The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hint of spice & breath of ice in last call

New Delhi, April 27: A frenetic week of fashion fever, designer dreams, star shower, controversy call and sheer excitement ended on Tuesday night, as the curtains came down on the country's biggest style event ' India Fashion Week (IFW) 2005.

In keeping with the mood of the week gone by, the Lakme Grand Finale signalled a glittering end to the high-voltage celebration of Indian fashion.

Opening to a jam-packed house of Delhi's glitterati, Lakme, the official sponsor of India Fashion Week, unveiled its style statement for the summer of 2005. Called Peppermint, a burst of icy and spicy colours defined the look, expressed through collections put together by Varun Bahl and Monisha Jaising.

The designs with 'a hint of spice, a breath of ice' were flaunted on the ramp by Lakme's favourite faces ' Yana Gupta, Katrina Kaif, Indrani Dasgupta and Shivani Kapur ' along with other pirouetting beauties.

The show took off with Bahl's interpretation of the 'mint' look, defined by a minty green palette combined with frosty white and silver. Flowing silhouettes ' asymmetrical skirts, tops, jackets and dresses ' in fine, often see-through, fabrics gave off a pretty, girlie feel.

Heavy texturisation, embroidery with floral motifs, and embellishments adorned the simple cuts. The line was accessorised with neckpieces designed with mint-with-a-hole shaped silver rings.

'My collection is a combination of various techniques of embellishments. The frosted, icy textures with a touch of silver and molten ice bring a breath of freshness to the creations,' the designer said.

The show-stealer, however, was Jaising's interpretation of the 'pepper' look. Oozing oodles of oomph, the line spiked femininity with a hippy twist. Fitted tops, jackets and shirts paired with knee-length capris, minis, short skirts and tapered trousers.

Lots of browns, dull pinks and various shades of white, with glimpses of pale yellow and blue, made up the palette.

Metallic prints, exquisite weaves and surface treatments adorned the garments.

A line of cocktail dresses with heavy Swarovski embellishments was the high point of the collection.

'The spicy collection has been designed with a lean silhouette and volume has been added wherever necessary to create movement. The dresses have been cut at the knee to add sensuality,' said Jaising.

Amid the glitz and glamour, the cherry on the cake was the promise of two fashion weeks a year.

Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) director-general Rathi Vinay Jha announced: 'From 2006, we will host the fashion week twice a year, one in Delhi and the other in Mumbai. In keeping with the international norm, one will be for spring-summer and the other for fall-winter.' The details are yet to be worked out, she said.

'There are lots of issues to be firmed up for next year's fashion weeks. Our contracts with Lakme, the main sponsors, and IMG, the event organisers, end this year. So, first we have to see if they are willing to renew the contracts and only then we can decide on the events for 2006,' Jha added.

The seven-day format might have to go. 'We might have to curtail the number of days of each fashion week. Internationally, fashion weeks are often held for four or five days and we will also follow that,' she said.

FDCI will work towards making the Indian designer fraternity more organised, Jha said.

'We will host workshops and seminars for the designers to make the fraternity more organised. We will also have to concentrate on marketing Indian designers abroad in a more organised way. The buyer response to IFW is increasing every year and even this year the designers got very good business. But the industry here needs to be more organised.'

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