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That buzz all of last month on Explosive Fashion was a curtain raiser to Design Weekend as participants across the nation prepared to exhibit. With the event behind us, it's great to hear most designers generated some serious business!

Well, what a weekend! I would usually write a post like this while I was amongst the action but there comes a time when everything flies by you at the speed of light! So I felt it was more prudent to interact with participants and guests and languorously observe proceedings over a sumptuous spa luncheon so I can give you a detailed account of the very soul of this two-day event. Now, I am reflecting on my perception of Design Week.
The most successful presentations were the ones minus the hyperbole. Serious shoppers hate being sold a line. They want to look sharp and smart. Therefore, it was not surprising that Harangad Singh, Gaurav and Ritika, Ankur and Priyanka Modi and Amrapali weighed in as the heavyweights. Rohan Arora became the darling of the chic set with the beads and bells-embellished footwear he showcased at Lakme Fashion Week… the fashion-friendly folks in this city sure can afford a piece of that "Leela" magic. For the uninitiated, this young designer from Kolkata aspires to bring back the real craft of shoe making using archaic handmade techniques. The shoes are modern in aesthetic whilst the heel inspired by shoemakers in the Metro gully in Kolkata conjures up images of casual elegance. 
A good mix of products is key for success. We loved "Just Herbs"—an assortment of Pure, Bespoke and Ayurvedic beauty and spa essentials—packaged in charming bottles and enriched with the goodness of plants, herbs and flowers. My favorite? "I-brite" under-eye cream enriched with Cucumber, Madder Root and Almonds, which the Chandigarh-based founder—certified naturopathy professional and biochemist Dr. Neena Chopra—explained was a firming moisturizing treatment suitable for massage under the eyes due to its light texture. It lightens dark circles, plumps up fine lines and refreshes tired puffy eyes! I also liked "I-Mint" face pack packed with Mint, Buchnania Lanzan, Orange Peel and Neem that nourishes and exfoliates skin while the "wonder herb" Buchnania Lanzan helps fade blemishes and lighten spots. A must-buy!!
"I did decent business and was pleased to see people loved my stuff! Reflecting back, it was a very mixed response. Touch wood, whoever came in, whether they bought something or not they made it a point to appreciate the work… so that showed people liked the collection. There re many factors that could have contributed to why it did not sell when it was appreciated: the price tag or the situation perhaps. The other category of shoppers who came was not hesitant to shop! They even browsed through my catalogues and were quick to place orders! Thirdly, many people have taken my contact details for future project references so that kind of business will come back to me later too! I just wish the time of the event could have been a little ahead like a few days before Karwachauth or Diwali," explain designer Kanav Daver.
Over the weekend, I stood awestruck in the glow of "Leela" 's aura, admired the finishing and detailing at Harangad Singh, quizzed Dr. Neena Chopra on transforming her passion for voracious reading and dedication to promoting beauty through plants' therapeutic benefits, and chatted with shoppers on their perception. The conclusion: as long as there are brilliant minds like Vishal Chand Mehra to conceive it, artisans to create it and select clientele to purchase it, such events will be favored by the chic set… the real appeal had a great deal to do with the immediate availability of the hottest catwalk fashions. Hey! Every woman needs something slightly out of reach to yearn for, dream about and purchase. It is good for the soul!
Rohan Arora wth his fabulous footwear collection, Leela
Leela by Rohan Arora
Harangad Singh and Rohan Arora
Shopping is on at full swing!
Vishal Chand Mehra and his friends enjoy moments of camaraderie
Vishal Chand Mehra with Gaurav and Ritika
Classic and contemporary jewellery holds appeal for the young set
Just Herbs!
Chill Out Zone!!
Designer Rashi Kapoor showing a client her beautiful red net saree
Designer Khushboo by her label: Khem
Gaurav and Ritika show clients their hottest creations
Designer Rashi Kapoor chilling at friend Harnagad's space
Don't you just love her creative clutch?
Serious shopping in progress!
hmm.... the fire-engine pants make quite a statement!
Parmesh Shahani, Rama Ranjit Mehra and Vishal Chand Mehra
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29-DECEMBER-2011 Cipro
This is my first visit here and I am happy to read all of this at single place.
14-SEPTEMBER-2011 tania mehra
I will surely fly down from Delhi with my friends - I love those shoes!!!!
14-SEPTEMBER-2011 kanav daver
Thanks Garishma for your take. I just shared my insight.. The market is full of potential but the right things at the right time should be our focus for the next season...
14-SEPTEMBER-2011 garishma
Kanav has capitalized on the best opportunities the event had to offer, it seems. Good going!
13-SEPTEMBER-2011 paromita chowdhury
Yes you are right; the personal feel and camaraderie is so evident in the photographs. Seems like a real good event. It has cancelled all my misconceptions of Amritsar!!
13-SEPTEMBER-2011 anandita rai
Love the way you have brought alive the event and its proceedings visually with your words complemented by these photographs! No wonder you missed Vogue's Night Out... rockin' Amritsar
12-SEPTEMBER-2011 Rama
Amazing expression, a version of design cherished in heritage ambience - a combination of flora and justice for any creators satisfaction. Admiration is the first step to recognition with its mileage, as it comes out so well in your flowing expression.
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2011-09-10 05:14:16 DAY 1 OF DESIGN WEEKEND