India Couture Week to break new ground with revolutionary displays

Mumbai, Sep 4 The inaugural HDIL India Couture Week (HDIL ICW) to be staged here later this month promises to be a revolutionary affair very different from the couture festivals that audiences are used to, its organisers say.

Thursday, September 04, 2008 | 8:56:23 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Mumbai, Sep 4 (IANS) The inaugural HDIL India Couture Week (HDIL ICW) to be staged here later this month promises to be a revolutionary affair very different from the couture festivals that audiences are used to, its organisers say.

For one, the main show area (MSA) will not necessarily be in the form of a conventional T-shaped runway, with each of the 11 designers participating in the Sep 16-21 event being given a chance to do it up in the manner in which they wish to for showcasing their works.

'We'll be staging two shows each day at 7.30 p.m. and 9 p.m. After each show, we'll be handing over the MSA to one of the participating designers for 22 hours to enable them create a dream of their own choice and thereafter showcase their designs the next evening,' Sunil Sethi, president of event organizer Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), told IANS here.

'In this way, we hope to make the event unique, because the concept is, in itself unique. What we are doing is not showcasing merely pret or couture or diffusion (a combination of the two), but pure couture, which has never been attempted in India before,' Sethi maintained.

'I can promise you this will be one of the most glamorous events in India's fashion calendar,' said Sethi, whose FDCI organizes two annual editions of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW).

Leading realty developer Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd ( HDIL) has come on board for the event, which it will initially sponsor for three years. While both HDIL and FDCI were reticent on figures, it is learnt that the event will attract a minimum of Rs.4 crore with each of the participating designers getting in the region of Rs.2.7 million each to do up the MSA in the manner they think best.

'This is a step to preserve India's heritage and give it an international platform,' said HDIL managing director Sunny Dewan Wadhawan, explaining why his company had come on board.

'We are not just a real estate company. We want to grow in the realm of fashion and entertainment too to broaden our footprint,' he added.

What also differentiates the couture week from the fashion weeks is that its dates are rather flexible.

'The next year, we might do it in July before the wedding season sets in to take advantage of the huge market it offers,' Sethi said.

The couture week, to be staged at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, will feature fashion diva Ritu Kumar, a former FDCI president staging a solo show on the opening day. While there will be no grand finale as at the WIFW, design maverick Rohit Bal will showcase what insiders say is a stunning collection on the final day.

Ashish Soni, Anamika Khanna, J.J. Valaya, Manav Gangwani, Manish Malhotra, Pallavi Jaikishen, Suneet Verma, Tarun Tahiliani and Varun Behl will be the other designers to feature at the couture.

The participating designers have given the couture week a resolute thumbs up.

'Haute couture is emblematic of the triumph of costume and fashion, the modern entity that combines novelty and synergy,' Gangwani said.

'Couture week brings the much required platform for Indian designers to showcase best customized and handicrafted beautiful India,' Khanna said.

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