A unique platform for promising designers from all across the country, Runway Rising hosted its 13th edition at Delhi’s Ashok Hotel on 7 July. The idea of the exhibition was put together by renowned designer Ramola Bachchan, who wanted to highlight the best, the most original ready-to-wear apparels and accessories offered by next-gen designers in India.
Speaking to Guardian 20 about her show, Bachchan says, “Runway Rising is conceptualised as a platform for emerging designers and designers who do a lighter range in terms of their products. We have exhibitors across the board doing a lot of apparel, and then we also have other exhibitors that do shoes, products for home, shoes, accessories, fashion jewellery.”
With exhibitors participating from all over the country in Runway Rising, the show has been deemed a resounding success by its organisers. Bachchan says, “We have designers who are participating from Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and many more. The event is going from strength to strength. The exhibition gives a chance to both new and established designers. The exhibitors come up with a new collection in every edition and customers just love the collection. I have always loved fashion and I have always enjoyed promoting brands and this was one idea I came up with and I am happy that it is going on quite well.”
A customer, Deepti Kapoor, who says that she has also attended some of the previous editions of Runway Rising, shares her experience of visiting the latest show with Guardian 20: “This is the fifth time I am coming here. Every year there is a new collection here which is very delightful to see. The variety which is displayed here is not available at regular stores. Like everyone else, I look for something different when it comes to jewellery and clothing. This is one of the prime reasons I visit this exquisite fair.”
The team behind Runway Rising puts together three exhibitions every year. One of them, of course, is Runway Rising itself, a fashion exhibition; the other one is Runway Bridal, which caters to the needs of would-be brides giving them all they require wardrobe-wise under one roof; and the third show is called HouseFull, a one-of-its-kind home décor exhibition where visitors can buy state-of-the-art products and artifacts, the better to beautify their homes. This last takes place just before Diwali, as it is during this time of the year that people usually indulge in buying things to visually upgrade their homes. All these events are organized by Bachchan’s company, Runway.
Coming back to the show at hand, every designer participating in this exhibition has an artistic niche of his or her own. At the exhibition venue, one comes across varied interesting designs in apparel and accessories which are not easily available at your average neighbourhood store, or at some fancy shopping mall for that matter.
Among the participating designers is Vinay Gupta, who owns a jewellery store called Shrihari Diagems, which was founded as far back as 1789. This 200-year-old store has designed jewels for actress Deepika Padukone, which she wore in Bajirao Mastani. Speaking about his latest collection, Gupta says, “We have superb designs, vintage designs like Magarchokani and Karnaful, which are made on 24-carat gold. My sole idea is to promote art in jewellery. This is what I love to do. In our jewellery pieces we incorporate sculpture designs and vintage designs. We have even collaborated with Tarun Tahiliani on his various shows.”
Gupta learned jewellery designing on the job, and today he even teaches the craft to people who are interested in this form. Talking about the price range of the jewellery items available in his collection, Gupta says, “Our range falls somewhere between Rs 5,000 to Rs 15 lakh. We also offer 90% cashback during returns.” The jewellery store has even auctioned some of their vintage pieces at events organised by Christie’s and Saffron Art.
“The exhibition gives a chance to both new and established designers. The exhibitors come up with a new collection in every edition and customers just love the collection. I have always loved fashion and I have always enjoyed promoting brands and this was one idea I came up with and I am happy that it is going on quite well.”
Another notable designer clothing store which was part of the exhibition was Delnaz from Mumbai. The owner operates the store under her own name. It has been 24 years since the Parsi designer first stepped into the world of fashion. “I worked with designer Tarun Tahiliani for 16 years. Working under him, I learned a lot. It has been six years since I opened my own store,” Delnaz says.
Embroidery is a big part of Delnaz’s designs. “I basically work on fabrics like linen, cotton, mulmul,” she says. “Through embroidery I give them different designs. I love to work on pastel shades with vintage English designs. My sensibilities are such that I enjoy working on softer fabrics with lighter shades. The price range for my collection falls between Rs 5,800 to Rs 8,000.”
This year’s Runway Rising also featured beautiful bridal wear, courtesy of the designer store called The Pink Mirror. The store is from Kolkata and it exhibited here for the first time. Jasmine Aaliya, who is a graduate from National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and owns the store, tells us how her collection is made of “exclusive bridal wear.” She says: “At The Pink Mirror we primarily design exclusive bridal wear. The designs we have are quite novel in their making. The price range falls between Rs 7,000 to Rs 80,000.”
Apart from focusing on jewellery and clothing, the exhibition also showcased a salon. The Luxotica Luxurious Salon, which is run by Akshay Kakkar, is located at Punjabi Bagh in New Delhi. Along with regular hair and make-up services, the facility offers a healing room, which caters to customers by providing them various therapies like “angel healing” and so on.
One can easily say that Runway Rising has made waves again this year, and that our expectations from all its upcoming editions are already higher than ever before.