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Making Waves
Text by Shanaya Lalkaka
Published: Volume 15, Issue 5, May, 2007
Be it Paris or Miami, Indian fashion folks are becoming a frequent presence at international fashion weeks. Verve spotlights three designers who recently set the global runways on fire

Anamika Khanna: À la mode in Paris
The Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week has been a great stepping stone for designer Anamika Khanna. After her showing in the capital, she was selected to showcase her collection at the Paris Fashion Week. The support of family and friends for an event of this scale at this ultimate fashion destination is unbelievable, "a great confidence booster," she exclaims. Her collection is all about "soul." With inspirations rooted in India and its culture, the organic nature of her work is what catches the eye. But Khanna does not design for traditional India. Rather she works very hard at reflecting the present because according to her that's what international buyers are on the look out for - a piece of contemporary India.

Manish Arora: The French Connection
"The two are incomparable," exclaims designer Manish Arora referring to the recent Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week and the Paris Fashion Week where he was invited to showcase his designs. Stress levels hit the roof during an event of this scale and Arora admits lot of hard work went in trying to impress some of the best designers, buyers and press persons and most importantly maintaining a professional standard. The designer creates from the heart, a simple philosophy for someone known for his complex but eclectic use of colours, embellishments and fabrics. According to Arora, International buyers are looking for something essentially Indian in spirit, yet versatile enough to be worn anywhere in the world. It is his belief that the world needs to know how young and enterprising the Indian market is and the scope it possess. Of his work Arora says, "I am doing what I do best and that is to make beautiful clothes." Formidable!

Hemant Sagar: Rocking Miami
Backed by two decades of experience in the fashion industry, Sagar entered India with, “hopes of opening up the Indian fashion scene to international buyers.” He created quite a stir at the Miami Fashion Week, which concluded with him winning the coveted ‘Designer of the Year’ title. The response has been terrific. International buyers expect something unique from India, which Sagar and his label, ‘Lecoanet Hemant’ seem to provide. Marked by their European sensibility, his garments have a certain ease to them. Very lightly embellished, the designs are brought to life by an innovative use of cuts and construction. Although Sagar considers it important to reflect the Indian sentiment, he believes that in a country still bound by tradition, cutting-edge designers like Manish Arora reflect the present. It’s the India we see today as opposed to something that has been rehashed for over 5000 years, he says.

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