The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Fashion in frumpy dress
Jury aghast at designs

A model struts the ramp with a giant cardboard cut-out of a nail varnish on her head and icons of lipstick, moisturiser and cleansing lotion plastered all over her skimpy lace skirt.

Another one flaunts a bustier shaped like a pair of hands, apparently inspired by 'the first sin'.

And yet another has rings made of wire pasted all over her shapeless, knee-length dress.

Just a few gory glimpses from the first day's auditions for Lakme Fashion House that left the judges ' designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla from Mumbai and Anamika Khanna from the city ' 'aghast'.

The hunt for four aspiring designers from the eastern region, who would get to participate in the fashion reality show to be aired on STAR One, was on at a city hotel on Monday.

And what was unleashed on the ramp till well into Day One stitched together a sorry tale of the city's shallow fashion talent pool.

'Going by the huge success of designers from Calcutta in the past few years, we had great expectations from this city. But we were thoroughly disappointed,' lamented Khosla who, along with Jani, is one of the show's creative directors.

'Calcutta is seen as a very creative city, but what we saw today revealed an immense lack of creativity, originality and talent,' he added.

'We are unfortunate to come across such poor-quality designs in Calcutta, a city so rich in textiles and traditions,' echoed Jani.

The four-city (Mumbai, Bangalore, Calcutta and Delhi) show, that promises the winner a tryst with Naomi Campbell, an internship with Donatella Versace in Milan and a chance to showcase at the India Fashion Week 2005, attracted around 200 entries from in and around Calcutta.

The foreboding of a fashion flop show was on the cards ' if around 50 designers were shortlisted from each of the other metros, only 36 entries were found fit for the auditions in Calcutta.

'When we set out, we had decided on selecting four contestants from each zone. But if we don't find four deserving candidates from Calcutta, we'll not stick to that. We can't compromise on quality in such a high-profile show,' said Khosla.

If the auditions at both Mumbai and Bangalore 'rocked', the Delhi leg is expected to be far better than Calcutta.

Reasons for the Calcutta fiasco could range from 'the right people not applying' to a more endemic problem that plagues the city ' a hole-in-the-wall mentality with a reluctance to grow beyond.

Designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee voices the concern: 'Fashion design students in Calcutta lack exposure terribly. The fashion fraternity here is quite small and there are not too many export houses to give them enough industrial exposure.'

Email This Page