With its usual blend of style, glamour and luxury, the five day Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WLIFW) Autumn/Winter ’11 edition, signed off another season. As one of Asia’s biggest fashion event it showcases the works of India’s most talented designers across different geographical zones. Held in New Delhi, this year’s edition was unique as it witnessed an unprecedented number of participation from ramp designers. Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) list of 141 designers, including 77 on the runway with their trend casting and creative ensembles and the rest with stalls, were present at the show.
Another first at the event was that most popular designers chose not to have Bollywood celebrities walk the ramp as showstoppers. The main focus was on clothes and creativity, rather than on the glamour. Designers such as Manish Malhotra, Gaurav Jai Mehta and Zubair Kirmani were vehement in their opinion that they no longer want film personalities to be the showstoppers for their event. So, most celebs such as Vidya Balan, Gul Panag and Koel Purie were simply guests at the show. This made it easier for the organizers to keeping it to a fashion trade event showcasing design innovation aligned with prolific business opportunities.
The high end designers who were anticipated to do a phenomenal job on the runway such as Monapali and Tarun Tahiliani, Ritu Kumar, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Shantanu and Nikhil, James Ferreira, Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi Mukherjee, delivered as expected. Monapali and Tarun Tahiliani displayed dazzling collections on Day 1, along with others such as Pankaj & Nidhi, , Varun Bahl, Gaurav Jai Gupta, Kallol Datta, Neeru Kumar and Urvashi Kaur among others. On day 2, Label by Ritu Kumar which balanced timeless with the trendy with a desi dose took to the catwalk while Rajesh Pratap Singh stumped surprises with his clothes in leather, drapes, rose prints and accessories. The theme of Rahul Singh’s collection, ‘Sea of Science’, was made evident by the use of only blue and white as the color scheme in his collection of tunics, dresses and separates presented in chiffon and satin.
On Day 3 Manish Malhotra, the Bollywood superstylist showcased his signature line in nude colors that were fabulously feminine. Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, this generation’s ready-to-wear designers presented an amazing fall-winter collection that is waiting to be picked off the shelves. Sonam Dubai’s simple but effective collection as well as Jason Anshu’s Smallshop happy and cheery collection also made a mark.
On Day 4 Nikki Mahajan’s designer drape sarees along with collections by Anamika Khanna, Abraham & Thakore and Gaurav Gupta stole the show. And on Day 5, the curtains came down with the Wills Lifestyle Grand Finale by Sabyasachi Mukherjee who created an exclusive classy line for the show, which will be retailed through their exclusive stores across the country.
The bi-annual prêt fashion week which is the convergence point for the best and most promising talent in Indian fashion which gets bigger and better with increase in buyer participation and the support of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, facilitating buyers and media from across the world is now looking forwards to its next edition later this year.