Whether the designers seek it or just happen to showcase there, LFW has become the runway and played catalyst for many a success story. As India’s premium fashion event, the LFW ramps have graced and witnessed milestone shows from veteran designers and novices alike.
To commemorate LFW’s 15 year milestone therefore, we turn fashion historians and recount 15 memorable moments from LFW’s iconic archives…
The first brigade of designers to display their collections at the very first Lakmé Fashion Week in 2000 included Tarun Tahiliani, Rohit Bal and Wendell Rodricks.
In 2001, ace photographer Gautam Rajadhyaksha displayed his pictures of Kareena Kapoor and Jaya Bachchan as a part of the Lakmé Timeless Beauty Series.
In 2002 Anamika Khanna rocked the ramp with her Bridal collection and use of ancient crafts like zardosi and ikat.
In 2002, LFW’S discovery and prodigy Sabyasachi made his debut and pioneered Indian textiles and couture. About Fashion Week being his launch pad Sabya says, “Lakmé Fashion Week holds a special place in my journey as a designer other than being my debut platform. Our success stories resonate and have been parallel. It gives me great pleasure to be a part of this milestone.”
In 2003, royal prince Raghavendra Rathore brought to the ramp his regal collection with a calling from his hometown Rajasthan. Mixing and reinventing the strengths of Rajasthan royalty in an extraordinarily modern way, Rathore established a brand of his own.
With the Bollywood brigade taking to the ramps, in 2006, Kajol and Preity Zinta walked for Manish Malhotra’s all white collection.
Everyone’s favourite chocolate boy Ranbir Kapoor turned model in 2008 for Arjun Khanna looking rather dapper in a metallic toned kurta suit.
In 2008, then novice Anushka Sharma graced the ramp for Manish Malhotra’s Grand Finale.
In 2009 Manish Malhotra played the ultimate trump card when he brought on Shah Rukh Khan (sling et al)as the showstopper for his collection inspired by the uniform and styling of Kolkata Knight Riders.
As late as 2009, emerging designer Nishka Lulla won the Barbie competition and recalls it for her favourite memory of the Lakmé Fashion Week- “I cherish the Barbie competition in 2009 as my favourite LFW memory. Katrina Kaif modelled in my outfit and as a young girl winning that Barbie competition was a great for me” chuckles the designer.
2010 was a big year in terms of fashion as well as celeb quotient – Masaba Gupta introduced quirk to Indian fashion with her Gen Next collection, Gauri and Nainika dressed Deepika Padukone in black and white elegance.
In 2011 Kabir Bedi and a whole lot of other esteemed gentlemen created quite a stir on the ramp when they walked for Narendra Kumar's dressed in their formal best.
In another eyeconic move, LFW collaborated with Disney in 2012 with designers Little Shilpa and Nitin Bal Chauhan launching a fashionable range of Disney branded apparel and accessories.
Last year, the milestone at LFW was the felicitation of Wendell Rodricks, who had, a few days before been conferred with the Padma Shri honour, the fourth-highest civilian award, in the category of art (fashion designing).