Only summer lines at fall fashion fair, buyers disappointed

April 5th, 2008 - 1:58 pm ICT by admin  

By Shweta Thakur
New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) Despite its high glamour quotient, the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) failed to grab big orders with international buyers disappointed with the showcase of mainly spring-summer lines at an event meant to display autumn-winter wear. The March-28-April 2 LFW fall-winter fiesta saw about six of the 57 designers including winter wear, like jackets and sweaters, in their lines.

A dissatisfied Alex Eisenberg of US fashion store Frances Heffernan, commenting on the summer line, told IANS: “The collections showcased here are not at all suitable for the cold weather of the US. The lines shown here would be appropriate only for very hot summers of the next year.”

“I was looking for cashmere sweaters that I haven’t seen at all,” added Eisenberg, who bought just 10 outfits.

Even the grand finale, which the sponsors Lakme had commissioned, had only filmy, flowing summer wear on display.

Defending the show, Anil Chopra, vice president, Lakme Lever, said: “The grand finale is always done keeping in mind the current season. So that the clothes can be made available in the stores in next two-and-a-half months.”

Another Western buyer, Albert Morris of London’s renowned fashion store Browns, said he was disappointed to see spring-summer collections in an autumn-winter event. “Indian designers must first decide which market they want to cater to - domestic or international - and then work according to its demands.”

Buyer Tasneem of Al-Hai Trading Company, Kuwait, bought five outfits. But her complaint was that some of the big designers did not display their collections in the exhibition area.

“How do we buy? Designers do not display their clothes in their booths. They do it only after their show. And some have not put the clothes up at all.”

Designers Arjun Khanna, Manish Malhotra and Neeta Lulla, to name a few, did not display their lines in the exhibition area.

Erika Harm, a buyer from the Nertherlands who was looking for outfits to stock her upcoming fashion store, picked up 50 outfits. Harm told IANS: “Indian designers are high on creativity but they lag behind in terms of commercial viability.”

Some buyers also complained that deadlines were not being met, some wanted better designed look books while some felt that more attention should be paid to detailing.

Felt Australian buyer Pamela Easton, of designer duo Lydia Pearson and Easton, the owners of label Easton Pearson: “One must not start exporting clothes until you are quipped with production facilities. We also have problems with deadlines with our Indian designers.”

“Unlike any other country, the domestic market here is huge and the retail chain stores are ready to take even small collections. But this cannot be done with foreign stores, with whom you have to stick to deadlines,” she added.

Added Morris: “The look books given out by Indian designers are not clear. They are not bright enough to highlight the details. Instead of giving the personal information of the designer, the books should have details about the collection - the sizes, prices and colours. These details are missing.”

“The detailing has to be so good that the garments look the same inside out,” he said.

Among domestic buyers, fashion stores Ensemble picked up at least 100 garments, Aza over 1,500 and Kimaya a few thousands.

Among the designers, Narendra Kumar expects to sell 2,000 outfits after orders convert into sales, Sabyasachi Mukherjee over 1,000 and Prriya Kataria Puri, Payal Singhal, Urvashi Kaur about 500 silhouettes each.

Newcomers Kallol Dutta, Sudhir Nayak and Tapas Biswas and Digvijay Singh expect to sell over 100 garments each.

During the five-day long fashion fair nearly three dozen stars visited the shows including Sridevi, Neetu Singh, Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan as well as Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone.

“Celebrity presence surely increases the glamour quotient of the event but takes away the spotlight from the collections. People tend to forget about silhouettes,” said renowned designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee.

(Shweta Thakur can be contacted at

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