Black is in. At least that's the overwhelming colour of the walls — as well as those jackets and dresses worn by the front-seat buyers at Prashant Verma’s packed house Spring-Summer 2010 show.
It’s the final day at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week and the Beautiful People and their less pretty counterparts are here as if fashion is going out of style.
Starting off with a homage to Ayn Rand, the High Priestess of Capitalism (and former US Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan’s ‘fashion guru’), Verma underlines his USP as a worshipper of the cult of individualism by flashing Rand's line ‘It’s so hard to find someone to admire’, on the screen. After that, one figures that the only name for his show could be, ‘Ego’.
From what seems like the mouth of a cave comes out a woman — in a black smock ‘n’boots set that makes her look like a very attractive patient from a very chic hospital ward. It turns out that black is indeed Verma’s hue and war cry on the ramp. Variations in shiny black tops grab the arc lights — the edges of the tops looking as sharp as unused napkins.
The front row connoisseurs, including the immaculately-in-white Sunil Sethi, President of the Fashion Design Council of India, are models of fashion behaviour themselves: smiling (good sign), chuckling (not good sign), chattering (could be a good or bad sign).
A batik print-like dress with a woman inside it struts by to the sound of a mobike engine-Donna Summer’s I feel love mash-up.
The programme sheet insists that she ('Michelle') is wearing the "Red Destruction Print Coat with Draped Dress". Who can argue with that?
After the models (all as lumpy as twigs) have filed past for a final walk to the music of the Eurythmics’ Sweet dreams are made of these, the creator himself comes out wearing a red Nike T-shirt, a perfect stubble, rust grey jeans and red'n'black sports shoes. Verma is the only one who throws a smile at the applauding audience.
An hour and many air kisses and "See you at the party tonight" later, it's the turn of Lecoanet Hemant (that's two people, Didier Lecoanet and Hemant Sagar, for the uninitiated) to show their stuff.
The All India Radio signature tune is the cue for the lights going out. A surly looking lady in a woollen jacket and a bad hair day hair plunkety-plonks out. This is autumn-winter wear — although the button-downed black shirt and cream skirt and halter looks climate change-friendly.
In between ear-ringed men and swaggering women, this show has more variety, more variations in colour and, going by the intense look of the front-rowers, downright kick-ass.
A waltzing duo in a 'waiter suit' and a 'Swan lake dress' follows a funkier couple in a long jacket and a sequinned sleeveless vest hip-to-hip hopping to a James Last-like brass band rendition of the Doors' Light my fire.
A curtain call later, Lecoanet and Hemant take a bow. 'Bravo's are loudly exclaimed, the crowd disgorges itself from the black box of the show hall only to breathlessly await the last show of this year's India Fashion Week.
But then, reporting Rohit Bal’s show is so, so last year.