Out of the 113 designers who participated in the spring-summer 2014 edition of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW), which ended Sunday, it was the young brigade who stole the limelight and set new fashion trends with their design aesthetics.
Designers like Rahul Mishra, Samant Chauhan, Masaba Gupta, Nachiket Barve to Anupama Dayal and Aneeth Arora showcased collections which not just remained true to the "experimental yet wearable design" factor but also grabbed the attention of international and domestic buyers alike.
Many from the over 100 buyers from across the world, especially from the Middle East, Japan, US, Australia and France, were spotted flocking to their stall areas for orders and queries.
The designers were happy with such an "encouraging response" at the 22nd edition of the bi-annual extravaganza, organised by the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the country's apex fashion body.
"The business this time was exceptionally good," Chauhan, whose brand is only seven years old, told IANS.
"Our orders were doubled and tripled this time. This is very surprising and encouraging. We got orders from Singapore and almost every city of Middle East, including Kuwait," said Chauhan, who admits it was a struggle to get orders during his initial days in the business.
He believes the rising demand for their designs is driven by the way the country's tier-II and tier-III cities are turning out to be new markets for Indian designers.
"Tier-II and tier-III cities have a lot of potential. They are actually showing an inclination towards buying designer outfits. Cities like Raipur, Nagpur, Jaipur and Ahmedabad have shown great interest," said the designer.
Anupama Dayal too is impressed with the business that she has generated this time.
"The business was excellent. We got orders from US, Kuwait, Bahrain and from a lot of Indian stores. I feel that it's a good idea to focus on some of the unexplored tier-II and tier-III cities in India and hopefully, I will focus on that in days to come," Dayal told IANS.
She brought old world charm with her 'Gulabi' collection in this WIFW edition and her creations beautifully represented the country's handprinting and needlecraft techniques.
Designer Rahul Mishra showcased an amalgamation of rich Indian textiles with global cuts through his collection titled 'Kiss' (Keep it Simple and Sport). He used a lot of handlooms like khadi, jamdani and bandini on apparels, which are as varied as dresses, saris, palazzos and tops.
"My designs are all about 'east meets west'. This has garnered positive response from around the globe. As for the business, I feel satisfied only when I add a few buyers in my already existing client list and in that regard, this season was encouraging.
"I have got new buyers from New York, Kuwait and other Middle East cities," Mishra, who launched his first collection in 2008, told IANS.
Another young designer, Masaba Gupta, known for her quirky motifs and sense of style, grabbed eyeballs for her line. Three prints dominated her line this time - Chandragupta, machine prints and checkered dots.
Even Nida Mahmood's ode to one hundred years of Indian cinema turned out to be a highlight. She merged motifs of actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Amjad Khan and Zeenat Aman on her outfits. Also, her Bengal tant saris and 3D metallic dresses became the talk of the WIFW attendees during the opening day of the five-day fashion gala.
Overall, buyers were happy with the variety of talent in the Indian fashion industry which is estimated to be worth Rs.720 crore.
"I have been regular since 2003 and I love Anupama Dayal's designs," said Salah, a buyer from Kuwait.
Another buyer Naavika from Japan added: "I am happy to see such a variety in terms of designs and patterns by many young designers like Atsu and Pero."
In addition to works of Indian designers, fashionistas also saw some pieces created by Australian designers.
For a change the Bollywood quotient remained low this time. However, Anil Kapoor, Pallavi Sharda, Alia Bhatt, Mughda Godse, Raima Sen, Gulshan Grover, Rahul Dev, Koel Purie, filmmaker Anil Sharma, Neena Gupta and newcomer Urvashi Rautela marked their presence.
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