The eagerly-awaited South India Fashion Weekend 2003,
a two-day fashion show to give exposure to South-based
fashion designers, organised by Ideas Unlimited at Le
Royal Meridien Hotel here, has been abruptly cancelled.
reason? Lack of funds to run the show. The event management
company is promoted by R Sunil alias Chandru, a Tamil
film producer, and M Krishnatmaa, a 27-year-old garment
announcement was made one hour after the scheduled start
of the show, leaving the show ticket-holders (ticket price:
Rs 3,000 for two) and the designers, who had paid a sizeable
sum as stall rentals besides investing heavily for specially-designed
a fire-fighting measure, the official host, Le Royal Meridien,
offered dinner to those who were present at the venue
and also allowed free entry into its discotheque, Flame.
The hotel workers, assembled in good strength, ensured
that stage lightning equipment and the garments displayed
in the stalls were packed quickly and sent out of the
have lost several lakhs of rupees as the ballrooms and
its precincts were booked for two days. We have to see
the future course of action, says A Sennimalai,
the joint managing director of Le Royal Meridien.
were told that automobile company Mercedes would sponsor
the event, adds M Ramalingam, director, technical
services, Le Royal Meridien.
Hemant Trevedi, the hottest name in the fashion circuit,
contracted to conduct the show, the aborted event marred
his 20-year-old clean track record. He had brought his
team and also a battery of models, who includes famous
names like Netra Raghuraman, Shwetha Jaishankar and Sheetal
Mallar, as part of the Rs 9-lakh deal.
concept designs by South Indian designers
hooked me and I decided to conduct the show despite my
engagements in connection with the Miss India contests.
I havent met or spoken to Sunil. And this is the
first time I am hearing his name, says a visibly
says he declined to conduct the annual leather fashion
show in Chennai for the first time in nine years as it
clashed with Miss India rehearsals in Bangalore. Trevedi
is the one who designed the winning wardrobes of beauty
queens like Aishwarya Rai (Miss World 1995) and Diana
Hayden (Miss World 1998). For the past nine years he is
part and parcel of every Miss India contest.
furious Raghuraman says: We were told that the show
would be invitee-based and there will be no ticket sales.
We would have done the show for free had only Krishnatmaa
had informed earlier that the proceeds would go for some
fact Krishnatmaa even threatened that Trevedi had to conduct
the show or else his reputation, built over 20 years,
will get spoiled. He also shouted at us when asked about
the return tickets, she fumes. Trevedi has conducted
around 2,000 fashion shows in his entire two-decade-old
I will be more careful while accepting contracts. I should
do a credibility audit before accepting contracts,
says Trevedi. Team member and show compere Manasi Scott
was the only person who performed a bit at the event.
She was the one who announced the show cancellation to
those who were present at the venue.
is a big loss for the designers, says Scott. And
it is true. The show was supposed to showcase the designs
of a couple of young designers like Payal (20) and Shivani
have paid Rs 30,000 as stall rent and also spent around
Rs 75, 000 for making garments specially for this occasion,
says Shipra Munglani, who owns Shipra Design Studio.
weepy Krishnatmaa confined to his hotel room pleading
his helplessness for the fiasco. Shifting the blame on
the sponsors, he assures settlement of all dues. The
hotel has been paid Rs 2 lakh, and only Rs 80,000 is pending
as of now. The ticket holders and the designers who have
paid stall rents would also be compensated. But
how and when is a question that remains unanswered.
business partner, the Tamil film producer Sunil, is nowhere
to be seen. Two days before the event Sunil was confident
that he would get sponsorship on his own terms and even
touted big names like Mercedes and Ford. He also said
the show cost would be recovered by selling 500 tickets
and rent from 13 stalls.
are only three stalls, says Munglani. Sunil also
boasted about his plans to conduct a star night in Canada,
taking a big contingent of Tamil film artistes sometime
in May 2003.
retrospect, the South India Fashion Weekend 2003 fiasco
has made many in the fashion circuit suspicious of the
Chennai-based organisers. And the South-based designers
will continue to find it difficult to get a wider exposure
to their creativity as big fashion shows will continue
to be the prerogative of Mumbai and Delhi, courtesy Ideas