While international editors, stylists, models and photographers were busy with such celebrated shows as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and YSL in Paris for the parisienne leg of fashion week fall 2012, a very different fashion fraternity was equally occupied on the shores of the Arabian Sea with Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2012, held in glistening Mumbai, India.
A season apart, and oceans too, Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai has an even longer way to go before it could ever hope to join the stylish ranks of fashion’s most important metropolitan quartet — New York, London, Milan and Paris — but interestingly, it doesn’t quite seem to matter. Business is booming, not only within India but throughout the entire Asian region, and the boom is “business as usual for the Indian markets,” says Anjana Sharma, Director of Fashion at IMG Reliance (IMG Reliance runs LFW alongside Indian cosmetics giant Lakme.) So there you have it, booming business-as-usual in India, without Anna Wintour and the coterie of front row regulars.
Business was undoubtedly the unofficial theme of LFW S/R 12 and it manifested itself in myriad ways, some positive and some downright unfashionable.
Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of LFW’s fiscal focus was The Source, a cavernous tented building erected near the main venue that housed clothes and accessories stalls, showing off the wares of each participating designer. Whether it was lavish Indian finery from Sabyasachi or psychedelic prints from a young label like Retarded Velvet, it was smart to have everyone represented under one roof, referred to as the “business hub” by LFW. Lesser known designers also showed on The Source’s ramp in The Talent Box — though much smaller and far less attended than the main LFW runway, a nevertheless worthy platform to showcase new design talent to media, buyers and individual customers. Consensus among young designers at The Source was that business had been consistently fantastic over the five days of LFW S/R 12 — surely thanks in large part to the ingenious setup of the stalls in one great big space.
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