MUMBAI’s Lakme Fashion Week – report by Robb Young


Apologies for the delay everyone.  For future reference, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a Mumbai to Moscow itinerary – either city is a handful enough in its own right.  This post hails from London where I’ve finally returned alive, in one piece and still spinning from the excesses of this past month on a five-nations tour.

Idtag_2   Silhouettes_stairs

Well, it all began quite horribly wrong.   Two hours after landing, I was meant to be giving a lecture at the Media Forum, speaking on how the media services fashion – wholly unbeknownst to me. I arrived at the hotel check-in to be met by ravishing Reshma, who informed me of this minor detail and after a fair bit of wrangling on my part, I eventually succumbed to Reshma.  Apparently, all the emails of info they’d sent to me had gone to the wrong address….(Whomever that OTHER Robb Young with robbyoung@ instead of youngrobb@ is a cruel character indeed!). Red-eye flight from London overnight without a wink of sleep, showered but not shaven, I ran to the conference centre, smiled big, ten coffees, took my place with the 5 others speaking from New York, Australia, India and elsewhere and prayed.  Lights, camera, ACTION!  While the others fresh faced from a day of rest had had two weeks to prepare a topic and perfect it, here I found myself scribbling down some mishmash onto paper whilst our forum beamed live in front of TV, newspaper & magazine flashbulbs for the entire subcontinent and beyond.  (Sympathy call please!)

Afterhoursninamanuel_1  Lofficiel_1

Later on, the Verve party opened fashion week.  Above is model Nina Manuel revving it up for After Hours, a nightlife TV programme (and here on the left she is again on the L’Officiel’s India cover ).  She was one of the best on the catwalk (Ujjwala did look great too naturally though). — but Nina was even more impressive on the dancefloor.   The media had really pulled out all the stops to preview fashion week, as it was the first organised since the split with the Delhi fashion designers council.  Mumbai got its first ‘international runways’.

Manish2_1 Manish1_1


Mumbai’s Bollywood stars were out at Manish Malhotra’s show in a force that can’t be matched by even Donatella Versace’s seasonal Hollywood contingency. These looks above were really only the few that would be palatable in the West at Malhotra’s.  The rest was a statement of monochrome saris, a novel if not probably provocative idea for a garment that bears so much meaning from its colour.  Malhotra is the town’s costume darling though – and pioneer cross-over from film to fashion – so they might catch on, at least among the highest heights of high society and drama sorority.

Surily_2 Surily_1_1

The majority of the shows didn’t disappoint anyone looking for an embellishment overdose.  OTT beyond the beyond.  Surily Goel went psychadelic candyfloss with the brightest and brashest.  Taken out of context, some of it could be even be good fun.  Sexy Nina here on the left again and the creature on the right that I loathed more and more with each step and kick she made gallavanting down the ramp.  For all the gorgeous girls on hand in Mumbai, the casting couldn’t have been more shocking at certain moments…

Sabyasachi_runway_1_1  Sabyasachi_runway_2_2

More close to home and heart was Sabyasachi who’s poetic collection exploiting the kind of organic aesthetic that veda, zen, and spirituality in India can muster up with great gusto.  Not to mention the fantastic variety that Indian textiles also have to offer here in full regalia.  And from a recent Sabyasachi photo shoot:



Back to the high-octane side of planet Mumbai, a few more after show parties yielded these photos:

Vervepartygirls1  Vervepartygirls2

Pravina_mecklai_gallerist Jamal_mecklai_financial_analyst

Pravina (gallerist) & Jamal Mecklai (financial analysist), always colour coordinated and a hoot

Bandana_tewari Reshma_bombaywalla

Bandana Tewari (fashion journalist)  & Reshma Bombaywalla (ravishing host)


Ravi Krishnan, Reshma, Fern Mallis, Zach Eichman, the IMG team



Carriage, sir?



Veteran fashion journalist, Sathya Saran & her exquisite, never-cut hair – out for a rare appearance



Viona Chor (CK Tangs in Singapore) with Sabina Chopra & Sabina looking breathtaking again



Artwork at the Oberloi



A glimpse of the front rows

Anshu Priya

Anshu & Priyadarshini Rao, two younger designers of the quieter persuasion.


A peak at the Mumbai daylight for this nightbird.  On his way out for more madness in Moscow…

Glenn Belverio

Glenn Belverio is a writer and New Yorker. He has been reporting for ASVOF since 2005 and currently works at The Museum of Modern Art as the Content Manager for MoMA Design Store.