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Couture with a cause.

THE RUNWAY has become the new platform for sloganeering.

What seemed to have started with Salman Khan's Being Human connection with fashion, social messaging has become the new way to get one's collection noticed.

The WIFW saw its share of designers promoting social causes. The evening show of Lecoanet Hemant on Day 4 was themed ' Green'. Showing a line that fell under the bracket of eco- friendly natural chic, the designers announced that the lights will go off after the show for the Earth Hour.

Their collection reflected the same theme of saving the Earth, with every outfit accessorised with real leaves tied around using cellophane, talking clearly of the suffocation being caused to the environment.

The clothes followed the same theme by using natural, breathable fabrics like khadi, organic cotton, handloom silk and poplin. There were lazer cutouts mimicking bamboo, frangipani leaves to give a fresh, natural feel.

There was also a man who walked wearing green thread ropes, sending the green message loud and clear.

On Day 5, too, designers Hemant and Nandita followed ' fashion with a conscience' theme by partnering with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ( PETA). So, even before you could see the clothes on the runway, the designers showed a PETA promotional feature with their poster girl Pamela Anderson.

This was followed by a collection comprising loose harem pants, slouchy kurtas, maxi dresses that were accessorised using big, slogan bags with messages such as " Real people wear fake", " Be a wow, not a cow", " Give leather a boot". Though the clothes were easy- flowing, breezy and somewhat impressive, the messages seemed to have overpowered the collection. There were also placards with slogans on the runway, which took the attention away from the clothes.

Hemant also used the platform to take a dig at other designers and said it was shameful to see some of the biggest names in fashion using leather, animal skin and fur in their collections. Clearly, he got noticed -- if not for his designs then for the PETA connect.

One also saw new designers such as Abhi Rahul going for the eco- friendly theme, albeit dramatically. They used creepers on stockings, floral shoes and headgear. The designers need to learn the ' cause'- andeffect formula from their seniors.



The last show on Saturday -- Bian by Gurpreet Pia Fleming -- saw a packed house, thanks to the buzz about showstopper Deepika Padukone. The brand ambassador of Fiama Di Wills walked the runway for both Bian and Namrata Joshipura. G. Pia's collection was inspired by Italian opera and retro Hollywood glam. To set the mood, the designer created a theatrical opera feel complete with dancers and singers. The collection seemed to cater to a global woman who is at ease in Delhi as well in New York. The finest of fabrics like washed velvets, organza, textured satin and lace were used in winter whites, blacks and greys.

The line had a young, trendy and luxe feel to it. The silhouettes were fitted with a mix of cocktail dresses and gowns, which were teamed up with jackets and boleros.


She stuck to her strength of structured femininity that never goes out of style. The collection was strong with fitted tailoring and straight lines, but it was contrasted with a hint of soft femininity with a spangle of shimmer.

The colours were bold such as black and gold. There were silhouettes comprising jackets, catsuits, dresses, trench coats, pants and skirts. The collection had an autumn/ winter flavour to it. Her slim pants were a hit once again and so were her straight miniskirts. The ensemble worn by Deepika Padukone, a shimmery evening gown was wellreceived by the audience.


In her debut show at the WIFW, she put together an evening wear resort line.

The Mumbai- based designer's line was a mix of holiday collection -- with clubbing glam dresses and easy maxis. There were also short kaftans and shorts combined with formal jackets. The collection hit the right note with butterfly print for that dreamy feminine feel. There was also a generous spangling of glitz and shimmer done in a tasteful manner. The collection was perfect for a woman who likes going out looking ultra glam.


The designer duo stuck to its classic style. There was a dash of glam and a dollop of sophisticated charm in their designs. The dresses were inspired by the heroines of iconic film director Woody Allen. May be they should have got Freida Pinto as a showstopper! There were long gowns with controlled flowy feel to it, which kept it sexy but not overtly girlie. They seemed to have been designed keeping in mind a mature woman who has achieved enough in terms of material as well as sartorial milestones. An array of drapes, ruches, cowls, ruffles and draped pleats made for the creative element instead of the predictable bling and shimmer on feminine dresses in satin, silks and jerseys.

To add to the glam factor of the fifties, there was a usage of French beads and broken laces.

By Zofeen Maqsood & Deepti Jakhar

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Mar 29, 2010
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