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Personal observations, critiques, vah vahs at LFW

Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Spring Resort 2013 is all said and done. And by now, I'm sure you've read all of the designer reviews, watched the runway shows on YouTube, seen all of the pictures and so on and so forth. So what's left to tell? I’m back in NYC for a few weeks now after the whirlwind experience and I’ve been trying to digest it all. This was my first LFW, and to be honest, going in, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. What we all see on TV and read about in magazines isn't at all about the experience, the vibe. That is what I'm going to try my best to tell you about. Some of my personal observations, critiques and vah vah’s. 

So. Bollywood and more particularly Bollywood celebs are a huge part of LFW. At first I turned my nose up and thought to myself: doesn’t this take away from the clothes? When all of the media is running after the ‘showstopper’ who’s trend spotting? Very quickly though I realized that I was pushing a double standard. Bollywood and Fashion have a symbiotic relationship. Yes, I’m more accustomed and at ease seeing celebs in the front row and not on the runway, but at the end of the day it does bring attention to the designer in the same way it does in NYC. And let’s be real, just as many designers pay showstoppers at LFW, many designers pay celebs to be in their front row here in NYC. Let’s not forget that fashion is a business after all. Clothes need to sell and media coverage is a huge asset in getting a designer’s name out. All that being said though, my advice to designers is this. When picking your showstopper, at least try your best to work with celebs whose personal style actually matches your collection! Make me believe it! Of course there were designers who hit the mark, like Shehla Khan with Karishma Kapoor and Kunal Rawal with Shahid Kapoor, but then there were some, who will not be named, that were just SO off the mark! It was almost ridiculous and there definitely were chuckles in the front row that were not exactly subtle.
Next, something that was very confusing for me was the whole Main Stage and Talent Box disparity. I saw a few amazing shows in the Talent Box! And I saw a few ok shows on the Main Stage. What’s that all about? I understand that Talent Box is for up and comers, but this is fashion, not High School. What is the point of having a Junior Varsity Team? If you are showing at LFW, you are showing at LFW period. You have been chosen. You’ve made the cut. Why do I have to trek to another building and wade through the buyer’s marketplace to see your collection? It’s not like there are shows going on at the Main Stage at the same time! I found the whole ordeal unnecessary and annoying. I think they should do away with Talent Box altogether. ‘The Source’, where the designers all have their booths with their collections on display to take meetings with buyers, stylists and media should be only that. It was disheartening to see so many gorgeous collections with such sparse attendance. Put these designers on the Main Stage and the crowd will follow. Trust me on this one.
Something that I found fabulous at LFW: the fashion pack. It was so endearing to see so many designers attending each other’s shows. It was fabulous to see designers rocking each other’s collections! The Indian fashion fraternity is one that is filled with love and true friendship. From fashion editors to stylists, choreographers to make-up artists, models to publicists; they all worked hard together and then partied hard together. Were there some more popular than others? Absolutely. Were there some in this group of insiders that I could absolutely do without? Hell yes! But if I were to look at the whole, I was pleasantly surprised at how humble, kind and generous these people were. I met the biggest names in the business and it was like talking to old friends at times. After a long day of shows, I would be heading back up to my room at the Grand Hyatt, most of the time heels in hand, and I’d see groups sharing bottles of vino at the lobby bar. Every morning, at breakfast in the hotel, I would see most of the designers and industry insiders. It was all so casual and friendly. It was truly refreshing.
All in all, a fantastic experience. So fantastic that I’ve decided to attend LFW’s Winter Festive 2013 in August! Let’s see if my experience was just beginner’s luck shall we?
Lakme Fashion Week Spring Resort 2013
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16-APRIL-2013 karan naath
This (name held by admin for privacy) charges money from her showstoppers to walk for her.......... For one show Vivek Mishra paid her 1 lakh to be her showstopper. She has taken money from Pooja Missra and other TV ppl to walk for shows. She then got a starlet Mandira who paid her 2 lakhs (!!!!!!) and walked for her as showstopper. No one buys her collections! Her source of income is solely show stoppers!
16-APRIL-2013 Kakoli Sen
Hi Reema. I am an Interior Designer based in Kolkata and watched most shows on the tube. I feel one showstopper who draws out the designer's theme ADDS VALUE to the show. However if you get an obese woman who has no clue of draping a sari, and comes wobbling out in six-inch heels, it is a GROTESQUE JOKE. Why didnt Fashion Week authorities object? Why didn't they practice quality control with AartiVijay Gupta? Because no one in the history of Indian fashion has DARED to make such a mockery of fashion week!
Rajdeep Singh, I have been in this industry 12 years and attended fashion week since its inception. The management has precedence over participants.
16-APRIL-2013 Janet Cooke
I'm based in London and have been to Lakme Fashion Week a few times as I source from India for my store here. There is way too much stress on designers to get the best and biggest number of celebrities: Did Vikram Phadnis have 22 Bollywood actors? Really??? And how many did Manish Malhotra have? FIVE? Why not call it Celebrity Fashion Week?
16-APRIL-2013 Madhoo
Seems like your personal observations have morphed into readers' observations.
15-APRIL-2013 Rajdeep Singh
Great honesty in the writing. It was nice to hear someone speaking the truth and not just regurgitating a press release. Would Lakme even have the authority to censor a designers choice of showstoppers though? Highly doubt it.
15-APRIL-2013 Heena Alim
Good collections DO NOT NEED A SHOW STOPPER FOR ATTENTION. Spend time seeking inspiration for design and not plotting for cine stars to wear design u sourced from the marketplace.
15-APRIL-2013 Catwalk Critic
Showstoppers are important for media coverage. the bigger the celebrity the more the coverage of him or her and which label he or her is wearing. As for the kinds of the Southern belle who appeared to weigh 150 kgs and had the designers, media and celebrities snorting and abusing for being put through this torture ... well. Hope LFW is taking note to add censorship?
15-APRIL-2013 Reema Rasool
Thank you all so much! I'm not confirming or denying anything... However, I absolutely do stand by the fact that Talent Box needs to be done away with. Great suggestion on having a second stage perhaps Nayantara!
15-APRIL-2013 narendra dattani
Isnt ArtiVijay Gupta the same designer who had a transvestite showstopper for her IRFW show? God, if it is true, only a SICK mind could do that as there was no angle of tranny rights or something (it was not a gay show) and here too she is clearly making fun of the fashion week. I wonder why organisers are allowing it.
15-APRIL-2013 Indrani Rana
One showstopper is enough. If designer ArtiVijay had just Rohit Roy it would have been a mindblowing show as her garments were wearable and she put up a good show!! But this fat woman (her aunt or girlfriend or someone who had paid her... who knows what the answer is for ruining her own show) but it was insulting the prestigeous Lakme Fashion Week that gave her a platform. The organisers must look into quality control here. Sorry if I sound preachy Reema but am a marketing and branding professional and I speak from that viewpoint.
15-APRIL-2013 Nayantara Singhania
Well TALENT BOX should definitely be there but it should be in the main show area. Perhaps a slot in the morning? We need to look out for them and at the same time not inconvenience fashion editors, buyers and guests.
14-APRIL-2013 Jitin Hingorani
Great wrap-up and insight, Reems! Very well-written, poignant, and so true!!! Brava!
14-APRIL-2013 nikhil roy chowdhury
the best showstoppers were the boys at Arjun Khanna :P
14-APRIL-2013 Radhika
Reema, the best showstopper (as that is the hot topic here) was Kareena of course. As the Lakme girl. Well about your point on Talent Box, I believe it is a platform that allows talented young designers who may not be able to afford the main arena, to showcase.
14-APRIL-2013 Usha Nayyar
Rani Mukherji is good but that woman??? I was there too as one of the ushers. I'm a student intern. i was not supposed to laugh or anything but I almost fainted when that "woman" came out. My point -- why?? A showstopper has to add value. Why her? Are they girlfriends?
14-APRIL-2013 Sonia Motwani
Ramp Watch - I was thinking the same thing about that Rani Mukherjee's cousin when I was reading this! I think that's who Reema was writing about. I was at the show and when she came out, Karan Johar let out this huge laugh that everyone saw and that poor girl lost all of her confidence with everyone giggling and whispering as she walked the runway!!
14-APRIL-2013 Pooja Mittal
Good powers of observation and the courage to blog the truth. It can only help the Indian fashion industry. Very well written.
14-APRIL-2013 Noyontara Bisht
Karishma Kapoor looks beautiful! I can understand having a showstopper but what was that parade of film actors in Vikram Phadnis? Was the show about garments or to facilitate his goal of allegedly getting into film direction?
14-APRIL-2013 Ramp Watcher
What a lovely post, Reema. So well written. And. yes, some of the showstoppers were ghastly. Like for instance, some starlet called Misti Mukherjee.......... Yikes!
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