India Fashion Week London comes to town

A late Indian summer crept into London this October 2015 with the launch of the first ever India Fashion Week London and a celebration of South Asian fashion with the 10 year anniversary of The National Asian Wedding Show at the ExCel London.

The inaugural fashion week was opened by DJ Neev Spencer and Presenter Sonali Shah, both ambassadors of the British Asian Trust who came to show their enthusiasm for the growth of Asian fashion in the UK market. United in their appreciation of South Asian fashion, Spencer and Shah featured on the catwalk alongside former Miss India and Bollywood beauty @NehaDhupia. Ms Dhupia rocked the IFWLondon catwalk in a Payal Singhal black cropped poncho, the border of which was lined with detailed gold work, and a nude pink lehenga skirt.

Neha Dhupia wearing designer Payal Singhal outfit at India Fashion Week London, October 2015

Ms Dhupia, who helped curate the event, said “my favourite moment was of course walking down the ramp in London for the first time as a showstopper and secondly cutting this really big cake — it was like five levels!” Without a doubt the National Asian Wedding Show spared no expense as it celebrated its 10 year anniversary with Ms Dhupia and STAR TV actress Pooja Gaur; the catwalk was litten up with an array of stunning bridal couture designs and fireworks displays that electrified a packed Sunday audience.

When asked about her views on South Asian fashion in India compared to the UK market, Ms Dhupia said “I feel like it has a lot of room to grow and fashion in India is way ahead. But the most important thing is it’s got a great audience filled with beautiful people who are very aware and fashion conscious. So it’s a work in progress and that’s where you have the National Asian Wedding show and of course India Fashion Week which can help to change everything”.

From left to right: DJ Neev Spencer from Kiss FM, Marni Kaur founder of Bibi London, Sonali Shah TV presenter, Bollywood actress Neha Dhupia, Manny Singh Platinum Group Founder, RC Dalal of Institute of Fashion&Technology in India

A sentiment echoed by the show’s organiser Manny Singh, Managing Director of the Platinum Group, who set out to revolutionise the South Asian fashion market in the UK by providing a platform for NEWGEN and British Asian designers through the inception of India Fashion Week London, “For the last decade the Indian fashion industry has moved from the embryonic stage to a globally respected powerhouse. Indian and British Asian fashion designers have contributed immensely to the spread of fashion as a driving force, both among Indian consumers and select segments of Western markets. Our market can now boast dozens of leading fashion designers, who can match any European fashion designer in their concepts, styles and designs.” said Mr Singh.

“Historically Eastern fashion has played second fiddle to a British Asian audience who have been heavily influenced by the west, but with the growth of western brands in India and mainstream British retailers introducing eastern tones and styles in their collections, we’ve discovered a host of designers who understand their collections need to be designed for a western mainstream audience. Gone are the days where an outfit can only be worn for one occasion, designers are producing outfits that can be mixed and matched with other garments and have the longeivity in a more mainstream wardrobe. India Fashion Week London and The National Asian Wedding Show brings these designs to the forefront under one roof and will educate the UK consumer about fresh, couture and fusion designs, whether they are Asian or not.”

In line with Singh’s objectives, IFWLondon and The National Asian Wedding Show played host to noted fashion designers Raishma Islam, Anjalee&Arjun Kapoor, Saloni Ruia, Ridhi Mehra as well as collections featured by Payal Singhal, Satya Paul, Neeta Lulla, Mansi Malhotra, Pavan&Pranav, Shyamal&Bhumika, Shantanu&Nikhil and Anushree Reddy. Many of whom were clearly inspired by British fashion throughout the ages, such as Raishma Islam’s Edwardian style jackets and Kaya Rajan’s use of bold coloured embroidered and lace braces.

Designs by Kaya Rajan

Along with the multitude of fusion designers, the catwalks were home to international performing artist Bambi Bains, England Women’s Cricketer Isa Guha, former Desi Rascal Arshina Trivedi, and British singer Navin Kundra who delighted audiences as he delivered his own special fusion mix of John Legend’s “All of Me” in both English and Hindi.

Fashion enthusiast celebrities were out in full force both representing The British Asian Trust and to see the latest designs from these NEWGEN, British and Asian designers alike.In a crowd littered with familiar faces front rowers included Sky Desi Rascals reality TV stars Jo Shah, Moses Baig, Kavita Sodha and Schmoyel Zia Siddiqui, Indian television actor and host Karan Tacker, actress Amber Rose Revah, Miss London Supranational and model Katerina Christo, actress and model Sara Archer, model and fashion influencer Diipa Khosla, Zayn Malik’s sisters Doniya and Waliyha Malik, and Olympic medallist boxer Amir Khan’s sister and fashion influencer Mariyah Khan.

The inaugural India Fashion Week London has concluded for 2015 but following the success of the launch, the 2016 show will continue to build on this fantastic platform.

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