Strong international presence at LFW opening show


Mumbai, March 11 (IANS) The Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Summer/Resort 2011 kickstarted here Friday with a gen next show and apart from talent from India, international designers too had a strong presence at the event.

Designer Aki Narula says they got loads of applications from foreigners and selected whoever they thought had talent and would continue doing so.

The show comprised collections put together by upcoming fashion designers like Deepti Pruthi, Manas Dash, Shivaji Dutta, Timsy Kamboj and Siddhartha Mittal. It also had designs of Eurasian duo Anna and Liza and Germany-born Miriam Strehlau, who is presently based out of Goa.

Aki Narula, who has mentored the team, said: "Because of the awareness of LFW, loads of applications came down and some were from international designers too. We selected whoever we thought had talent.

"We will try to make this a continuing trend. I would like to make the show bigger next year. We might have more gen next designers showcasing next year from all over the world maybe," he added.

What was showcased were the original ideas of the designers, with Narula only mentoring them.

"We got a lot of applications and then we selected this team. We short-listed basically on the basis of the ideas and the design philosophy, so the ideas were totally theirs. I just helped them implement it," he said.

While Anna and Liza have their own label deuxA in Paris, Miriam Strehlau is a women's wear designer living in Goa since the last five years.

"I'm from Germany and I've been living in Goa for the past five years now. I investigated about LFW three years ago, but that time I couldn't participate because of few reasons. Then someone told me this year that why don't you apply for gen next. I applied and got selected," Strehlau told IANS.

"I have studied fashion design from the Stuttgart university. Then I travelled a lot. And I finally realised that I love India, so I started living here and working here," she added.

While Strehlau's collection at the show was inspired by India's colourful chaos, where she combined traditional textiles with contemporary designs, Anna and Liza showcased designs which were inspired by iconic American artist Jean Michel Basquiat mixed with silver screen siren Joan Crawford. This collection, with the fusion of the 1980s street art with the Hollywood glamour of the 1930s, was interesting to watch.