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Finale man Rohit Bal
Finale man Rohit Bal

Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week will see youngsters gaining greater visibility

A people’s place given a luxurious makeover! Weaned away from the cocoon of star hotels, the 10th edition of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) will unfold at Pragati Maidan next month.

Taking the “business of fashion” mantra a step ahead, the WIFW will finally move to a trade avenue. The organisers at the Fashion Design Council of India assert Pragati Maidan meets the space requirements.

“We needed around one lakh square feet space to accommodate over 125 stalls,” says Rathi Vinay Jha, Director General of FDCI.

But it also means the space needs a total makeover to give the fancy comforts of a hotel.

“When the subject is fashion, the instant focus is on luxury,” admits Sumeet Nair, Executive Director, FDCI. “On the morning of September 5, you will see a complete transformation of Hall no. 7 at Pragati Maidan,” he says.

The WIFW seems to be turning over a new leaf on more than one count. Though a few regulars like Meera and Muzaffar Ali, J.J. Valaya and Ritu Kumar have stayed away, a handful of “upcoming” designers will strive to make their mark.

Compared to the five debutants last year, the Spring-Summer Collection 2007 will see 10 young designers showcasing their collection at the catwalk for the first time. The new names include Meher Mirchandani and Riddhima, Prashant Verma, Gauri Bajoria and others.

Subdued colours

“I am trying to put out my best collection,” says debutante Varun Sardana. “I am working on the irregularity of graphics. The interplay of colours is going to be subdued and unusual,” says an excited Sardana giving a peek into his collection. An equally thrilled debutante Drashta Sarvaiya says her collection is inspired by the movie “Great Expectations.”

Though lesser known names will have greater visibility this year, the organisers assert the event will be big as ever. “Designers and buyers from across the country and abroad will be part of the event,” says Sumeet. Another first at WIFW – 07 will be the presence of representatives from the Madrid Fashion Week. Over 70 designers, 30 shows and two ramps will be in place. Big names on the ramp include Tarun Tahiliani and Rina Dhaka.

But the WIFW is not going to be short on drama, especially with Rohit Bal being the Grand Finale Designer. One got a peek into what’s in store, as it took a few magical moves of illusionist Peter Laine to bring on Bal at the Wills Life Style store, where the finale designer was announced.

Bal’s finale collection “Intertwined” or “Syahi” is inspired by the ancient Turkish town of Iznik.

“It is Iznik inspired and India created,” says Bal about the collection, a heady mix of bright ink blues and subtle greys.

The colours and business will take centre-stage September 5 onwards.

P. ANIMA

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