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Indian fashion shows tend to be euphoric outpourings of vivid colours and drama on the ramp. But the overwhelming dazzle,an Indian trademark...

Exuberant colours and ramp drama are out. Classy designs and utilitarian ensembles are in

Indian fashion shows tend to be euphoric outpourings of vivid colours and drama on the ramp. But the overwhelming dazzle,an Indian trademark,is greatly toned down this season at both fashion weeks,either a sign of design maturity,or a reflection of the sombre,questioning mood the world finds itself in. Despite gloomy predictions of fashion in India,Tarun Tahiliani,ever the astute businessman,showcased 70 garments at a lengthy show at the Delhi Fashion Week (DFW).

There was no twirling dancer or dolled-up model gliding down the ramp in Tahiliani’s trademark jewel-embellished clothes. Instead,the collection was an understated statement in elegance and fluidity (picture). Tahiliani retained his classic drapes,playing a little on the fringes and the sari silhouette,but what came as a pleasant surprise was his structured clothing for men.

If austerity is a reaction to circumstances,designer stalls show an increasing focus on clothes that can be worn in more ways than one. Designer Alecca Carrano may be half-Lebanese,half-Greek,but she ascribes her business success to her Italian husband. Priced between Rs 4,000 and Rs 15,000,Carrano’s clothes this time have been influenced by the Russian story of Dr Zhivago but her garments can be magically turned from a simple wrap to a structured jacket,or from an elegant eveningwear gown with a back cowl to a daywear shirt with a hood. “The only way forward now is to reposition your brand and to design clothes intelligently,giving buyers enough confidence that their purchase is worth it,” says Caranno,who has a stall at the DFW. Likewise,Norwegian designer Julie Skarland too is working with recycled Norwegian winterwear and khadi to inculcate “fair trade practices and practical pricing.”

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At the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) designer Anupamaa Dayal has come up with a collection that is overtly oriental and at a price that has been toned down by as much as 30 per cent. “It is based on a hard assessment of the market situation. The fire of aspiration and struggle make the world a better place,so I have kept the feel peppy. It’s not that people have stopped spending,but they are more conscious now of buying a piece that will last and be worth the price,” she says. Will all this pull in the buyers? So far,it hasn’t.

First published on: 21-03-2009 at 00:54 IST
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