Lakme Fashion Week A/W 09 Begins... The 'Barbie All Doll'd Up' Show
Lakme Fashion Week, the crowning glory in the crown of Indian fashion, began this season with the Barbie: All Doll'd Up event. Now, I'm not going to lie, I was actually quite excited for this event (yes, castrate me now) but not because it was Barbie but because this collection was giving Indian designers the chance to design a special 50th-Birthday outfit for the famous doll. When new, exciting designers are let loose on an All-American icon you know something great is going to happen.
And I had heard that the results were absolutely incredible...
(Gallery May Require Head Tilting!)
The show was pink. No surprises there. But it was actually the glamour and haute-couture aspect to the looks within the collection that caught my attention. The fusion-focused show began with a futuristic and slightly trance-y mini-film that did a pan-up of Barbie, showed a few looks from the past and then melted into an ECG heartbeat in hot pink that ended up spelling 'Barbie.' Then, with a switch in soundtrack and a huge flash of light bulbs, 22 looks were paraded down the pink patent catwalk (very nice touch.) Rahul Bhowmilk, head of marketing at Mattel India told press that "the creative brief is to design a look for Barbie where the designer treats her as a muse...celebratory, glamourous, fancy are the key words." And the designers filled this bracket; Indian fabrics, embroidery, prints, beading and crazy colour meant that the show was a fashion feast.
Particular looks that deserve special mention include Anand Bushan's 60s-inspired shift mini-dress in aqua blue. It was brave to stray from pink for the Barbie outfit but the blend of Indian fabrics and gorgeous embroidery with the sharp shapes of the Sixties resulted in a really fresh take on the doll's usual get-ups. Wendell Rodrick also made an impact on your truly with his 'Red Carpet to Disco' dress. Granted, his silver leotard with a fur mini-skirt and pink pom-poms on top wasn't incredibly high-fashion but here was a designer who had really thought about the presentation of his piece and a huge disco ball suddenly lowered into the catwalk and an up-tempo soundtrack provoked huge applause from the audience. The Shirt Company provided a highlight when the song on the speakers suddenly grinded to a halt, went bit squeaky (in that way that DJs do) was overtaken by 'When I Grow Up' by the Pussycat Dolls and a little girl made her way down the catwalk in a prom dress. Possibly the cutest thing I've seen in a while! The winner of the contest was Nishka Lulla and her look, a mini-dress constructed from different coloured sari fabrics, had amazing embroidery and embellishment. The dress was modelled on the catwalk by Bollywood-superstar Katrina Kaif who will now have a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll created in her likeness, the first Indian celebrity to have this 'honour.'
At the press conference after the show, the panel told reporters and editors that Barbie is an 'international fashion icon' and after seeing the looks she inspired on this afternoon's catwalk, I wholeheartedly agree.