rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » A sneak peek preview of Lakme Fashion Week

A sneak peek preview of Lakme Fashion Week

Last updated on: March 9, 2011 18:59 IST

A sneak peek preview of Lakme Fashion Week

     Next

Next

Abhishek Mande and Hitesh Harisinghani take a sneak peek into what the Lakme Fashion Week Summer-Resort collection looks like.

The glass doors of Hotel Grand Hyatt open noiselessly as the doorman greets you with a slight bow.

As you step inside the air-conditioned interiors, another young gentleman, also a hotel employee, with not a single hair out of place smiles at you as he directs you to the venue you're looking for.

His two-piece black suit with a nametag on his left jacket pocket is something he can wear only inside the hotel.

Outside, the mercury has crossed 30 and the summer is yet officially to begin.

This world beyond the glass doors, the one I have just stepped into, is indeed in quite many ways disconnected from the one people such as us inhabit.

And yet twice every year, many people such as myself look forward to sneak a peek into this very world -- the world of fashion and glamour at the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.

For some it is just another assignment -- get your stories and get out. But for many others, it is a world they'd like to escape into -- a fairytale setting where the guys are always handsome, girls always sexy, booze flows endlessly and conversations sound like music to the ears.

A select few however see themselves as being part of this world -- many fashion journalists today are fashion institute graduates and not media students; many of them turn to styling for designers and celebrities in the long run.

All in all though, the five-day extravaganza is something of a must-do on the calendars of practically every media house worth its salt.

Watch video: Lakme Fashion Week 2011 fittings


Image: Sabyasachi Mukherjee with two of his creations poses for the shutterbugs. Sabya is scheduled to show on Friday, March 11
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani
     Next

A sneak peek preview of Lakme Fashion Week

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Every season more than 60 designers showcase their works on the ramp that is specially created by merging the two grand ballrooms in the basement level of the hotel.

Today though, the glitz and glamour is missing. The arc lights that so many are willing to kill for are being mounted in the right places and the ramp that will be the focus of attention for five full days is only falling into place.

What you can see however are carpenters toiling away in one corner hammering away, putting up banners, ensuring the spots for the sponsors are of the correct dimensions and putting together a structure that will become the Lakme Salon.

When the fashion week starts, these men will disappear like they never existed. At the end of the last day, they will emerge again and start dismantling all that they're constructing right now.


Image: Models sporting Satya Paul saris during the fittings

Prev     Next

A sneak peek preview of Lakme Fashion Week

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Engaged in a far less Sisyphean task are people on the other end of the corridor.

The two conference halls marked 'Fitting Room 1' and 'Fitting Room 2' are buzzing with activity. Leggy models walk in and out of fitting sessions of various designers.

Bengaluru-based model and a regular face at the Lakme Fashion Week Rachel Bayros is sitting in a corner waiting for designer Anupama Dayal. Bayros likes to read and holds in her hands a copy of a book by Osho.

In another room, model and athlete Kavita Kharayat stands out as much because of her height as she does because of the pair of glasses she wears as she checks out text messages on her phone.

Kharayat is wearing a Satya Paul creation and will walk for the design house on the last day of the fashion week.


Image: Rachel Bayros strikes a pose.

Prev     Next

A sneak peek preview of Lakme Fashion Week

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The models have been at the venue every day since as early as 8 am for the 'fittings'.

Fittings are opportunities for designers to see how their clothes look on the models who wear them. This activity that precedes the fashion week is perhaps more crucial than the five days of glitz and glamour. Hours are spent to ensure that the clothes are tailored to suit the models' size, final touches to the size and length of the dresses are right and the models get a feel of what they will be seen in when they will walk the ramp.

During this time, the media is granted a sneak peek into the collection. Camerapersons and photographers line up as a few models walk up and down the ramp for them.

Ever since the ill-fated wardrobe malfunction back in 2006, the organisers and the media managers have been (justifiably) wary about everything related to the fashion week.

At the fittings, models are subtly but constantly reminded of the media presence.

So when they say a sneak peek, they actually mean a sneak peek. Within minutes of witnessing the magic that Puneet Nanda and his team of designers at Satya Paul have created we are politely ushered out.


Image: Anupama Dayal (R) at the LFW fittings

Prev     Next

A sneak peek preview of Lakme Fashion Week

Prev     More
Prev

More

The doors are thrown open for the preview of another designer next door, yet again only for a few minutes.

We go through the cycle as media managers and the organisers shuffle around hastily to ensure that the next two designers are in time for their fittings.

Anamika Khanna dressed in a white jumpsuit has walked in making heads turn.

Leena Tipnis on the other hand makes a quiet entry. The five-feet-something tall designer talks very slowly and very softly. She shakes my hand and looks at me intently as I ramble on about her collection.

"I hope you make it for my show," she says quite simply.

Behind, Nanda's designers have begun wrapping up. The expensive saris are counted, folded and finally put away in a huge steel trunk.

On Friday, they will be pulled out of it and be put up on display at the stalls, an area that the organisers like to call 'The Source'.

Nanda, wearing his trademark mandarin-collared shirt, will also be there, as will hundreds of people from the fashion fraternity.

The lights will go on, the music will play and the fashion week will begin.


Image: The carpenters and workers who disappear soon after the Lakme Fashion Week goes underway

Prev     More