NEW DELHI – A grand fashion extravaganza opened in New Delhi on Wednesday that aims to get rid of gender and beauty stereotypes in the fashion industry and make it all-inclusive irrespective of body shapes, age, height and gender.
The opening of the four-day Lotus Makeup India Fashion Week (LMIFW) saw spectacular designs and concept shows by Ragini Ahuja and by Pratima Pandey. Amita Gupta Sustainable used wrap wastage yarn from looms to create his beautiful ensembles on the ramp for his collection Prithvi.
Award-winning Indian TV actor Sakshi Tanwar walked the ramp for designer Pratima Pandey in a dazzling embroidered saree at the opening of the event.
Tanwar, 46, said fashion doesn’t characterize based on who you are and how you look.
“Honestly, fashion is not meant for any class or gender or just for models or just for celebrities. Anybody can be fashionable. You just have to create your fashion. For me, it is a comfort, it is being comfortable in whatever I wear. It just has to be that I have to be happy from inside,” she said.
Some 100 designers will showcase their collections at the show being held at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in the heart of the Indian capital, according to the organizers.
The organizers have conceptualized a blend of “old-world ideologies intermingled with a millennial vibe” to bring home a point that the world of fashion includes everyone, regardless of body shape, age, height, gender, color and ethnicity.
Sakshi Sindwani is the first plus-size model participating in the show.
In her personal life, Sindwani has always found herself on the wrong side of the commonly perceived sense of beauty.
“Family members and friends both gave me unsolicited advice on various diets, exercise, trainer and home gym options, not realizing that this is my body structure and genetics, there wasn’t much that I could do about it,” Sindwani said in a blog post for the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), which is organizing the event.
The YouTube blogger, advocating body positivity on her channel “stylemeupbysakshi,” lost 10 kg (nearly 22 pounds) when she caught dengue fever during her school days.
She remembered how she used to enjoy newfound attention and decided to maintain that body proportion by surviving “on three spoons of rice the whole day.”
That was until she developed anorexia, a psychological and potentially life-threatening eating disorder, and had to be hospitalized.
“There is always some kind of shaming in Indian families… We don’t let women live,” she said in the blog.
She was spotted by designer Rina Dhaka and she encouraged Sindwani to take up modeling for “an alternative career” option.
“I think FDCI has made a huge change with what they have initiated this season giving girls like me a chance to be part of the fashion world,” she said.
FDCI chairman Sunil Sethi said that their potent selection for the fashion week “will paint the runway in hues of diversity with artisanal expertise.”
True to the LMIFW mantra this year, an eclectic mix of Indian traditional prints and a global perspective can be expected at the event.
The day was opened by Ragini Ahuja presenting her collection along with other designers like Pratima Pandey and Diksha Khanna.
Designers Falguni Shane Peacock, Payal Jain, and Nithya Reddy will feature their collections over the next two days.
The grand finale on Saturday will have four leading designers Anamika Khanna, Manish Arora, Rajesh Pratap Singh and Wendell Rodricks presenting their myriad styles to shine a light on the MyFashionMyTribe concept.
Nitin Passi, joint managing director, Lotus Herbals, said Khanna will bring in her ubiquitous capes and dhoti drapes and Arora his “kitschy yet international expressions” to the show.
Pratap is presenting “heady monochromes” and Rodricks his “free-falling silhouettes.”
“Each one represents the country’s tradition by bridging the chasm between fantasy and functionality,” Passi said.