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Wake-up call for sleepwear

As the great Indian fashion week war rages between Lakme and Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) for the best of the couture brigade, here’s one more designer from Calcutta all set to debut at the India Fashion Week (IFW) in Delhi.

Come April, and the FDCI-sponsored fashion week in the capital will see our city-based sleepwear designer Suman Nathwani showcasing her creations from stalls in the trade centre.

Suman’s entry at IFW, to be held from April 5 to 9, makes her the first sleepwear designer to participate in the event. “Suman is a preliminary member of FDCI and hence we decided to give her a platform to showcase from the stalls,” confirms Rathi Vinay Jha, director general of FDCI.

The IFW entry is a huge break for the sleepwear design industry, which hardly gets any recognition in India, feels Suman.

“Here, sleepwear designing is usually looked down upon and so very few people want to take it up as a profession. I have been designing for 14 years now and it took me so long to get this opportunity to showcase at a national level fashion event. I hope this recognition by FDCI encourages more people to venture into this segment,” says Suman.

Her autumn-winter 2006-’07 collection titled Bedtime Stories will be in sync with international trends for the season, but with lots of Indianisation. “The collection is divided into four moods ' innocence, wildness, sensuality and romance. It will be very international, but with touches of Indian embroidery,” reveals the designer.

Innocence is in white, wildness with animal prints, sensuality with flowy fabrics and romance with florals and laces.

“If things go well this year, I might be able to make it to the IFW ramp in the next couple of years,” hopes Suman.

But the director general of FDCI has her doubts. “We must have enough number of designers in a category to give it space on the ramp at IFW. And as far as I can remember, Suman is the only sleepwear designer who is a member of FDCI. So, I don’t think we can have this category on the ramp in the near future,” says Jha.

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