2009 March 30

India's Chicest Week

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Naomi Campbell and Vikram Chatwal Naomi Campbell and Vikram Chatwal
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(MUMBAI) Lakme Fashion Week is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in Mumbai…and the shows being presented at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, a brand new venue for the event, demonstrated the growth and strengths of both India‘s designers and its fashion hungry audience.

The week began with “Barbie All Dolled Up”… this iconic doll is stretching her 50th Birthday Party all over the world. Over 75 designers submitted entries to dress Barbie, and 20 were selected to walk the runway. Designer Vikram Phadnis opened the show with a white tulle layered gown with crystal bodice. It was pure “Barbie”...and the winning dress created by Nishka Lulla and worn by Bollywood star and beauty Katrina Kaif was the showstopper. Mattel Toys India Pvt, Ltd will be making a doll in Katrina’s likeness.

Some highlights from shows so far have included: Lina Tipnis’s new luxury in a sophisticated collection celebrating the beautiful heritage of India with intricately woven fabrics and jewel toned embellishments.

Asmita Marwa designed for a young woman who loves to travel, and effortlessly mixes old world, traditional text for pattern, with contemporary, wearable clothes, with large plaids, boxy full scarves around the neck, and red plaid leggings under a modern brown dress.

Award winning designer Anand Kabra pushed the envelope with a strong, mostly black collection, of wearable yet creative clothes including a strong bold black and white graphic wrap top over skinny black leggings a black jet beaded tank, over black softly structured pants.

Anupama Dayal continued with her signature colorful prints and mixed patterns, in chiffons and silks, with sequins, and trims...All are upbeat and ever so pretty, feminine and commercially viable dresses with U necklines in bright orange prints, and long floaty turquoise and purple combined print dresses….

Sabyasachi, always the fashion pro’s favorite (and certainly one of mine) stayed true to his Kolkota roots and exquisite textile development rich this season in browns, rusts, grays and clarets. Khadi fabrics, sheer wide leg trousers, and shorter sari’s were highlights, all beautifully accessorized and styled with compelling dark eyes and rich brownish red lips.

Lakme Fashion Weeks Accessory show started off with a big bang, thanks to the disproportionate amount of talent Little Shilpa possesses. Mumbai’s terrorist attacks seemed to influence Little Shilpa’s collection, titled “Battle Royale.” Her Philip Treacy experience came through loud and clear with hats, head gear and accessories of various guns, army hats, uniform insignia, ribbons, medals, epaulets and helicopters…all used in ways clearly never originally imagined….and while serious in design, completely light-hearted and full of humor.

Headlining day two of LFW was a show pulled together in record time on several continents simultaneously.

Conceived to address the Mumbai disaster of 26/11 and to let the world know “Mumbai is open for Business”…the world’s fashion industry once again came through with their creativity and generosity, under the banner and leadership of Naomi Campbell’s initiative “Fashion For Relief” The “MAI MUMBAI” fashion show was presented to a packed, energized and awestruck audience.

Naomi herself lead the star studded cast of models walking the ramp, and wearing gowns inspired by, influenced by, beaded , embroidered, or embellished in or by India. Models included a Who’s Who of Bollywood royalty, Indian supermodels from Ujjwala Raut, to Madhu Sapre, Shantaram’s Gregory David Roberts and Princess Francoise. Donated dresses came from Vera Wang, Donna Karan, Oscar and Carolina, Isaac Mizrahi, Diane Von Furstenberg, Nanette Lepore, and Zac Posen who both gave sample dresses worn by Freida Pinto on the Slumdog Millionaire red carpet, in addition to gowns from Anna Sui, Dennis Basso, Badgley Mischka, and Naeem Khan. From overseas, Donatella Versace, Matthew Williamson, YSL, Chloe, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Ungaro, Givenchy, Giambattista Valli, Roland Mouret, and Moscow’s Valentin Yudashkin. Joining this illustrious lineup of designs, were dresses and specially designed Mai Mumbai T-Shirts from Indian designers: Arjun Khanna, Sabyasachi, Vikran Phadnis, Rakesh Argarwal, Rohit Bal, Narendar Kumarm Raghuvendra Rathore, Wendell Rodricks, JJ Vallaya, Anupama Dayal, Rina Dhaka, Savio Jon, Nikasha, Nachiket Barve, Manish Malhotra, Rita Kumar, Anand Kabram Malini Ramini, Anuj Sharma, ManishArora, Sanchita Ajjampur, Varun Bahl, Anamika Khanna, Lecoanet Hemant and Nandita Mahtani.

The show, sponsored by Vikram Chatwal Hotels, on the eve of their first hotel opening in Cochin, India, was a collaboration between IMG Fashion, and Fashion For Relief, with money being raised for Citizens for Justice and Peace…to buy much needed ambulances at the city’s largest train station. All donated dresses can e viewed and purchased around the world on eBay…..Quick- get on-line here and buy a one of a kind Indian-inspired gown or two which gives back to this amazing city and will make you the envy of all!!


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