This season, fashion week seems to have a chocolate craving. With the number of foreign models in the shows dropping considerably to only eight out of 32 models this season, dusky glamazons seem to have taken back their ramp.
Long-legged Lekha Anantharaman, who’s slowly climbing up the popularity charts, explains the trend, saying, “It’s a summer resort collection, so I guess they want girls who are tanned. Besides, since most colours look good on darker skin, it helps the clothes stand out too.”
Lakme Fashion Week’s official make-up maestro Clint Fernandes celebrates the resurgence of darker complexions, saying, “The Indian demographic is on the duskier side, so it’s a good idea to get more local girls on board. It’s important for a girl in, say, Bhopal to look at a picture in a magazine and say, ‘this could be me’. Fashion shouldn’t just be for the women sitting in Cuffe Parade.”
Designer Nimish Shah agrees, adding, “As India is making its presence felt globally, ethnic beauty is being appreciated. Also, since the local buying capacity has increased, designers are now making garments that are relevant to the home market. And customers want to see clothes on a model whose body type is closest to theirs.”
Fernandes points out that most Indian models who’ve made it big internationally have been a stark contrast to the desi obsession with white skin. “Ninja Singh, who won the Ford Supermodel contest here, went straight to New York Fashion Week. And she’s got beautiful dark skin,” he recalls.
Former model Nina Manuel, who was also on the LFW selection panel, insists it was not a conscious decision to limit the number of fair-skinned faces on the ramp. “We were just looking for girls who could walk well and do justice to the clothes. Even though I’ve caught a couple of the shows, I haven’t paid attention to their skin because I’m focused on the garments. But if there are more dark-skinned girls on the ramp, that’s great as I’m dusky too.”