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India-UK Year of Culture 2017: Three Indian designers to showcase at the London Fashion Week

The three designers -- [KA][SHA] by Karishma Shahani Khan, Ikai by Ragini Ahuja and Antar-Agni by Ujjawal Dubey -- have been chosen to showcase at London Fashion Week

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London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week. Wikimedia

Mumbai, Sep 14, 2017: In a bid to boost Indian fashion designing talent internationally and celebrate the India-UK Year of Culture 2017, IMG Reliance and the British Fashion Council announced that they will support three emerging Indian designers to showcase within the designers Showrooms at the London Fashion Week September 15-19.

The three designers were part of the award winning exhibit presented by IMG Reliance “The Indian Pastoralists” — a special sustainable fashion exhibition at the International Fashion Showcase(IFS) 2017, which celebrates the universal relevance of fashion in contemporary culture and which forms a key part of London Fashion Week’s public-facing programme held during London Fashion Week February 2017.

They won the award for India and were announced as the winner of “International Fashion Showcase Country Award” beating works from 25 other nations judged by a panel of industry experts.

The three designers — [KA][SHA] by Karishma Shahani Khan, Ikai by Ragini Ahuja and Antar-Agni by Ujjawal Dubey — have been chosen to enhance their business internationally by showcasing their collections to world media and buyers through the prestigious Designer Showroom space at The Store Studios, the main London Fashion Week venue.

The three designers were invited by the British Fashion Council to showcase their collections as the IFS 2017 winners. The chosen Indian designers have a contemporary view to design though rooted in strong Indian influences making them perfect to represent the country’s emerging fashion aesthetic to the global audience.

Jaspreet Chandok, Head of Fashion, IMG Reliance said, “IMG Reliance through its lead platform Lakme Fashion Week has always focused on supporting young and emerging designers and this is an extension of the same.”

“We were honoured to win at the International Fashion Showcase last season at London Fashion Week and we hope that this is the start of a long and fruitful relationship between the fashion industries of UK and India.”

Also Read: Breast Cancer Survivors Turn Showstoppers for Indian Designer Premal Badiani at New York Fashion Week 

Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive British Fashion Council also feels delighted to welcome to the London Fashion Week Designer Showrooms the Indian collective, winners of IFS 2017.

“This LFW is more international than ever before with designers from the US, Asia and Europe choosing London to show their collections and proving that our capital is an international cultural and creative hub. Having the Indian collective in town further establishes that; and I look forward to seeing the collections of the three emerging labels,” said Caroline Rush CBE.

Located at The Store Studios, 180 Strand, the Designer Showrooms is home to over 150 British and international designers.

 

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New York Fashion Week is all set to commence with the Spring collection on September 7, 2017

High-profile fashion houses Calvin Klein and Tom Ford are kicking off the New York Fashion Week

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Models present creations during the Monse and Oscar de la Renta Autumn/Winter 2017 collection during New York Fashion Week
Models present creations during the Monse and Oscar de la Renta Autumn/Winter 2017 collection during New York Fashion Week. VOA
  • Some flagship brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Thom Browne, Proenza Schouler, and Altuzarra have opted to move their shows overseas
  • The six-day schedule of New York Fashion Week has been streamlined to give buyers and editors more time to fly out to London Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week, the first in a series of global style weeks during September, is gearing up with designers ready to present their visions for Spring 2018.

This season, more than 100 designers will showcase their latest creations at New York Fashion Week in venues across New York on 7th September 2017, although some flagship brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Thom Browne, Proenza Schouler, and Altuzarra have opted to move their shows overseas.

The six-day schedule of New York Fashion Week which previously ran for a full week has been streamlined to give buyers and editors more time to fly out to London Fashion Week, which follows directly after New York’s.

“When you look at fashion weeks globally – starting in New York, then London, then Milan, then Paris – it’s basically a month. You have editors and buyers traveling to all those fashion weeks,” said Steven Kolb, president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. (CFDA), describing the “sheer exhaustion” of such a jam-packed schedule.

At New York Fashion Week (NYFW), high-profile fashion houses Calvin Klein and Tom Ford are kicking off the New York shows to “put it on the same playing field” as its European counterparts, Kolb said.

In keeping with the political messaging that often underlies with the New York Fashion Week, many fashionistas on and off the runway are expected to wear blue ribbons, created in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

“The ACLU is an important group that really stands up for people’s rights – the right for people to live their lives as they choose,” Kolb said.

Celebrities have been sporting the ribbon on red carpets already this year, but for fashion week, the ribbon is branded with the NYFW initials.

Last season the CFDA paired up with the Planned Parenthood health group to create pink pins that ended up on the garments of models on the runway, designers such as Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. (VOA)

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Indian Ethnic Fashion and its appeal in the West

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Image source: blogspot.com

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Mumbai: Men’s fashion is undergoing a gentle game-changing transformation on the Indian subcontinent. Elements of traditional Indian wear, reserved as “garnish dressing” on holidays or ritual events are slowly getting affirmation as modern menswear.

In this new world of indie fashion, it’s not uncommon anymore to find contemporary versions of Nehru jacket being retailed by ready-to-wear labels in New York City or to find a suave young man striding the cobbled streets of London in a pair of Jodhpuri pants. If you delve a little deep into style aesthetics, you may spot a touch of charm embroidery on an English pea jacket or a sophisticated sherwani collar on a formal coat.

Nikhil Mehra, from the famous designer duo Shantanu & Nikhil, says, “This bringing about of our cultural and ethnic identity in fashion, after years of blindly following the western commandments of dressing reflects that as Indians we are at that important point where we are taking pride in our identity.”

The recently concluded Van Heusen and GQ Fashion Nights, a prestigious men’s fashion showcase in Mumbai was attended by the likes of American designer Alexander Wang and Bloomingdale’s Kevin Harter. There were native Indian silhouettes, such as achkans, Jawahar waistcoats and Jamas (a long coat worn during the Mughal era) in an urban context.

Designer Raghavendra Rathore showcased a collection comprising classic Nehru jackets, jawar waistcoats, riding breeches, shirts and achkans. The designer team of Shantanu & Nikhil brought back the romance of Nehruvian era to the ramp with a collection that had blended Indian aristocracy with a colonial touch.

Indigenous Travels International Shores

So what is behind this shift in the way men want to dress?

Menswear designer Zubair Kirmani, views it not just as a romantic return to the native fashion movement, but also as smart trade tactic: “We can say that it started with the opening up of NRI retail market that resulted in a boom in e-tailing business, which in turn led to add some structure in a very scattered Indian wear market.”

When non-resident Indians looked at shopping in India they obviously wanted a touch of their homeland for two vital reasons. First, they wanted to feel the power of ceremonial Indianwear in a distant land. Second, the best of western fashion was readily available to them anyway, leaving them with no reason to look for western wear in India.

A savvy young breed of Indian techies quickly tapped the demand and began adding online shopping options that were earlier unavailable in the very localized and chaotic Indian retail segment.

Trade analysts say that with the popularity of e-tailing and development of the e-commerce segment, today it seems possible that the Indian ethnic wear market, which was once totally tailor dominated to cater to small, local needs, has the potential to grow exponentially. A study by retail consultant Technopak found that the ethnic wear market in India stood at Rs 82,220 crores ($12.6 billion) in 2014 and is projected to grow to $19.4 billion by 2019.

Kirmani, who is all set to design a line of kurtas, says: “We are introducing rare Kashmiri crafts and intricate tilla work on men’s kurtas as today encouragingly every one is looking at owning a part of Indian heritage.”

Soaring But Not Conquered

Ethnic menswear sales are on the rise and style gurus, such as Manish Malhotra, best known for draping Bollywood belles in gossamer chiffons, are dabbling in traditional men’s wear that can be worn by any club-hopping young man. So Is ethnic chic?

Designer Troy Costa who has taken unique crafts from Indian states and molded them for Men’s Fashion Week in Paris was asked whether international markets might pick up the ethnic trend. He says, “Though we may have the richest variety of textiles, it has still not reached a commercialization scale where there is a serious emphasis on quality control.” Industry insiders point to challenges, such as cloth shrinkage, garments losing their sheen after washing, use of old yarn, etc. that constrict the market potential and acceptance by global high street giants.

Industry insiders point to challenges, such as cloth shrinkage, garments losing their sheen after washing, use of old yarn, etc that constrict the market potential and acceptance by global high street giants.

“It’s the new in-thing to promote khadi, but those not in the trade do not realize that it’s a challenge to commercialize it with its high level of shrinkage and the need to use a pre-washing enzyme to make it durable,” he adds.

This may partly explain why despite the fact that major designers, such as Armani to Gaultier, have incorporated Indian influences in their collections many years ago, the Indian ethnic market has a minuscule presence on the global fashion map.

Designer Nikhil Mehra points to another pragmatic limitation: “We cannot deny the interest going by the demand. Until three years ago most men would want to go for a tuxedo for a special occasion, today many want to go for say a bandgala.”

Stylists suggest flashing the ethnic fashion sensibility at avenues such as film screenings on international events. Costa recalls, “Irfan Khan wore a bandgala for a film screening function in Toronto and it worked, just apt for the occasion. I made Rahul Khanna a bandgala for a film function and it worked as it was showcased were it needed to be seen.”

Infusing New Energy

Designer Nida Mahmood, who recently ventured into menswear with her new line of funky and boho modern kurtas, consciously shot her collection with a French model. She says: “ I chose to work with my friend Julien to model my new line of kurtas, because the idea was to showcase the global appeal of the handloom fabrics. It was to make a statement that transcending borders in terms of design and appeal of our Indian fabrics is really as simple as that.”

Many designers increasingly feel that the universal appeal of Indian products hasn’t been tapped and recognized thus far.

Popular sociologists say one reason why traditional designs are gaining currency is because the world is getting more experimental. The creative and artist lobby is almost as influential as business or finance workers.

A sherwani in a sea of similar looking black blazers is far more intriguing. The notion that Indian wear should be reserved for weddings and festivals is fast changing with western design teams turning to Asia for style innovations.

Costa explains the future of the trend: “The way I see Indian fashion in the global context is, maybe let’s say in the form of a bandhini print shirt. The perfect club to casual shirt would have enough sass and tradition to appeal both to an Indian and to let’s say an American.

Source: http://www.littleindia.com/life/

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Northeast designer eyes Milan, Paris after London Fashion Week

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New Delhi: She hails from Arunachal Pradesh, stays in Assam, and is making a headway internationally by showcasing the handloom prowess of culturally-rich northeastern India. After displaying her tribal creations with a modern twist in London, Yana Ngoba is now eyeing the runways of global fashion capitals Paris and Milan.

Ngoba presented her collection in collaboration with designer Nabam Aka, also from Arunachal Pradesh, as a part of the London Fashion Week’s off-schedule show Fashions Finest. And the 28-year-old is thrilled with the response.

“Our collection highlighted the northeast region’s handloom, especially the loin loom made in Mizoram, Manipur, Arunachal, Nagaland… even muga of Assam. We used them to create gowns, dresses, skirts and ornaments.

“People (in London) loved it. They couldn’t believe people in India could be so different,” Ngoba told IANS in a telephonic interview from Guwahati, where she is based now.

She said that the buyers associated Indian fashion with only saris. So they were pleasantly surprised when they saw her bright-coloured range of apparel in the form of gowns with slits or deep neck and skirts with jackets paired with accessories and ornaments made of bronze, silver, old Indian coins and bamboo canes.

“People in London asked me ‘Which country are you inspired by?’ I said ‘India’. So, they were confused. They said that they have always seen people wearing saris (in India). I said ‘No. We are from northeast India and have a different culture’.

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“We even showed pictures and videos on our culture. Most of the things were sold out. We also got orders in bulk,” said the designer, who has been in the industry for over a decade.

Ngoba, who had showcased her creations at another fashion week in Britain last year, now wants to explore other international markets.

“Milan Fashion Week is not yet confirmed. But I’ll make sure it is. It is a dream. Fashion comes from all the big cities like London, Milan and Paris; so we thought of hitting those ramps first,” she said.

A regular participant in northeast festivals in the country, she says Indian fashion weeks can wait as she would like to get a taste of the international platform first.

“When I see Indian fashion weeks, most of the fashion designers focus on international fashion… like evening wear or dresses. So, I thought that maybe we should do international fashion shows first,” she said.

People from northeast are considered to have a distinct sense of style and often, their fashion seems to be influenced by western trends.

“We get things mostly from Bangkok if they are not our traditional attire. If you notice, since our forefathers’ time, fashion has been important to us. They were always decked up from head to toe… be it headgear, ornaments or colourful clothes. That’s our personal style… something different from the rest of the world,” she said.

Any fashion picks from the northeast region?

“Maybe you can start with the jewellery pieces. The ones made with coins will go well with sari or salwars too,” said the designer, who wants to work with more weavers across the country.

(By Natalia Ningthoujam, IANS)