It’ll be a star-studded affair at India Couture Week (Curtain Raiser)

September 15th, 2008 - 1:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Karishma KapoorMumbai, Sep 15 (IANS) It’ll be a star-studded affair at the inaugural HDIL India Couture Week that kicks off here Tuesday with an array of Bollywood stars and beauty queens scorching the runway for 11 of the country’s top designers in a celebration of luxe and opulence that will last till Sunday.Bollywood stars Karishma Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor will sashay the ramp for designers Manish Malhotra and Anamika Khanna, while Miss India World 2008 Parvathy Omanakuttan, Miss India Earth 2008 Tanvi Vyas and Miss India Earth 2006 Amruta Patki will walk the ramp for fashion diva Ritu Kumar during the show opener.

Kumar, incidentally, has been designing costumes for all the Miss India participants for the past 14 years.

Couture czar J.J. Valaya will have Miss India Universe 2008 Simran Kaur Mundi showcasing his opulent clothes.

The other designers have kept their list of celebrities close to their chests and one can surely expect many more Bollywood stars to make an appearance at the event.

The couture week is the latest initiative of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), which annually stages two editions of the hugely successful Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) in New Delhi.

“The fashion week is a bit about prĂȘt, couture and diffusion. Many designers felt there was space for an event exclusively devoted to couture and hence this event,” FDCI president Sunil Sethi told IANS.

Thus, the participant list at the inaugural event is a veritable Who’s Who of the Indian fashion industry.

Apart from Ritu Kumar, J.J. Valaya, Manish Malhotra and Anamika Khanna, the others who will be showcasing their collections are Ashish Soni, Manav Gangwani, Pallavi Jaikishan, Rohit Bal, Suneet Varma, Tarun Tahiliani and Varun Bahl.

Unlike WIFW, the couture week is not a business-driven event but more a celebration of Indian cultural heritage in a grand manner.

“This is not a buyer-oriented event. Here, the emphasis will be more on individual clients rather than on large buyers. We expect individual clients to conduct one-on-ones with designers to place their orders,” Sethi pointed out.

“Thus, we can’t predict how much business the event will generate but we expect it to be pretty substantial,” he added.

One other thing will set the couture week apart from the WIFW: the main show area (MSA) will not necessarily be in the form of a conventional T-shaped runway.

“We’ll be staging two shows each day at 7.30 p.m. and 9 p.m. After each show, we’ll be handing over the MSA to one of the participating designers for 22 hours to enable them create a dream of their own choice and thereafter showcase their designs the next evening,” Sethi said, explaining the concept.

“In this way, we hope to make the event unique, because the concept is in itself unique,” he maintained. “I can promise you this will be one of the most glamorous events in India’s fashion calendar.”

Leading realty developer HDIL has come on board for the event, which it will initially sponsor for three years. While both HDIL and FDCI were reticent on figures, it is learnt that the event will attract a minimum of Rs.40 million (Rs.4 crore) with each of the participating designers getting in the region of Rs.2.7 million each to do up the MSA in the manner they think best.

“This is a step to preserve India’s heritage and give it an international platform,” said HDIL managing director Sunny Dewan Wadhawan, explaining why his company had come on board.

“We are not just a real estate company. We want to grow in the realm of fashion and entertainment too to broaden our footprint,” he added.

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