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Desert Dreams

For long,Dubai’s rollicking fashion scene reached its high point at the biannual Dubai Fashion Week. Now,with the economic downturn...

For long,Dubai’s rollicking fashion scene reached its high point at the biannual Dubai Fashion Week. Now,with the economic downturn,a clutch of Indian designers plan to rake in the dirhams at the Dubai Fashion Fiesta (DFF),an exclusive business-to-business event that started three years ago. The Indian contingent at the four-day event will be led by JJ Valaya and Anita Dongre,both participating for the first time. Looking for a spot with top fashion labels would be newbie designers Sulakshana Monga of the label Soltee,Pratima Pandey of Prama,Raman Vij and Mumbai-based Rohit K Verma,a self-styled “Shah Rukh Khan of Gulf” thanks to the popularity of his designs in Dubai ever since he showcased at DFF 2007.

DFF,which begins on June 19 at the Dubai World Trade Centre,brings together 41 designers from eight countries such as Hungary,Germany,Mauritius,Serbia,USA and Saudi Arabia. “It’s not just a fashion week; it’s a week with a difference. Designers showcase their collections at the stalls on all four days unlike at other fashion weeks,where they begin showing after their runway show,” says John Matthew,founder of DFF,adding that,“This year,we have a huge presence of buyers from Europe”.

Valaya,known for his signature jackets and jodhpurs,will unfurl voluminous jackets and a series of sculpted dresses. Verma,used his talent for roping in Bollywood beauties,to jazz up his show at the DFF. He is unfurling “Blood on Dance Floor,a red carpet collection with much drama on the runway with Ria and Raima Sen strutting the ramp as showstoppers”. Designed keeping the Gulf market in mind,Verma,who has launched the label SARV Atelier,cranks out flouncy corset dresses,skirts and extravagant evening gowns. There are bridal dresses in juicy red,cobalt blue and a sea green. Verma’s collection begins at Rs 35,000.

Meanwhile,Mumbai-based Dongre plans to test the Middle East market with her signature collection Timeless — a predominantly Indian couture line with sequined cocktail dresses thrown in for effect. “I have a huge client base from the Middle East. So far,I have focused largely on the Indian market,now I wish to build a retail base abroad,” says Dongre. Her line begins at Rs 10,000.

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Raman Vij from Ludhiana,who made a flashy debut at Wills India Fashion Week in March with his autumn winter line,will show a mix of high-end knitwear sobered down with floral print,stripes and “texture woven fabric”. He has reworked the grey tailoring by introducing black,sea green and the customary red in the tunics. His collection begins at Rs 8,000.

Pandey,inspired by the American ghettos,has cranked out a collection called Fashion Ghetto. It comprises high-waist trousers,swinging pleated dresses in silk and sharp shouldered jackets paired neatly with embroidered pencil skirts. Priced upwards of Rs 3,000,Delhi-based Pandey is keeping her fingers crossed. “The price becomes even less when converted to dirhams,” she says,shrugging off fears of the slump affecting the buying.

First published on: 13-06-2009 at 02:50:46 am
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