Fashion goes desi

Mumbai: For most of us in India, designer wear is something we hear of more than we get to see of. When we do get to see designer wear creations, it is mostly on television in the form of skinny models sashaying up and down the ramps, donning clothes that we will not normally contemplate wearing.

On another level designer wear also means clothes sold in expensive and inaccessible-looking retail outlets, which most people hesitate to enter. But once you muster up the courage to enter you realise your mistake as each of the items on display costs approximately close to two or three months of your salary.

But if the tone of the just-concluded Lakme India Fashion Week held in Mumbai recently is to be gauged, Indian designers are now trying to ensure that their clothes, well, do sell. Also, many designers are gung-ho about prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) wear being the next great hope.

So factors such as 'wearability' and comfort have now become the focus to raise profitability. Says designer Sabyasachi: "Collection should sell." Priyadarshini Rao, another designer, adds: "The need of the hour is for designers to focus on prêt and its price points."

In an indication of things to come, many designers are making prêt affordable at home and designer chic now starts at Rs 750 and can go up to Rs 30,000. And retail stores are set to reap the benefits, with most designers seeking to sell their labels at well-known retail outlets. And more business potential is being seen in accessories such as jewellery, shoes, bags, belts and caps.