It’s fashion forward for Pune

By Ruchika Kher, IANS
Saturday, November 20, 2010

PUNE - It has been a hotspot for education, IT and auto projects. And Pune is now showing a penchant for fashion by attracting well-known designers and embracing the latest trends.

“Pune is a hotbed of cultural activity and it is a perfect destination for a fashion city. So we decided to bring season two of Pune Fashion Week (PFW),” Badal Saboo, its managing director, told IANS.

Very soon the second largest city of Maharashtra with a population of over seven million may give competition to metros like Mumbai and Delhi, popular for their styling, availability of fashion apparel, accessories and big fashion events.

The youngsters are creative when it comes to clothes - young girls are often seen teaming hot denim pants with white-fitted shirt and boots, polka dot short skirts with smart white tops. Guys are seen dressed in trendy T-shirts and jeans or denims with jackets.

The grand three-day event, which started Nov 18, saw well-known designers like Vikram Phadnis, Rocky S, Mandira Wirk, Nandita Mahtani and Payal Singhal participating and showcasing their collections.

“Pune is a great city…just look at the vibe. People are so stylish and forthcoming as far as fashion is concerned. I’ve noticed it this time. It’s truly a place for fashionistas and very soon will be the place where most designers will have their stores,” said Phadnis.

Designer Raakesh Agarvwal, whose designs are often flaunted by actresses like Lara Dutta, Deepika Padukone and Genelia D’Souza, feels people in the city are very clued in.

“I love Pune and I have many buyers from the city. I have been supplying my garments to people here for some time now and I get a tremendous response. The people here are quite stylish and understand fashion and that’s why I think it was a great idea to hold a fashion week here,” he said.

Mandira Wirk, another popular designer, seconded Agarvwal’s view and said: “I think Pune as a city has the potential of becoming a huge market for fashion clothing. I have noticed that people here are ready to experiment and so this is an upcoming place for fashion enthusiasts,” she said.

“I would love to open a store here, let’s see,” she added.

For high society women, skin show is not a taboo and they go for short dresses with classy cuts and not too much embellishment. Off shoulders, halters and short skirts sell like hot cakes.

And people in Pune love to accessorise and are often seen flaunting trendy bags and chunky jewellery.

A Canadian journalist of Indian descent, who grew up in Pune, flew down from Toronto just to attend the fashion week. She observed that the city has changed manifold and that people are mainly going for trendy, very stylish, yet subdued garments.

“I’ve returned after 20 years and it seems a new place altogether. You get everything here, now you don’t have to travel to Mumbai to get the more trendy stuff,” she told IANS on condition of anonymity.

“Even the young boys and girls here nowadays are stylishly dressed - from being casually chic to elegantly formal. It’s truly coming of age for the city and it will not be long before the place becomes a hotspot for fashionistas,” she added.

Going by the fashion world prediction, Pune may soon become a new fashion hub of India!

(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at

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