Mumbai: The first day of the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Winter/Festive 2011 brought to the table an eclectic mix of paparazzi culture and a unification of Umrao Jaan and Lady Gaga at a dual show presented by designers Jatin Varma and Payal Singhal on Wednesday.

The first segment of the show saw models walking down the ramp in Varma's collection called "Paparazzi", inspired by the glamour and buzz of red carpet events.

"My collection was 'Paparazzi', a red carpet collection meant to bring lots of glamour on the ramp which gives a treat to the paparazzi all over. When I am doing red carpet, I have to keep in mind that lots of glamour is involved in it so I used lots of silk chiffons, acetates to bring it out," Varma told reporters after the show.


The line included floor hugging gowns, edgy dresses, trousers, skirts and tops. It was embellished with both structured, fitted pieces and those with element of flare in dull gold.

The second segment offered designs by Payal Singhal. Her collection, which was an amalgamation of Umrao Jaan and Lady Gaga, presented garments that boasted of a contrasting mixture of Indian costumes of bygone era and futuristic rock 'n' roll world of stage dressing.

The collection comprised of flowing translucent anarkalis and lehenga's juxtaposed with structured silhouettes in tulle, brocade and new-age fabrics in metallics, pal blues, cream and blush rose ensconced in filigree, resham and zardosi.

JJ Valaya 'clicks' with audience

Celebrated designer JJ Valaya concluded day one of the Fashion Week presenting a rich and opulent collection based on his love for photography.

The designer, who has been in the business of fashion for more than 20 years, launched himself as a fine art photographer this year, and hence also created a collection around his love for the art.

"The show was based around the moving colours of the still image. So it started with black and white, then went to sepia, then colour and finally futuristic. And in essence, this is the year when I have launched myself as a fine art photographer. So fashion, art, photography, all sort to akin to each other and that's what the show was all about," Valaya told reporters here after the show.

Photography has had a hold on Valaya since his initiation into fashion but it is now that the designer has taken it up professionally.

"As long as I've been inclined towards fashion, I've been inclined towards photography. Since the time I joined my fashion school, I was already taking pictures. I used to shoot a lot. It's been a passion throughout, but had become dormant for some time but now it's back again," said Valaya.

The grand collection included jackets, sherwanis, bandgalas and breeches along with saris and lehengas with beautiful and luxurious embroidery.

Along with the clothes, music also played a very important role in elevating the show. Interesting instrumental pieces created an amazing atmosphere of art and fashion.

"Essentially, we are showmen. So when we are doing a show, we get 20 minutes to show at least eight months of work and it has to go beyond the realm of just clothes on models walking on the ramp. There has to be a feel, an aura, a scale to the whole thing and that is why music plays a vital role, because it stirs emotions," Valaya said.

Rina Dhaka returns to LFW after two years

Rina Dhaka, who last showcased a collection at the Lakme Fashion Week in 2009, returned to the Mumbai event after two years with her new line of Indian wear and Bollywood actress Sonal Chauhan as the showstopper.

"I was last here when Naomi Campbell was here for 'My Mumbai', a charity show by LFW. After that I have come and seen the shows here, but didn't participate. However, I kept sharing my interest with LFW throughout.

Throwing some light on her collection, the designer said, "The collection which was shown was kind of easy to wear, ready to wear collection. It has lots of embroideries using dull metallic silver on chiffons. I tried to bring back a fabric of the 1990s called metallic tissue and used some modern techniques to keep the line light, shining, embroidered having gota and all the relevant factor of today's Indian fashion and yet modern."

The collection offered garments like mermaid and spiral skirts, saris, kaftans, kurtas, corsets in tissue, tulle, chiffon, and organza. The colour palette consisted of silver, lavender, lilac, plum, peach, pink, gold, copper and grey.

Sonal, who sashayed down the ramp in silver, self embroidered off shoulder corset and a sheer lehenga, shared her experience: “I am a great admirer of Rina's wear and today I got to walk for her. I feel beautiful and the clothes I am wearing are so amazing."