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Fashion fuels apparel business colourfully

The Indian textile and apparel industry, which is thriving on its competencies in the cut-throat world market, has found a new reason to cheer with 'desi' fashion makers adding colour and design in its business growth.

There may be a divide between Delhi and Mumbai on the fashion platform, though it is giving sheen to the domestic textile growth in a way or other. Fashion has evolved as a separate industry and up-and-coming designers are slated to contribute nearly Rs 2,000 crore to the sector in next few years.

Notably, overall Indian fashion is growing exponentially. The industry would grow in size and there would be several stakeholders who would contribute to this growth. Both established and new designers would be responsible for bringing about growth. Interestingly, novelties of the GenNext designers have not only attracted buyers but also apparel exporters whose business basically hinges on design works. This was visible at the Wills India Fashion Week in the national capital and Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.

Pointing out that India has a pool of young talent waiting to be tapped and the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) nurtures young talent and encourages them to enter the market, FDCI Director General Rathi Vinay Jha said the fashion week aimed to serve as a catalyst in taking the Indian industry to global levels and encourage new designers so that they dream big and chart out new avenues.

Fashion doyen Ritu Kumar said the domestic fashion industry has a long way to go as the gap between the European fashion industry and the Indian fashion industry cannot be bridged fast. "The European fashion industry is centuries old and ours is at a nascent stage. This gap will always remain, though India has been catching up well," Kumar added.

The FDCI stated: "Mental support and monetary support are two things where we are lagging. The government has to come forward and help us. In countries like Japan, England and France, designers receive tremendous support from the government." With each passing day, the fashion industry is becoming bigger and more business oriented. But the place for Indian outfits is shrinking constantly. The latest fall-winter collection by designers across the country upset Kumar a little.

Despite the fact that the fashion industry is swelling and the country's population is becoming more fashion conscious everyday, she confesses, "The less dictated you are by fashion the more innovative you become," she added. Undoubtedly, fashion makers are giving style statements to apparel makers and exporters through their theme adoption and design elements. "Old is gold and this fashion week has proved it," designer Rohit Bal said, adding: ''The clothes have traditional elements but are more contemporary, more urban."

Indian fashion designers have often been criticised for not being trendsetters and copy-cats of western motifs to tap into an emerging global demand for high-end Western outfits with an Asian edge. However, the Delhi Fashion Week saw designers take a matured approach of working around a theme and brought together elements of traditional India in an effort to woo international buyers. "There's nothing like reliving the past which is simple but has a class in itself to stand out. I wanted to give my clothes a periodic look which is classical yet sensuous," Rina Dhaka added.

Noted designers Raghuvendra Rathore and JJ Valaya evoked India's regal spirit to reach out to the buyers. Rathore's jackets, skirts and dresses were heavily embroidered and Valaya's lavish neutral palette of outfits were embellished with colourful stones -- elements borrowed the Mughal kings who ruled India from the 16th century.

"The old heritage of India is the biggest attraction internationally," Rathore said. "Indian spirit is going global." Hopefully, these designers have prove a blessing in disguise for the apparel producer and exporters. Meanwhile, the government has proposed to create a fashion hub in a fast-developing suburb of the national capital. Experts said it would signal Delhi's arrival as the country's premier style destination. "It's a most welcome development," said Jha of FDCI commented. The idea of a fashion hub at Dwarka in Delhi has been in the pipeline for a while and received an impetus after the Supreme Court ordered demolitions last year of commercial establishments running illegally from residential neighbourhoods.

In nutshell, Indian textile and apparel sector, which has got a rich line-up of fashion designers, should not miss to include the role of fashion industry in its growth journey as our fashion desginers are scoring across the globe with their talent and can do the same for the country.



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