Desi models have trumped over their foreign counterparts, at least at the upcoming Synergy1 Delhi Couture Fashion Week, which kicks off in the Capital on July 22.
In the recent past at major fashion weeks, Indian models have cried foul over designers’ preference for blue-eyed blonde girls. But now, desi models are back in demand.
"Since my collection comprises Indian wear like lehengas and saris, most of the models in my show are going to be Indian," says designer Varun Bahl. "We ensured that our showstoppers are Indian. During auditions, we saw a few foreign girls who had dyed their hair black to do justice to Indian wear, but we felt that the poise required to wear a sari was missing," says designer Leena Singh. Indian models are happy about the shift in attitude. "It’s nice that the focus is back on desi girls. Thank God they realised that a blonde babe modelling a lehenga will not be convincing," says model Deepti Gujral. "It’s sad that foreigners get modelling assignments here only because of Indians’ obsession with fair skin. It’s high time designers realised that Indian girls can be much better models", says model Lakshmi Rana.
Model Bhavna Sharma says that while a mix of international models is the norm at all major runways, the mix should always be balanced. "Perhaps now people will realise the potential of Indian girls," she adds.
At the Sao Paulo Fashion Week in Brazil last month, there were several protests against the fact that the main look of models in Sao Paulo — blonde, white, and European — does not reflect Brazil’s population, which is over 50% black. Protesters demanded an increase in a regulation which stipulates that only 10% of models in each show must be black.