There are many designers who have become famous for one reason only: celebrity. Take for instance Manish Malhotra. His claim to fame is that he gave a makeover to Karisma Kapoor and with that one success story, Malhotra arrived and the actresses made a beeline for his studio.
Following his footsteps is his one-time assistant, Surily Goel. Mumbai fashion week is more obsessive about celebrity than any other. And Surily’s show is the most celebrity-riven and gives remarkable insight into the pecking order. There’s nothing like being elbowed by a burly bouncer to make room for a bratty Khan to let you know your place in the world.
Let’s forget the celebs for a bit and look at the hautest silhouettes. The most visible trend is volume, which translates in fashion terms as egg-shaped skirts and dresses. If perhaps not consciously, this trend maybe reflecting the fact that obesity is an epidemic. It seems the designers have suddenly realised that real woman weigh more than 40 kg! Voluminous dresses make thin women look thinner. Models’ twiggy legs sneaking out of bubble-shaped skirts; tent-shaped coats and dresses appear abject. Most women would simply look like tents.
For real women:
Volume is one trend that is femalefriendly and unlike slim skirts, it doesn’t feel as if you require a tummy tuck to fit into it. But it is a trend predicated on contrast — to dress big, you have to be small, and if you have any natural volume of your own, step away from the cocoon dress.
I wonder what this fashion is that makes women jump with joy at looking twice their actual size! And this brings us back to the celebrity thing. It’s well known, that the most important models a designer can get are not the 20,000-ashow ones but celebs. At the previews we saw celebs modelling for many a designer. Some marketing-savvy designers lend the clothes that will be shown on the catwalk to be worn simultaneously by famous front-row guests.
Pictures of celebrities are probably more influential than catwalk shots but it does lead one to wonder whether we should just do away with the shows altogether and sit around staring at actors and socialite daahlings. Preeti Prakash Social conscience is the new in thing. And everybody wants to be on the right side of philanthropy, be it the corporates, the fashion frat, celebs or the beauty queens. So, can art be far behind?
The special preview of Shiksha 2007, organised by Delhi Friends Round Table recently at Sainik Farms that displayed the works of contemporary Indian artists, seemed to be a step in this direction. The proceeds of the exhibition, which included the works of around 91 artists including MF Husain, Manu Parekh, Arpana Caur and many others, will go towards the education of under-privileged children.
On this occasion, Rajnish Gupta, chairman of Delhi Friends Round Table, said, “The Shiksha show is not just about showcasing the top artists but also encouraging upcoming talent and educating children. This show is really something to feel good about.” Talking about art for a cause, artist Raghu Vyas said, “this will grow in the coming years. It’s nice to see companies supporting such social causes.”
Spotted at the do were Italian Ambassador Antonio Armellini with wife Giovannella, artists Amit Dutt, Rahim Mirza, industry big-wigs like Rajeev Behl, director of Realtech Group, and Deepak Gupta, MD, OIKOS.