LFWs new venue promises five-star comforts and a very long ramp too
The serene Grand Hyatt at Santacruz is unusually noisy these days. There are people pouring in,a few dozens more than youd normally expect. Screams of Hold it and Do that right fill the air. These of course indicate preparations for the upcoming Lakme Fashion Week in full swing.
The new venue for the event surprised everybody but the officials feel the change was mandatory. Back in 2000,when Lakme and IMG got associated with the first fashion week in India,the total number of designers was a handful. Now there are 78; we need to engage better with the designer and buyer community we needed a larger and multi-dimensional venue, says Anil Chopra,advisor and former VP,Lakme.
For almost six seasons,the theatrical National Centre for Performing Arts,served as a gratifying official venue,but as our fashion sense grows,we need to look for brighter options,reasons Bikram Singh,VP,event management and implementation. Grand Hyatt will allow designers to display their collection to an enhanced audience. The main show area has a seating capacity of over 600,space for over a 100 designer stalls,an increased ramp length,five hospitality lounges and discounted room rates for visiting guests. All facilities at one venue, Singh adds.
Of course,theres talk of the cost-effectiveness of a hotel sponsor,but Singh dismisses it saying,money is not really the issue.
The choreographers and the models are the happiest lot with a longer catwalk which adheres to international standards. Choreographer Lubna Adams,who is busy instructing the models to get their act right,is a little nostalgic about NCPA. When we have been working at one venue for so many years,we get used to it. But the ramp here is more spacious and the venue comfortable, she says. The main show area are at The Ballroom,media centre at Mahagony and the designer stalls are in the vacant space outside the hotel.
Fittings session are currently going on. David Steinberg,venue director,recalls his stint with the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Bryant Park,New York City. The new venue is much more in line with the open raw space we like to begin with at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.
The photographers and guests are much happier with the new configuration, he says. LFW shows as many designers as the NY Fashion Week. But in NY,they have three separate venues working around the clock to accomplish this.
The high point of the venue is naturally its five-star hospitality. There are no food festivals or banquets scheduled for the next week; the sole focus is LFW. Right from creating a special menu and setting up a café at buyers-designers lounge to offering healthy lunch options,we have put our best foot forward, says Ravi R,Director of Conventions & Events,Grand Hyatt. Guests can enjoy a dim sum lunch at China House,the antipasti counter at Celini or head for a quick bite at their fabulous Gourmet Shop.
In between,there are shows to watch and buyers to bother.