Make this Valentine’s day special with a quick getaway to Goa’s Divar Island for two days of fun and fashion. The Island of Love is a one-of-its-kind pop destination for the ninth edition of the India Beach Fashion Week (IBFW) which flags off at Mercure, the Goa Devaaya resort, on February 13. Presented by Ikonic and powered by Timex, it is India’s first Island Week & Fashion Festival.
“Ikonic is elated to be joining hands with India Beach Fashion Week. As title sponsors, we look forward to being part of this vibrant event about all things fashion,” asserted Rayed Merchant, co-founder, Ikonic Professional.
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Timing it right
With Goa Devaaya Mercure Resort, Divar, as its ‘Hospitality’ partner and GATSBY as its ‘Men’s Grooming’ partner, IBFW opens at 3 pm on the eve of Valentine’s Day.
At 5 pm, there is a meet and greet session with all the guests. The sunset session is on the riverfront. The open-air press conference followed by live music and cocktails.
At 8.30 pm, Vikram Phadnis makes his debut in resort wear. His curtain-raiser show is set in the lap of nature, in the Tropical Garden.
India’s largest creative ecosystem
The 18th-century island with its lush tropical forests, a vast expanse of emerald green paddy fields and meticulously restored colonial-style Portuguese villas is a picture-perfect setting for IBFW. Open-air ramps, including India’s longest ramp and the first one facing the sea, makes it a one-of-its-kind fashion festival. There are designated festival areas and brand engagement booths, makeover zones and experience zones with 15 by 15 store installations and villa blocks within the man show area and even an after-party conclave zone. Pop-up companies will also be setting up a flea market which should be another crowd-puller.
Day One wraps up with Eliferous, a collaborative show presented by Timex. The designer, Srishti Kaur, was also Miss Teen Universe.
Valentine’s Day, February 14 flags off with the ‘Future of Fashion Conclave – Meet The Leaders’ at noon. Featuring the managing directors of the festival’s title sponsors. Timex, Ikonic and Samsonite, IBFW co-founder Pallav Ojha and Sasha Revanker, the founder of One Minute Sarees, the hour-long session will be moderated by Jitin Hingorani from Los Angeles.
Royal Musical experience
The ‘Experience’ partner is the Royal Falcon Music Production which opens the festival on Day 2 with a live stage on the Green Lawns at 2 pm. “Royal Falcon is a Dubai-based music label that brings the world together with the fusion of international musicians and world music,” attests electrified filmmaker Aziz Zee.
IBFW has showcased ace designers in earlier editions, including Wendell Rodricks, Pallavi Jaikishan, Suneet Varma, Falguni & Shane Peacock and Varun Bahl. Other prominent names that come to mind are James Ferreira, Rocky Star, Pria Kataria Puri, Arjun Khanna, Rina Dhaka and Saisha Shinde to name a few. Among the showstoppers and brand influencers were Sushmita Sen, Bipasha Basu, Kiara Advani, Lisa Haydon, Kriti Sanon, Sunny Leone, Aditi Rao Hydari and Rana Daggubati. It has launched over 200 fresh designers and exhibitors over the years. It has the distinction of being acknowledged as Asia’s largest platform to showcase young talent and revolutionary trends
Fashion revolution with sarees
This year, the only Indian-American brand on the 2023 runway is the Los Angeles-based One Minute Saree. A direct-to-consumer online saree brand, it will unveil its eclectic collection on a fashion ramp for the first time at IBFW. It is a homecoming for founder Sasha Revankar who is originally from Goa. Rooted in tradition but crafted for the modern woman, these custom-stitched sarees have sparked a fashion revolution for the next generation of Indophiles, helping them drape the fabric immaculately in under a minute.
Trauma to trends
Sasha admits that after being a little bit traumatized from the experience of wearing a saree to a wedding while handling two little kids in 2018, she had basically given up on the idea of ever putting one on again. Sasha found an answer to her saree woes in the One Minute Sari. It maintains the flow and drape of the garment while staying true to the authenticity of the traditional Nivi Sarees, the Gujarati sarees and the Kanjivaram sarees, with inclusive sizes for all body types, from extra small to extra-large.
Explaining why IBFW chose to include the line in their destination-wedding-themed fashion show, co-founder Neha Asthana Ojha reasoned, “We have always believed in the power of the young and the bold and have created a niche in the fashion segment since 2015. One Minute Saree is exactly the kind of avant-garde game-changer that will excite fashionistas and claim its rightful space in the millennial market.” The brand will present 14 looks on the runway. On the same day, Prashant Majumdar and House of Nivii by Pankhnivi will helm the COMO Collective. The sundowner will be followed by another riverfront show at 9.30 pm with Gavin Miguel bringing the curtains down. The grand finale, presented by Ikonic, will be followed by an afterparty.
One of the highlights of IBFW is a funky hair show presented by Ikonic. “When it comes to fashion, it is a term that goes hand in hand with hair. A great hairstyle always adds that finishing touch of panache to any person’s fashion sense,” points out Ikonic Professional co-founder Rayed Merchant.
Going beyond fashion
Run as both a business-to-business and a business-to-customer event, the India Beach Fashion Week brings together designers and brands, creatives and exhibitors in the beach, resort, and travel destination wear categories. Over two days, they will showcase their latest collections and network to increase brand awareness amongst the general public. However, what sets it apart is that IBFW is designed to go beyond fashion. It promotes Goa as a travel destination, building a large-scale platform for lifestyle tourism around it.
Tropical Eden along the Mandovi river
The idyllic Divar Island, separate from the mainland, is an enticing getaway as the Island of Love is still largely unexplored. A tropical Eden tucked away along the Mandovi river, it is blissfully quiet and very 8th-century in the meticulously restored Portuguese villas with their colonial-style architecture and old-world feel. Divar is home to three scenic villages. Piedade sits at the bottom of a hillock on whose crest is the picturesque Church of Our Lady of Compassion. The second, Malar, was earlier called Sao Matias by its Portuguese residents. The third village, Naroa, was once a popular pilgrimage site, but today has a population of barely a thousand and just about 80 homes. And while the island gives the impression of being cut off, it is just a 15 to 30-minute ferry ride from Old Goa, Naroa and Ribander.
So, Go, Goa, Gone, what are you waiting for? The countdown has begun. Just days more to go!