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sneak peek An outfit from Prashant Verma’s collection
sneak peek An outfit from Prashant Verma’s collection

Ten debutants took the stage at Wills India Fashion Week, which has started in New Delhi

The Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week is now on in New Delhi. Discoveries at fashion weeks are part of lore. Names that were footnotes in fashion have grabbed international eyeballs, post their show at fashion weeks. New youngsters may manage to spring a surprise and woo international buyers after WIFW Spring-Summer 2008.

Debutants galore

It was a matter of numbers for the Fashion Design Council of India to launch 10 debutants at the 10th edition of WIFW. “We wanted to work on the figure 10, for the 10th edition,” says Rathi Vinay Jha, Director General of FDCI.

If the norm at WIFWs was five debutants, Rathi assures a greater number would not mean rookies would get a chance. “None of them is raw. They are all members of FDCI,” she adds.

Inspired by mentors, armed with foreign degrees, lured by “art” and “design”, the youngsters will flaunt their hand-embroidered, sequined, Swarovski crystal decked collections on the ramp.

“I call myself an artist, not a designer. Art tickles me,” says 22-year-old Prashant Verma, trained at London, Paris, National Institute of Fashion Technology and with veterans Manish Arora, Rahul Khanna and Rohit Gandhi. He has divided his “aesthetic” collection, Frission, into three parts.

“The first section of evening wear will have beautiful prints, Swarovski crystals and flowers. The second one is inspired by Pablo Picasso and Cubism.

Here, the embellishing gems will almost hit against each other to give a harsh feel. In the final one, everything blends into black and the inspiration is old school Hollywood, where the aspiration was for perfection,” he says.

For 27-year-old Abhijeet Khanna, the season has brought double delight. He will debut at WIFW and London Fashion Week.

Abhijeet, who has worked for Manish Arora for over four years, asserts he has a “distinctive style” and any flashes of resemblance to his mentor’s style are “unconscious.” “My collection will make a girl feel bold and beautiful,” he says. Hand embroidery, sequins, block printing and tie and dye will work their way to his fabrics in silk and raw silk.

Elisha Wadhwani, 30, sees the WIFW debut, as a platform to make a mark. An alumnus of London College of Fashion, Elisha has been around for about eight years. “It is challenging to sustain oneself, to perform over and over again," says Elisha.

“My forte is silhouettes and embellishments. The collection will be modern and won’t have too much of traditional influences,” she says about Viva De Glam, inspired by the glitz and glamour of Oscars. Georgettes, chiffons and cottons in greens, blues and pinks will unfold on the ramp.

The husband and wife duo of Prriya and Chintans is ready with Oasis. “It is going to be an evening wear collection. Western wear and a couple of saris in neutral colours with a hint of bright colours will form the jackets, skirts and dresses,” says Prriya.

Prriya, educated in Mumbai, and Chintan, who studied abroad, blend two different styles of designing in their collection.

“Chintan brings in high street fashion and I lend embroidery to it. The stress is on making something wearable. We don’t believe in making clothes that don’t sell,” explains Prriya.

Wooing buyers

Kolkata-based Gauri Bajoria, educated in London, hopes her exposure to international trends will help her woo buyers from abroad at WIFW.

Though Gauri has called her collection Hiji Biji meaning “haphazard” in Bengali, she says there is a strange geometry in her collection inspired by her life and past. Designing is “fun”, she says. “But, it is hard to come up with inspiration twice a year.” Dubai-based Meher Mirchandani and Riddhima Whabi will showcase their collection on the theme ‘Illumination of White.’

Other debutants are Varun Sardana, Drashta Sarvaiya, Shubhra and the trio Ashish, Viral and Vikrant.

P. ANIMA

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