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Designer clothes at affordable prices

Anita Dubey | June 02, 2005

Going in for an affordable pret line?

Fashion designers are now finding ways to reach wider markets by expanding their customer base and going for a mass production of their clothes.

Shivani Kapur sports a Varun Bahl summer dressFashion is fast becoming an important component of the middle-class wardrobe, thanks to its affordability.

Designer clothes have got a boost recently with the many shopping complexes and malls that display the works of leading and budding designers at affordable prices. The common man, also, has become fashion-savvy, says designer Varun Bahl.

He recently paired with Monisha Jaising to present the finale of the Lakme India Fashion Week 2005, in New Delhi.

Earlier, leading designers worked on their designs either for models who displayed their works at shows or for the rich and affluent sections of the society.

Now, backed by collaborations with manufacturers and shop owners, their best apparel items come for retailing to departmental and other chain stores, says Suneet Varma, designer of the pret label, Le Spice.

This trend could be a boon for young designers. This is an opportunity to get noticed. And this could be your key to success, says Varun Bahl.

Designer J J Vallya, known for his fusion of Western and contemporary designs, says, "Today, customers have become more fashion-conscious and want to look trendy."

"I would rather see more people wearing my clothes than watch my collections wistfully saying they can't afford them," he adds.

This, of course, raises the question of plagiarism. Designers don't agree that these outlets could be an opportunity for copycats to enhance their collections. "If you admire a designer's work and make dress resembling that, I won't call it a copy. It is an inspiration. If someone tries to steal the whole design and display it, it is copying," says Varma.

If you recall, Varma recently alleged that designer Aki Narula copied one of his ensembles from his Fall 2003 collection, for the film, Bunty Aur Babli. Narula is costume designer of the film. Narula, for his part, said that the dress was purchased by one of his assistants from a dress store.

Meanwhile, this initiative is not restricted to the cities. People in smaller towns can soon avail of designer apparels!

Photograph: Jewella C Miranda

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