"Posh Spice" Beckham inspires India fashion week
Indian designers drew inspiration from the unlikely vision of Victoria Beckham strutting down the chaotic streets of Varanasi to start off Delhi's fashion week with a flurry of satin and sequins.
Brothers Shantanu and Nikhil Mehra were among 40 designers showing spring and summer collections at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, which opened this week.
They said they had based their collection on what they believed the fashionista Beckham, the pop star wife of British footballer David Beckham, would wear walking through the ancient city of Varanasi on her way to a champagne party.
The brothers showcased models wrapped in flowing yellow satin gowns, with balloon-hems and tops, and elegant evening dresses befitting Beckham, the "Posh" member of the reunited British pop group Spice Girls, and the jet-set.
For the first time since India's fashion week started in 2000, the shows were held outside the ballrooms of luxury hotels and in the auditoriums of Pragati Maidan, a sprawling venue designed for trade fairs.
Many welcomed the extra space; others lamented the unglamorous surroundings.
"It lacks prestige," said Mumtaz Suterwalla of UK-based Fu-sion360, one of about 80 buyers visiting the event.
"I would much rather have a heritage monument like the Qutub Minar forming the backdrop," she said, referring to an area of picturesque ruins in Delhi popular with tourists.
Many buyers said it was too early in the week to comment on the state of Indian fashion. But the industry has often been criticised for lacking inspiration and copying Western motifs to meet demand for high-end Western outfits with an Asian flavour.
For the inaugural show, Rajesh Pratap Singh draped his models in white linens and cottons, decorated with floral motifs and finished with a metallic sheen, while Manoviraj Khosla's menswear was a vivid clash of pinks, blues and oranges.
If organisers were disappointed by a lack of celebrities on the first day they hid it well, although Trade Minister Kamal Nath and former India skipper Kapil Dev turned up.
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