Hello, India Couture Week 2020

What to anticipate at India’s first pandemic trend week, with two exhibits down and 10 to go?

India kickstarted its first digital trend week at present with India Couture Week 2020, becoming a member of different trend weeks in Paris and Helsinki that made their debut a couple of months in the past. Gaurav Gupta, who opened the schedule on Fashion Design Council of India’s (FDCI) web site and official social media platforms, didn’t disappoint together with his lovely sculpture assertion robes, newer types of sari robes with structured wings, new colors like cerise and dramatic shimmer. There was sculpting on the jacket for males as nicely, and lots of velvet. With some upcycled archival items, it was each nostalgic and futuristic. It was what Gupta had promised earlier within the day, however the larger narrative? His unconventional fashions.

Brand extension

  • For this present, Navkirat Sodhi, whom Gupta calls his “best friend and goddess” has written and carried out Name of Love, an unique soundtrack that’s out there on platforms like Spotify.

Mouthing “my name is love”, they underlined the ‘differences and inclusivity’ theme of the movie that Gupta insisted was not a marketing campaign however a motion. Among the fashions was a younger lesbian couple, Anjali and Manauti from Gurgaon, Vee a trans-male and Anjali Lama, India’s first trans-female supermodel. They have been joined by equally swish and assured beauties from Jharkhand, Assam and Haryana. “I thought of love and something we have all been reflecting upon during the pandemic,” the couturier had mentioned earlier than the present. For those that demanded extra visuals or couldn’t wait until the subsequent day to make an appointment, Gupta’s on-line retailer, launched earlier this month, appeared ready. After all, that’s one benefit of going digital, by reaching a bigger viewers and changing curiosity to gross sales. Other ICW contributors like JJ Valaya and Manish Malhotra have additionally launched e-stores just lately, whereas Amit Aggarwal will launch his alongside the present on September 19.

Man on the helm

Sounding purposeful about driving the primary such occasion within the nation, FDCI chief Sunil Sethi says they have been “left with no option and it was the need of the hour”. Initial plans two months in the past included CGI fashions, he reveals, until it grew to become obvious that there was the potential for having bodily exhibits, so long as Covid-19 security measures have been noticed. That mentioned, the showcase will probably be online-only, with 12 main designers on board.

Touring the countryside

It has seen designers over the previous couple of weeks put collectively 10-12 minute lengthy movies, shot in varied areas – in their very own studio or farmhouse (JJ Valaya), or at an previous heritage constructing (Rahul Mishra, on the secluded Tijara Fort Palace in Rajasthan). Sethi says the designers got the choice of capturing on the 15,000 sq ft FDCI workplace, which was changed into a mini exhibiting space, with trend week-ready backdrop, lighting, backstage and so on. Suneet Varma, who’s scheduled to indicate on Saturday selected to go along with that. “A lot of them wanted to do it their way and we were fine with it. Some were influenced more by the Paris Fashion Week (in July), and they wanted to experiment. I know one designer had taken a bus full of 50 people to shoot in a heritage hotel. Some had specialists flown in from different parts of the country, from videographers to stylists. To each his own,” says Sethi, including that the foundations this time primarily concerned protecting measures in opposition to Coronavirus and a time restrict for the exhibits (“as the attention span on social media is not that much”). Budgets, he says, diversified from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 40 lakh for designers, with some opting to work with eight fashions, whereas the depend for others went as much as 25. Of course, prices can skyrocket with customized venues. And mannequin hunts. For Gupta, capturing over two days with 18 totally different fashions additionally concerned “a lot of casting to find beautiful stories and dive into the pulse of the new, young India”.

Is digital flat?

While digital trend exhibits at Paris Fashion Week and elsewhere have are available for some flak with criticism that digital is flat, each in content material and viewing, one other fashionable ICW participant, JJ Valaya, is sensible when he says, “The digital experience cannot replace a live show. Those 20-25 minutes of anything live have a different kind of energy. Perhaps we ask too much of the virtual fashion week by assuming we are going to get the same rush. We are not making art cinema, which takes two years to complete, with retakes and edits. Nor are we going to be nominated for an Oscar. This is, simply, a virtual representation of the latest couture line”.

Call it successful?

  • How will collaborating designers fee the success of the digital ICW? Is it by way of engagement with retailers, media and shoppers?
  • “I do think media, engagement and overall visibility and reach are important dynamics to understand the success of a digital show. However, this is a new format and only with time can one really measure its true outcome,” says Amit Aggarwal.

Echoing what a number of designers have been saying, he reminds viewers that the present has relevance to Indian couture, the place the main target is actually bridal. Sethi is assured that “there will be a newness of design, with archival elements possibly in terms of silhouette or colour”. It appears a couple of designers wished to revive crimson as a conventional color. Amit Aggarwal has been impressed by the great thing about nature, and the result’s seafoam, deep forest inexperienced and sky blue as key assortment colors. How in another way have they approached this digital present when in comparison with earlier Couture Weeks? Well, Suneet Varma says his present could be very a lot a part of his model DNA, with “sensuality and sexuality” however that the pandemic requires a more recent thought course of. “My shows are known for its peacocks and palaces and extravagant sets. But I thought I would clean the slate. There isn’t a single chandelier or any distractions and we have created wonderful nuances in an idyllic grey space, perfect for the models and clothes,” he concludes.

ICW is from September 18-23, at eight pm and 9.30 pm on every day on FDCI’s web site and social media handles

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