Is Manish Malhotra the right choice to open Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2019?

With its completion of 20 years in the couture industry, Lakmé Fashion Week has always aimed to put India on the global map of fashion. Continuing the tradition of putting forward the best in fashion and innovation, the premier fashion platform is set to showcase a promising line-up of designers and creative presentations with its Winter/Festive 2019 edition, as Manish Malhotra returns to open this season.

The celebrated designer has been in the industry for decades and is loved by Bollywood stars for making them look charismatic every time they step into his ensembles. However, with new talent on board, and some following ethics by all means, is Malhotra the right choice after his public brush with plagiarism last year?

Here, we would like to recall when Deepika Padukone, made a stunning appearance at the Cannes Film Festival 2018 red carpet in a mesmerising white gown, with a plunging neckline. The Padmaavat actress turned heads as she sashayed down the for the paparazzi. However, Deepika’s outfit left the fashion police puzzled, asking if it belonged to Zuhair Murad from his 2018 bridal collection, or Manish Malhotra’s summer 2018 collection donned by Radhika Apte.

However, Zuhair took to Instagram and clarified that the outfit was his creation, and it didn’t take long for social media to call out Manish for ripping off creativity.

Popular fashion scanner @dietsabya – is well known to spot plagiarised couture, wrote, "Thank you @deepikapadukone for throwing ‘radiating shade’ and wearing @manishmalhotra05 ... err... @zuhairmuradofficial (the OG designer) for your first #Cannes2018 red carpet appearance. LOL. Good job @shaleenanathani — this is meta! (sic)."

According to law surrounding this issue, fashion products are not covered under copyrights because they are meant to be worn. However, the Design Act 2000 protects fashion products such as dresses and jewellery. It also protects rare couture if the designer registers them with the Controller of Designs, whose Patent Office is in Kolkata, with branches in New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. This Act has two conditions for registration- it needs to be novel, and registration precedes the fashion product’s introduction to the market.

The Lakmé Fashion Week will run from 21st August to 25th August, at St. Regis in Mumbai starting with an opening show on 20th August at Famous Studios.