For the first time in the recent past, Bollywood celebrities participated in an Indian fashion show just as guests. It seems an utopia, but it is the truth. This time the protagonists of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week were the designers and their collections. What happened? Maybe the Designers finally figure out that the only function of using celebrities as showstoppers is to attract Media attention, to the detriment of the designers’ production. Or maybe it is due to the particular nature of the show. Whether it is for these reasons or another, celebrities played merely the role of guests finally!
In fact just four celebrities were on the catwalk: Sania Mirza for Ritu Pande, Aditi Rao Hydari for Payal Singhal, Monica Dogra for Kanika Saluja and Arjun Rampal for Rohit Bal's finale. More than 50 shows and just four famous showstoppers is quite unusual in these occasions, but it can be explained by the nature of Delhi’s fashion week: it mainly concerns business and has become mostly a trade show.
Obviously some designers just couldn’t manage to have a celebrity at their show, even if they wanted to. Samant Chauhan for example, said that there was a problem of location: he wanted Vidyu Jamvwal and the entire team of the upcoming film Yaara, shooting in Delhi, but unfortunately there was a delay with the shots and he had to give up with this idea. In Mumbai this is not common at all, because the celebrities are always nearby. He thinks that a having a famous actor/actress is always something good to enhance the interest on your brand.
However most of the designers think that the use of celebrities is not required anymore, at least for this particular show. Malini Ramani classified this habit more as a Mumbai one, and she cited the example of Rajesh Pratap Singh, who in the last occasion used his colleagues to showcase his collection, that’s different!
Both choreographers Vidyun Singh and Harmeet Bajaj agreed on this vision and gave two important reasons for not getting celebrities on this show. Vidyun Singh indeed explained that having a celebrity showstopper is a strategic decision that makes sense basically just for upcoming designers who are not famous yet and want to outstand in someway. But unless it is a sponsored event and the sponsors directly ask to have a celebrity, a well established designer doesn’t need a famous actress who has the sole function of stealing the attention from his collection.
The second reason given by Harmet Bajaj about this concept is that, the show is mainly about business and the focus must be on the collection and the brand, not on the celebrity. Involving a celebrity means also to create a dress that perfectly encounter her tastes, thus sometimes it is completely different from the line design.
The majority of the designers seem to agree with them. Pankaj and Nidhi, who have previously used showstoppers, like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Shilpa Shetty and Nargis Fakhri, decided to not get them this time, because they can be a distraction and are not necessary at the WIFW: it is a trade show after all.
The same idea has been explained by Hemant and Nandita, who want their clothes to be the showstopper and not to shift to a second level because people prefer to take pictures of the celebrities.
Another explanation is given by older designers. Indeed they are more self confident and this implies their renounce to have a celebrity at their show. Reynu Taandon, for example, entered the industry fifteen years ago and spent the first 5 years working hard and trying to make people understand what her brand is about. In order to do this she collaborated with many actors and actresses, but nowadays everyone knows what her brand implies, thus people call her to know if she needs someone in the show.
The same point of view is shared by Aneeth Arora, who opened the week and decided not to get a celebrity. She said that people know what she does by now, thus she preferred to make a show for regular people - and at the end of the fashion week, they are the ones which are going to buy her clothes.
Moreover Sunil Sethi, FDCI president, underlined the importance of this show to be known by International buyers, who probably don’t even know Bollywood actors and for sure don’t care about them. Thus Designers who are preparing for 2 or 3 months to get ready for WIFW, why should think of whom to pay as celebrity showstopper? It is useful just in some cases and after all is a great saving of time and money!
Image source: fashionforwardtrends.com