More Bollywood, less couture at India Couture Week

October 18, 2009

bollywood stars Being Human show 0111 200x133Mumbai, With top notch Bollywood celebrities sashaying down the ramp or making for a dazzling audience, the second edition of the HDIL India Couture Week (HDIL-ICW) was high on glamour and less on couture.

Despite the inaugural show by designer duo Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla – where the Bachchan family was expected to walk the ramp – being cancelled, the HDIL-ICW week that began Oct 11 and concluded Friday was still a star studded affair.

All the Khans of Bollywood – Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Arbaaz Khan, Sohail Khan, Zaayed Khan and Imran Khan – sashayed down the ramp. Giving them company were other Bollywood newsmakers Ajay Devgan, Sanjay Dutt, Govinda, Akshay Kumar, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor, Sridevi, Gauri Khan and Shruti Hasan.

Sitting in front rows and cheering for their friends were Bollywood stars Preity Zinta, Kajol, Dia Mirza, Amisha Patel, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Farhan Akhtar, Malaika Arora Khan, Amrita Arora, Dino Morea, Farah Khan, Uday Chopra, Anupam Kher, Rishi and Neetu Kapoor among others.

The Bollywood presence definitely took attention away from the designers and their clothes.

This was clearly indicated when a journalist pointed out at one particular show that made an exception: “There are no celebrities walking the ramp or sitting in the front row at all. Huge disappointment!”

Fashion critic Sathya Saran said: “When stars become the highlight of the show, designs take a backstage and the focus gets shifted to celebrities and not on clothes. We should get rid of this star struck frenzy, otherwise it’s the designers’ loss.”

The second edition of the HDIL-ICW was by all means better than its first edition in terms of arrangement and decor. With couturiers like Pallavi Jaikishen, Manish Malhotra, Varun Bahl, Manav Gangwani, Suneet Varma and Monisha Bajaj participating in it, one couldn’t have asked for a better line-up. There too, filmmaker Karan Johar made his presence felt.

Lotus-like cutouts hanging from the ceiling and three lounges went well with the ambience. The only drawback was the lack of waiting area.

The lounges took up most of the space leading to a cramped waiting area. So there were crowds before the start and after the end of every show, resulting in a lot of pushing and shoving.

Also, one thing universal to fashion shows in India – which was true at this event too – is that they start fashionably late.

Despite having two shows every day and one main show area (MSA) being allocated to each designer 24 hours prior to the show, giving enough time to deck up the ramp according to his or her theme, the shows always started late.

Unlike the previous year when designers had given special emphasis to ramp decor, this time except Suneet Varma, all others failed to impress with their catwalk creativity.

In terms of clothes, while most designers stuck to heavy bridal wear as their couture collection, designer Monisha Jaising came up with a fresh collection of bustier dresses and fishnet gowns for her couture line.

Also, this was the first time HDIL-ICW had a couture jewellery show by designers Farah Khan, Maheep Kapoor and Queenie Dhody.

“Jewellery is an important aspect of couture wear. One can’t ignore the importance of high-end jewellery. This show gave everyone an idea of what high-end jewellery is all about,” said Sunil Sethi, president of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), which organised the event.

HDIL-ICW had a lot of bling and high-end couture – but what really dazzled in the end was star power.

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