Wills India Fashion Week Begins – in IST

The irony of India Fashion Week starting a day late (in Indian Standard Time) is not lost on this desi girl. Someone forgot to get a fire permit so all shows on the first day were cancelled.

It’s the second fashion week in India this month with Lakme Fashion Week happening in Mumbai earlier in March. This one, in New Delhi, is the bigger one of the two and now there are others popping up in places like Bangalore and beyond.

The perception of India in the west of course, is of the immense poverty – but this is a country of contrasts.

One of those stark contrasts has always been the division of class, but those lines are slowly blurring and blending – especially in terms of the middle class.

That middle class now have better jobs and better paychecks and along with those things, comes the want of material things.

The younger generation of Indians are also obsessed with the West.  Most wealthy sons and daughters are educated abroad and return to the Motherland to make money – and spend it.

Luxury brands like Gucci, Hermes and Burberry have not only set up shop, they are expanding their initial investments in India. The Mittals, one of the foremost empire builders in the country, have bought Escada – the first of many fashion empires, I am sure.

The fashion business is booming. Magazines like Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar have very successful Indian publications at a time when western magazines are struggling to stay afloat.

Part and parcel with this adoration of fashion is the amount of fashion talent coming out of India. While there were only a handful of known designers about 10 years ago, there seem to be dozens of new ones each season. Fashion may now even be perceived as a respectable career in the eyes of Indian parents(!).

India has always been fashion crazed – she’s just craving a different kind of fashion now – and more of it.

India is a young woman, burgeoning, and finding herself. And she wants to look beautiful.

In a country this hot, maybe a fire permit is a good idea after all.

Fanning the flames of east and west at Ashima-Leena AW10.
Keeping the home fires burning - classic salwars get printed at Ashima-Leena AW10.

Photos courtesy of WIFW.

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