Organized for the first time in New Delhi, from August 17-23, 2000, to showcase men and women's wear designer collections from August 17-23, 2000. Lakme India Fashion Week gave a golden opportunity to the Indian fashion designers to exhibit the rich craftsmanship that India has to offer. With Lakme Lever Ltd. as the title sponsor for the first three years, the first Lakme India Fashion Week was held at the Taj Palace Convention Centre, New Delhi. The fashion fair was open to visitors by invitation only.
The main display area, with a stage and a ramp, has a seating capacity of 450-500 people. It was a week long event where visitors were not just exposed to the latest prˆt collections of the various designers and many seminars were organized for designers to understand the needs of retailers, exporters and buying houses. The event also gave an opportunity to see make-up trends, hairstyles and the latest accessories.
The first week-long fashion extravaganza, which brought together 33 top-notch Indian style gurus from eight cities across the country presented their prˆt-a-porter lines through 24 fashion shows at the venue, over 7 days to over 15,000 visitors. Out of which 29 designers presented three pieces each from their lines setting the trend and the look of the year at the Taj Palace. 36 models walked the ramp 1536 times. 104 music tracks ranging from Hindi film music to techno to pop and reggae set the tone for the models. Also, there were 40 stalls, where 1536 designer garments were displayed under 400 lights.
Models cat walked on the ramp attiring designer clothes. Fiery red and black were the hot colours in the winter of 2000 and fluorescent shades for the summer of 2001. The purpose of such fashion show was multifold. LIFW as a major Indian annual fashion show not only gave a lifetime chance to the designers to showcase their pret (ready to wear) designs but also provided a common platform for the meeting of fashion designers and prospective buyers thus giving a boost to the fashion trade. Lakme also hosted specialized beauty and grooming workshops throughout the event.
The designers whose works were showcased at the event were Monisha Jaising, Ranna Gill, Ritu Beri, Shobhna and Vijay Arora, Anamika Khanna, Anuradha Vakil, Aparna Chandra, Manoviraj Khosla, Ritu Kumar, Monisha Bajaj, Rina Dhaka, Ashish Soni, Pranavi Kapoor, Aki Narula, Malini Ramani, Anshu Arora Sen, Manish Arora, Rajesh Pratap Singh.
Also present were Gitanjali Kashyap, Rohit Bal, Puja Nayyar, Abhishek Gupta, Nandita Basu, Kiran Uttam Ghosh, Meera and Muzaffar Ali, Monapali, Ashima and Leena Singh, Manju and Bobby Grover, Wendell Rodricks, and Tarun Tahiliani. Adding to the excitement were four international models that set the ramp alive, they were Amy B, Verity and Caroline Fowler including supermodel Jodie Kidd, the brightest star in the firmament of British fashion.
The first show of the week was kicked off by the Fall 2000 Collections of Ranna Gill. The fashion bonanza even had the act put up by exuberant designer Rohit Bal who presented winter wear for men in sheer whites. Then, Bal's men in white made way for the creations of Mumbai-based designer Monisha Jaising. Jaising whose line was presented on the first day of the fashion week put up two-piece dresses in white and black with mirror work around the waist. The dresses were elegant and very wearable.
From Ritu Beri's collection onwards, the show started heating up with more of fluorescent shades, shimmering sequins that revealed a lot of cleavages and midribs. Halter-necks in sky blue with oil paint imprints and plane mini-skirts were beautiful. The show culminated with Anamika Khanna's bridal 'lehnga', 'choli' and 'chunni' and (skirt, blouse and veil) with embroidery and use of ancient craft like 'zardosi' and 'ikat'. The last day of the weeklong fashion extravaganza culminates with the Lakme Grand Finale featuring big names like Tarun Tahiliani and Wendell Rodricks.
However, the event ran into controversy with two of the three international models dropping out and designers Suneet Verma and Ravi Bajaj withdrawing at the last minute. FDCI was also accused of ignoring Mumbai-based designers. Internationally renowned Mumbai designers like Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, Shahab Durazi, Hemant Trivedi and Pallavi Jaykrishan were not a part of the show.