Spring at LFW: Buyers, designers welcome seasonal shift

By Shilpa Raina, Mumbai, March 10 : Spring collections were the focus of the just concluded Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) instead of autumn-winter. Designers as well as buyers welcomed the seasonal shift, saying it suited their business and also complemented the Indian weather.

“If you look at Indian geography, we are basically a summer-dominated country. Eighty percent of the country witnesses hot weather and even if north India witnesses winter, it lasts for not more than two months,” Pradeep Hirani, owner of Mumbai retail outlet Kimaya, told IANS.

“So it is a good shift. Orders are small, production won’t take much time and as a result retail outlets will get new designs every three months, which is a very good thing, keeping in mind how fashion forward today’s consumer is,” he added.

So this year, keeping the domestic market in mind, LFW organisers had taken a collective decision to present a spring-resort collection instead of an autumn-winter one during the five-day fashion event from March 5 to 9.

At fashion shows the world over, an autumn-winter collection is presented early in the year and a spring-summer edition in the latter part.

But Hirani feels the Indian fashion market is so huge and so creative that it need not follow the international fashion week formula.

“In the West, they have extreme summer and extreme winter. We don’t have that here; so what is the point of following their standards?” he asked.

“We don’t have to go by international fashion weeks because our fashion caters to the domestic market and that is where designers make business. This is the time to show our attitude and our identity,” he said.

Designer Digvijay Singh agreed and said: “You know what I feel? I feel that we don’t need tags like spring-summer or autumn-winter. It’s because Indian sensibilities are different from the West. We dress in a complete different way. So this strategic shift works for me.”

Even Middle East-based buyer Khaled Mekkawi feels the strategic shift is good for business because nowadays designers are so capable that they deliver apparel at two months’ notice.

“Due to global meltdown, competition has increased; so designers are now capable of delivering in just two months. So this shift is great for us because back home we have very hot weather and the collection will hit the stores bang on time,” Mekkawi, who retails from store K and MAK, told IANS.

Mekkawi, who has been participating in LFW for over two seasons, likes to place orders with young and budding designers as he feels they have creativity and talent in abundance.

This year he has collaborated with Anupama Dayal and TV actress Neena Gupta’s daughter Masaba.

As Alka Nishar, founder of Aza, a retail-chain outlet, puts it: “Any experiments are welcome.

“See the thing is that unless and until you experiment, you don’t know what will be the outcome. So it’s always a good idea to experiment and be prepared for the outcome,” said Nisar, also a buyer.

This year the Bollywood quotient at LFW was low compared to previous years, making it a more design-focused event.

Among the designers who participated were Manish Malhotra, Narendra Kumar, Malini Ramani, Rocky, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Satya Paul, Shantanu and Nikhil, Suneet Varma and Vikram Phadnis.

Anand Bhushan, Anand Kabra, Digvijay Singh, Lecoanet-Hemant, Nachiket Barve, Payal Singhal, Pooja Kapoor, Vipin Batra also showcased their collections at LFW.

In all, no one is complaining about the seasonal shift, but its effect will be seen in the next season.

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