Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) began in 1999 and was the first large scale fashion week in India.
Since them the Indian fashion scene has snowballed into an internationally respected and lucerative industry, with a host of hugely creative fashion designers who define the trends for the upcoming season. The growth of the Indian fashion industry has led to the appearance of many more fashion weeks throughout the year in different parts of the country and for different specialisms.
Apart from Lakme Fashion Week the other major one is Amazon India Fashion Week (formally known as Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week).
In this post however we are going to focus on Lakme Fashion Week which had the grandest of starts by hosting its first fashion week in the Taj Palace in Dehli. Befitting to its suroundings, Bollywood actors Malaika Arora Khan, Arjun Rampal and Deepika Padukone graced the catwalk alongside supermodel Naomi Campbell.
Many international labels look part as well including Roberto Cavalli, Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana, which gave the week an air of gravatas and helped secure Lakme as the fashion week to beat.
In total 33 designers participated, including Ranna Gill who opened the fashion week with her fall 2000 collection and many of todays most successful designers such as Manish Malhotra, Tarun Tahiliani, Ritu Beri and Rohit Bal. Sabyasachi Mukherjee credits the first Lakme Fashion Week with launching his career. Today the number of designers participating in Lakme Fashion Week has trippled, showing that the lure of Lakme is still going strong and is viewed as a key showcasing platform for designers each season.
Lakme Fashion Week was initially called Lakme India Fashion Week, but when the six year contract with the FCDI ended, it became a week in its own right. It is organised by major cosmetics and beauty brand Lakme and IMG Reliance.
Lakme Fashion Week has been going for 15 years and has had 25 seasons. Despite its strong start, it has not always been smooth running and LFW has at times been in the press for all the wrong reasons. Most notably, in 2009 actor Akshay Kumar unbuttoned his jeans while walking the ramp and was arrested for commiting an obcene act. He was later bailed, but the escapade caused quite a stir in the press and became the main talk of the fashion week.
These are just some of the main facts about the colourful history of fashion weeks in India. It is amazing to see how far the Indian fashion scene and Lakme Fashion Week in particular has progressed. It has gone from a relatively small affair involving 33 designers to a well oiled event showcasing the collections of over 100 designers, twice a year and continues to launch the careers of notable Indian designers both nationally and internationally.
Image sources: trendymods, newsforinida, hindustantimes