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Lakme suits Sabya fine

Calcutta, Feb. 10: He was catapulted to stardom after his winning feat at Lakme India Fashion Week 2002. More glory followed as he rocked the Delhi ramp during the fashion weeks of 2003, ’04 and ’05.

But this time, Sabyasachi Mukherjee might be missing in action at the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI)-hosted India Fashion Week, which Lakme has broken away from, in Delhi from April 5 to 9.

The designer from Calcutta will be taking the stage at the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai between March 28 and April 1.

“I will be doing Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai,” Sabyasachi told The Telegraph, adding in the same breath that he would “ideally want to do both the fashion weeks”.

After a two-month battle, Lakme has managed to pull off a couture coup with a star-studded list for its debut fashion week ' Ritu Beri, Manish Malhotra, Wendell Rodricks, Suneet Verma, Anshu Arora Sen' and now Sabyasachi Mukherjee.

“We are very happy to have Sabyasachi with us. He is a valuable designer for the country and we would be glad to give him a solo show at Lakme Fashion Week,” said vice-president of Lakme Lever, Anil Chopra.

But why did the star designer, who has his workshop on Hazra Road, choose Mumbai over Delhi, the “official” show over the “rebel”'

“Some of the international buyers I work with are coming to Lakme Fashion Week and hence it makes more sense for me to unveil my fall-winter 2006-’07 collection there,” reasoned Sabyasachi.

Then there’s the venue factor. “I am designing for quite a few movies these days and hence I would like to showcase to the Mumbai market,” he added.

Mumbai’s gain, however, may not be Delhi’s loss, if the designer has his way. “I would love to do India Fashion Week as well. I am trying to work out how I can do both the shows,” said Sabyasachi.

The FDCI has softened its tone on participation in both shows. “As you are aware, India Fashion Week is an event that calls for great preparation. Time is of the essence. Preparatory work starts with fittings scheduled one week before the show' We would expect participants to keep this in mind and agree not to accept other fashion engagements for at least two weeks before India Fashion Week' We require your dedicated attention to this event as a participant'” reads the council’s latest missive to designers dated February 6.

“I am not aware if Sabyasachi is doing Lakme Fashion Week,” said director-general of FDCI Rathi Vinay Jha. “But as far as we are concerned, we already have 65 applicants for India Fashion Week. There are only 30 shows in which we have to accommodate 65 designers. So, obviously I would like to give a platform to those designers who are not showing anywhere else. But nothing can be said till we do the final slotting.”

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