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Friday, 18 August, 2000, 07:57 GMT 08:57 UK
Fashion week in India
Ritu Beri collection
Traditional designs are making their mark
By Jyotsna Singh in Delhi

Some of the top names in Indian fashion have gathered in the capital Delhi for a week-long display of the country's finest haute couture.

The Indian Fashion Week aims to provide a platform for the fast-growing industry, and its organisers hope to turn it into an annual event.

A model at Indian Fashion Week
A mix of eastern and western influences
The week-long show will feature creations from 33 designers, including well-known names like Ritu Kumar, Ritu Beri, Tarun Tahliani, JJ Valaya and Rina Dhaka.

A series of other events and social evenings have also been planned to raise the profile of the fashion industry.

Global appeal

Indian haute couture was virtually unknown until a decade ago, when international film stars and socialites started wearing outfits designed by Indian designers.

Prominent among these are Cherie Blair, wife of the British Prime Minister, pop diva Madonna and film actress Judi Dench.

Model displays a Ritu Beri creation
Ritu Beri's creations won accolades in France
French actress Sophie Marceau also wore dresses designed by Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla in the latest James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough.

More recently, designer Ritu Beri won accolades at her second consecutive show in the French capital Paris.

Observers say although the fashion industry has not had a good growth over the last couple of years, it is set to grow at a fast pace in the next few years.

The annual turn-over in the industry currently stands at nearly $90m (4 bn Indian rupees).

Fashion designers recently formed a Fashion Design Council of India with an aim to promote the industry.

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