New Delhi: Indian designers are not doing enough to tap the country`s traditional textiles and crafts, which are readily inspiring the foreign world, says Simon P. Lock, the founder of the Australia Fashion Week. He also says organisers need to cut down on number of fashion weeks in the country, and rev up the Indian catwalk. The fashion expert stressed that Indian designers must dig into their own roots for inspiration rather than emulate the West.
"There are many designers internationally who are making collections inspired by India; then why can`t an Indian designer do that? Indian designers are loved everywhere, but I think they are not motivated enough to use their own design aesthetics and this is a disappointment," Lock said.
Lock believes in the power of the country`s textile and handicrafts, and foresees promising times for it in the fashion world.
"The Indian fashion industry is an enormous powerhouse and there is an incredible business done with the help of local crafts and techniques and I think you need to concentrate on these aspects completely," he added.
He feels there`s a huge gap in the ready-to-wear garment market in the country, which can be easily bridged by using the available resources.
"The Indian fashion industry has the potential to be a global leader in ready-to-wear designs. This can only be done if Indian designers can stick to their design sensibility. Every country has its forte in terms of colours, designs and textures. Indians are known for their incredible heritage; so why not utilise it in the ready-to-wear garments and give the world something which hasn`t been offered yet," he said.
Lock has been associated with fashion extravaganzas in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Pakistan in various capacities. He was also a board member of the Lakme Fashion Week in 2006 and is currently in talks with the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), India`s apex fashion body, to help in their endeavours. Lock spoke on the sidelines of the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institute (IFTTI) 2012, hosted by the Pearl Academy of Fashion.
India`s fashion industry is currently on a roll. But with over a dozen fashion weeks in a year, organisers are doing more harm than good to the industry, he says.
"I think there needs to be great improvement in production and execution. Fashion weeks in India are not embracing new technologies in production. Also, they have got very old-fashioned ways of presenting catwalk shows. These areas need improvement," he said.
Lock is also upset with the fragmentation of fashion weeks in the country.
"The industry needs to be careful and understand that growth can only happen if they are together. It should not be segmented. There needs to be one fashion week that represents all designers in India. Think about international buyers, how will they manage to come and be part of every single fashion event happening in every corner? This will also affect the business and growth. Yes, many regional fashion weeks can help emerging designers in giving them the basic learning of fashion know-how. But it should be restricted to this only," he explained.