PANAJI — Lehengas, floor sweeping gowns, asymmetrical dresses for women and kurta pyjamas, suits and dhotis in the menswear category – the spotlight at the India Beach Fashion Week 2017 was clearly on bridal wear.

The three-day extravaganza, which started on March 6 at the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa here, saw an exuberant grand finale Mar. 8 with an array of designers presenting their collections.

The organizers were happy.

"This is one of the biggest seasons till now. The designers have got really good reviews from the buyers and visitors. From the scale point of view, we have gone bigger. We had a pop it up area, live music arena and technology integration.

"We went all the way out this season to make sure that we make some sort of benchmark," Pallav Ojha, chief innovation officer and co-founder, Iconia Leisure and Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd. Beach worldwide, told IANS here.

Apart from Suneet Varma, designers like Anupamaa Dayal, Asif Merchant, Lalit Dalmia, Swapnil Shinde and Shyamal & Bhumika came together to present their latest beach, resort and destination bridal wear on the runway.

Dayal, who opened the first show, showcased a wide variety of resort wear as part of her line 'The Endorphins'. The colors that dominated the line included reds, camels and fuschia.

Day one was also dominated by the menswear category as designers like Ken Ferns, Amrose D'Souza and Arjun Khanna presented suits, jackets, printed pants, kurtas and pyjamas.

The second and third days were predominantly about destination bridal wear – like gowns, lehengas, salwar kameez and anarkalis.

Dalmia stole the show with an off site show at the Miramar beach against a sunset. Titled 'La Moda', his men and womenswear collection, which had as many as 25 outfits, saw floor sweeping gowns, dresses, hair fascinators and menswear suits.

Designer duo Karan and Leon cast a spell on the audience with their ravishing showstopper ensemble – a white, hand-painted encrusted with Swarovski crystals gown with an over seven meter long trail. Leon told IANS that it took 1500 man-hours to make the garment.

Surprisingly, there was only one show dedicated to swim wear – by the label Flirtacious. The range saw bright colored one-piece and two-piece swim wear.

Asked why weren't there many shows dedicated to swim wear, Ojha said: "We do have some great talent when it comes to specific beachwear in the country. However, the talent isn't so much yet. A lot of resort wear that has been showcased had a beautiful amalgamation of beachwear with the resort wear.

"We want to dedicate a complete day only to swim wear as a category, but we have to source out the right talent for this section."

The gala turned out to be a platform for 30 fashion stalwarts, who showcased their collection at the event spanning over 15 shows.

On the business front, Ojha said: "The event is about generating business for the participating designers, exhibitors and people, who are present here. We as IBFW organizers, have pulled in both sides – one, the designers who have been meeting the buyers. And two, we have hosted this season, five to seven very serious buyers."

Ojha said IBFW had a generous B2C connect,

"There is a huge visitors connect... A B2C connect, When I talk about B2C connect, if a designer is showcasing a beautiful collection at the exhibit area, then you have an immediate buyer. So technically, you are not dependent on a buyer," he added.

The shows also saw some Bollywood faces like Sunny Leone, Amit Sadh, Gauahar Khan, Lopamudra Raut, Daisy Shah and Pooja Gor. Model Manasvi Mamgai, who was in the news for being part of U.S. President Donald Trump's pre-inaugural dinner, also walked the ramp for the label Karleo.

(The writer's trip was at the invitation of India Beach Fashion Week 2017.)

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