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WIFW: Fashion week goes hi-tech but lacks star power

By FashionUnited


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Delhi kept its date with the biannual fashion gala Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) which returned to the capital with its Spring/Summer edition. The grand fashion gala had a line-up of 124 designers showcasing their summery collections. Summer friendly fabrics like cotton, khadi

and linen in soft pastel shades ruled the runway in this edition.

While the USP of this season was the initiatives taken by organizers, FDCI to keep the fashion extravaganza abreast with latest technology, giving it an international flavour, it definitely missed out on the usual star power, that adds glam quotient to the event.

gy blends with fashion

From mother nature to weavers, designers used the WIFW platform to showcase their latest designs. Designers presented collections inspired by the beauty of Kashmir, Assam and Benares in India and Japan, China and Africa beyond Indian shores.

Other than heartwarming designs, the main attractions also included novel initiatives introduced by the organisers during the event. The FDCI launched the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week app in partnership with Sent.ly for Android Play Store with an aim to connect designers with visitors at the event. A Wills Fashion Drone was set in the air over the venue to capture the best moments of the fashion week.

Wills Fashion Tag (radio-frequency identification - RFID) was back for the second time. Through RFIDs, fashion lovers shared their WIFW experiences with their friends on social-networking sites. They were able to click photos, a selfie, and share them with friends, while telling them about the shows. Wills Rock the Ramp - 360 Degree Selfie was another initiative that attracted the attendees. Fashionistas rushed towards the selfie booth that had a mechanical arm fitted with a Go Pro camera, which rotated and captured a 360 degree video.

High fashion, low star power

Usually, WIFW is known for the star power it attracts as showstoppers as well as front-row audience during the event. However, this particular edition saw very little glamour or few Bollywood stars attend the fashion shows. Opened by Aneeth Arora with her summer-friendly designs like cotton khadi dress, shorts, chanderi tops, blue denims as well as cotton and silk shirts in colours like white, blue, green and orange, oriental inspiration was part of designers like Alpana Neeraj and Atsu Sekhose collections that brought Japanese culture on the runway.

The nomadic culture of Xining, capital of northwest China's Qinghai Province became the inspiration for Urvashi Kaur's Spring/Summer line. She made extensive use of tassels, pom-poms, tapes and ribbons on garments, which had a lot of Chinese-inspired necklines. And Nachiket Barve's show took the audience to Africa. Fascinated by the continent, Barve came up with the ‘Kalahari’ creation, an atypical tribal wear had front slit skirts, palazzos and many other designs. Denim was the highlight of Rajesh Pratap Singh's collection, who brought the weavers, whom he addressed as his ‘colleagues’, on the ramp.

Acclaimed designer Tarun Tahiliani’s show had lots of draping in blue and orange hue; red with yellow and more. Inspired by the works of London-based artists Amrit and Rabindra -- The Singh Twins, Tahiliani's range reflected elements from their paintings. And the grand finale, held at Quli Khan's tomb with Qutub Minar as its backdrop, saw Rohit Bal presenting his love for Kashmir with his collection titled ‘Gulbagh’ , inspired by the rich and the lush Mughal gardens in the valley.

Arjun Rampal walked for Bal, while Aditi Rao Hydari turned showstopper for Payal Singhal, singer-actress Monica Dogra for Kanika Saluja and tennis star Sania Mirza turned muse for designer Ritu Pande's creation. While Bollywood’s evergreen actress Rekha was not present at his show, Wendell Rodricks paid homage to the icon through his collection. Neha Dhupia, who was the Twitter face of Wills Lifestyle, tweeted live from the venue.