Fashion Lesson 13.0

WIFW Autumn Winter 2013 promises an explosive grand finale, with new names dominating the runway and popular designer labels taking over the stalls.

Never mind the shows, don't miss the stalls this year. Over 128 apparel and accessory designers will participate in the five-day-long Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) Autumn Winter 2013, that starts on March 13 at Delhi's Pragati Maidan.

This year, many senior designers and runway regulars — Rohit Bal, Wendell Rodricks, Ankur and Priyanka Modi, Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, and Sanchita Ajjampur — will only be showcasing autumn-winter collections at the stalls. "Maybe a few designers have realised their forte, which could be couture or menswear, so then showcasing at a pręt show doesn't make sense. The ramps give us an opportunity to watch new talent," says Delhi-based Gaurav Gupta. After a hectic 2012, he has decided to take a break this time. "Fashion is business but it's also an art and to keep up the quality sometimes, you need to take it easy. I have a new autumn-winter collection that will be displayed at a triple stall," he says.

For Jenjum Gadi, a regular on the ramp, this fashion week will just be a glimpse into his autumn-winter range at a stall. "I am opening my first store in April at the Crescent Mall in Delhi and I am also working on a government-funded project with weavers in Meghalaya, so I have no time," he says. With a gradual increase in the number of prominent names of the fashion industry opting for stall space year after year, Gadi observes that "buyers don't always watch the shows, they frequent the stalls more and maybe that's one reason that stalls are a hit too".

As excited as we are about the stalls, the runway too has a promising list — Tarun Tahiliani, Abraham & Thakore, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Aneeth Arora and Pankaj & Nidhi, among others. There is also the big surprise. Indian fashion industry's most popular export, Manish Arora, is the grand finale designer and the show, we can vouch, will be explosive, innovative and eccentric, all at once.

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