First ever awards for excellence in Indian fashion announced

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New Delhi, June 4 (UNI) Outlook Group's fashion and beauty magazine 'Marie Claire' announced here last night the country's first ever awards for excellence in Indian fashion with a lukewarm response from eminent fashion designers.

Announcing the Made In India 2008 fashion awards, Marie Claire Editor Shefalee Vasudev told mediapersons the awards ceremony will be held on October 10 this year. The Awards this year will review the Fall/Winter collections showcased in the two fashion weeks held here and in Mumbai.

The eight award categories include pret, couture, accessories, new and emerging designers, choreography and one for a global designer who has used India as muse.

''Besides, there are two additional special honours - Best Craft Revival and Best Textile Exploration. These will review a designer's body of work rather than any particular collection,'' Ms Vasudev asserted.

The awards jury comprises well-known personalities - FDCI Director General Rathi Vinay Jha, Design Alliance CEO Sunil Sethi and Hindustan Unilever Ltd's Beauty and Fashion adviser Anil Chopra.

When asked about the origins of the idea behind the awards, Marie Claire President Suresh Selvaraj told UNI, ''The idea for the Awards was taken from the mother edition in French and is in keeping with our campaign against moral policy. We noticed that there were no awards for Indian fashion industry.'' To a question why the awards were restricted only to Indian designers, he replied, ''The presence of international designers in India is limited. Above all, what work Indian designers do will be taken to the world though these awards.'' The response to the awards among the celebrated fashion designers present on the occasion was not enthusiastic.

India's ace fashion designer Ravi Bajaj told UNI, ''I am not an awards person. Some people need them to have just a smile on the face. Awards mark your false sense of security. If awards mean awards, they're different. I am more on Aamir Khan line of thinking. Above all, the best award is people coming even after 20 years to buy what you make.'' Tarun Tahiliani, the designer widely credited with bringing couture fashion to India's doorstep, appeared apprehensive when asked about his reaction to the awards, saying, ''The selection criteria should be fair.'' He was, however, happy to know that Mr Suni Sethi was one of the jury members and said, ''He's very knowledgeable.'' Made In India awards follow Marie Claire's international tradition of awarding global fashion through the French Prix D'Excellence De La Mode. While these review the Fall-Winter collections shown in Paris, Milan, New York and London, Made In India would give awards an Indian stamp.

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