Design aesthetics and creativity may have impressed fashion patrons at the just concluded Shree Raj Mahal Jewellers India Couture Week 2014 certainly, but it was Bollywood celebrities who hogged maximum publicity.
However, designers are not complaining as they admit stars help in getting mileage for both – fashion maestros and sponsors.
From established actresses like Rani Mukerji, Bipasha Basu and Kangana Ranaut to newcomers Alia Bhatt and Huma Qureshi – the big screen divas not only scorched the ramp, they even became the centre of attraction while sitting in the front row at the six-day gala, which kicked off with Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s show July 15.
Known for his Indian wear, Mukherjee unfolded his regal collection Ferozabad and mesmerised everyone, but his designs couldn’t diminished the Rani’s star power, who was in the front row to support him.
On the second day, film stars remained the centre of attraction with Bollywood’s current flavour Nimrat Kaur and all time favourite Malaika Arora Khan walking the ramp for Rina Dhaka.
Even “Queen” fame Kangana Ranaut strutted down the ramp as showstopper for Anju Modi, who presented an amalgamation of ethnic Indian collection “Manikarnika”, while model-turned-actress Lisa Haydon flaunted contemporary bridal lehenga by Monisha Jaisingh on day three.
On the fourth day “Aashiqui 2” fame actress Shradha Kapoor too sashayed in Gaurav Gupta’s garment as his showstopper.
Dhaka says that the time has changed and so has the equation between designers and film stars.
When asked why designers invite Bollywood faces, Dhaka said: “It’s not so much about our love for movie stars, it’s about driven situation. Yes, the movie stars help sell the garments too.”
In the early days, we never had this kind of issue because models were stars and they still are.
“But in the past two decades, Indian fashion has given so much stars to Bollywood that there is no problem in calling them to walk for us,” Dhaka told IANS.
Having said that, amidst dazzling Bollywood presence, Anju Modi’s collection, an exploration of the age-old craft and ancient techniques, and Manish Malhotra’s ‘Portraits’, an amalgamation of vintage embroidery on contemporary silhouttes, wowed the gathering.
For Malhotra, Alia Bhatt and Aditya Roy Kapur upped the glamour quotient.
Designer duo Rimple and Harpreet Narula, who roped in “Gangs of Wasseypur” star Huma as their showstopper, says it’s important that a muse is in sync with the design aesthetics.
“It is essential that the showstopper is relevant to the brand’s philosophy and in sync with the designer’s aesthetic,” Rimple told IANS.
Harpreet said: “Having a muse walk as the showstopper for the show brings together the entire synergy behind the collection-the concept, the garments and the designer’s vision. A muse can be from any walk of life and not just Bollywood.”
For the finale, heavy weights like Bipasha and Chitrangada Singh walked the ramp and singer Kamaal Khan’s performances on tracks like “Afrin”, “Ishq Sufiana” and “Mein tenu samjhawan” was like a cherry on the cake.
Couture Week, by definition isn’t a business platform, as the clothes shown are only meant for personal ordering, thus making star presence valid.
Designer Varun Bahl may have not gone with the flow and stayed away from film stars, but he too admits the that big names help in getting right coverage.
“A magazine feature with exclusive backstage interview with a Bollywood celebrity is more likely to be read than one without it, which shows that the ultimate consumer is also enthralled by Bollywood star,” Bahl told IANS.
“Because of Bollywood’s far-reaching influence, designers have often used film stars to endorse their clothes. Therefore, an event like couture week in my opinion, gains from the presence of Bollywood stars.”