and nearly 50 % of the total space would be assigned for fashion retailing. It is anticipated that about Rs 20,000cr retail sales would be coming-in from the fashion retailing. A population of over one billion, a massive consumer class, India is considered as the most preferred destinations for investments.

Apparel and textiles makes the biggest segment in retailing sectors, and if we accumulate all the other related segments such as jewelry, cosmetics, watches, health & beauty care etc at one single platform, then fashion would account nearly 60 % of the total retail sector.

With radically changing fashion and retail industry, the Indian consumers are facing considerable transformation. With an increase income levels and increasing attitude “LOOK GOOD – FEEL GOOD”, fashion is offering huge potential to penetrate deeper into the untouched Indian markets.

Fashions will account nearly 95% in total sales in the department stores, while in hypermarkets such as Big Bazaar the share could be about 70%. Fashion apparel has been the significant segment in the terms of evolution in Indian retail industry, not due to its size but the way it has influenced lifestyle of the Indian people. It was apparel that led multi-national brands to explore and invest in the Indian market, which led the ball rolling to rearrange the retail industry.

Few key factors that shaped the fashion retail industry are listed below:

. Massive spread-out of the malls, hyper markets and supermarkets throughout the country, even in non-metro cities.

. Mergers and acquisitions, which let huge brands to participate in the local market.

. The advantages by the elimination of global textile quotas in 2005.

. Expansion strategies of brands and retailers.

. Many international brands march into domestic markets.

. Many brands performed well in the mass segment.

. Boom in luxury retail segment.

. Indian fashion designers marked their names at International platforms.

. Considerable expenditure on ad and marketing by apparel brands.

. Enhanced merchandising let the companies to enhance consumer relations.

Few points on which retailers and brands should mull over:

. Collaborative tie-ups with non-competent services providers and brands.

. Offer value-added products, not cash discounts.

. Offer uniform sizing throughout the country.

. Offer personalized services.

. Concentrate on particular buyer or market segment. Take action to fulfill the demands.

. Try to become exclusive stores for specific brands and adopt shop-in-shop system.

. Place well behaved, polite and trained sales staff to manage counters.

. Go for organized merchandising format for your company.

. Avoid offering all at once. Introduce products assortments in a phase manner with latest trends.

. Try to get feedback from the consumer on “What they want?”

Review of some of the retail industry players on the attained targets and their wishes for the current year:

Benetton

Achieved Target:

. Successfully reestablished its place in the market, with opening 22 stores.

. Higher development – In fact the highest of all segments and categories.

. Enhanced brand image from small to huge format flagship.

Wishes

. People should enhance living standard, moving to mono-brand from multi-brand outlets.

. Excellent training and salaries to sales staff and be more mass-oriented.

. Expand in 5 lakh plus towns, providing similar buying experience.

. Looking for continues support from the consumers and to emerge as fastest evolving brand.

. To enhance team’s performance in coming years.

Blackberrys

Achieved targets:

. Take a lead in the dress-up segment that features dressing for occasion, success etc in trousers, and also in men’s suits.

. Concentrated on top around 70 MBOs and trying to deliver better.

. Enhancing perform of team – planning to establish systems to make them more productive and glad.

Wishes:

. To implement system for on-time deliveries.

. To put scissors on product assortment in terms of the number of styles – which will led company to serve better to fewer customers.

. Excellent outsourcing with making dedicated team to take care of it.

Forbes Gokak

Achieved Targets:

. In a span of less than two years, Daks brand has been successful to hit the Indian market despite of being a foreign brand.

. Managed tie-up arrangements for manufacturing Daks brand in India and Central Europe.

. Also signed agreements for Trussardi and Savile Row.

Wishes:

. To be a front runner in the Indian apparel market.

. To add 25 more stores.

. Allure entire high-end women class to wear Trussardi.

. Enhance sales staff performance.

Gini & Jony

Achieved Targets:

. Signed agreement with Reliance

. Signed license agreement for its kidswear brand ‘Levi’s Sykes’.

. Increased production capacities at Daman and Baddi.

Wishes:

. To get recognition as global brand in the international market.

. To create a different brand identity for all in related segments.

. Establish entire lifestyle stores for kids, under the brand Gini & Jony

. Pull down custom duties on accessories and fabrics etc.

Modelama Exports

Achieved Targets:

. Expanded product assortment mix and added knits, which was entirely woven product base before.

. Arranged tie-ups with some global brands, such as J Jill, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss and Marks & Spencer.

. Increased capacity to attain a 40% growth rate comparing to the previous year.

Wishes:

. To train workers (sewing, inspection and finishing).

. To work close with fashion institutes like NIFT to revise and develop fashion trends.

. To introduce a brand, which is competitive, enduring and reliable product.

. To introduce specialized product assortment, featuring all-weather conditioner and change character consequently to match the consumer demands.

. To develop a stage where high-tech technology is available to small and medium scale producers so that they can enhance quality standards.

Pantaloons

Achieved Targets

. Started Asset Management Companies.

. Launched Big Bazaars in remote towns like Sangli.

Wishes:

. Reaching a target business of two and a half thousand crores in 2006-07 fiscal.

. Identify and present the consumers’ fashion requirement.

. Dominate the in all fashion segments like lifestyle, premium and value.

. Introduce or acquire new brands in fashion.

. To rope-in best fashion industry veterans.

Piramyd

Achieved Targets:

. Emerged steadily in the market – launched stores at Ahmedabad and Ludhiana, and planning three more in coming months.

. Introduced new brand “Trumart” with three stores in Mumbai and four in Pune.

. The IPO got oversubscribed by nearly 12 times that generated about Rs 108 crore.

Wishes:

. To Launch FDI for least lifestyle retail, this will lead Indian fashion designers to think globally.

. Create enhanced retail space for high-end retail.

. To make Fashion Alliance more practical and a reality to make sure that it gains momentum.

. To make fashion more affordable with a better ambience.

Raymond

Achieved Targets:

. Launched EBOs for all brands.

. Successfully introduced new product assortment such as non-iron shirt in Park Avenue and new suit ranges to uphold brand image.

. Also introduced the womenswear and kidswear collection.

Wishes:

. To launch a magazine on fashion.

. Begin a fashion week.

. Expand in US market.

. To launch a website that talks about lifestyle and fashion.

Sports Station

Achieved Targets:

. Successfully introduced two brands: H2O Plus and CPS Clothing.

. In a move to concentrate on expansion and new concepts for brands, the company has signed agreements with global brands such as Nike and Levi’s.

. Launched MBO for leather shoes “Shoe Tree.”

Wishes:

. To present new concept, where both international and local brands can be presented under single roof.

. Expand product assortment in luxury, premium and affordable segments.

. Duty validation, especially in footwear which is at a 12.5 % as compared to apparel which is at only 4 %.

. Validating countervailing duty (CVD) which is at of 60 %.

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