Belts are being tightened in the country’s fashionable circles. And we are not talking a new must-have trenchcoat. Inflation has affected the fashion industry in more ways than one. The most obvious way is that of the well-dressed and well-heeled going into fashion detox — paring down consumption and actually being seen in the same clothes more than once in a fortnight or a month.
The mood is quiet everywhere. The Fall/Winter 2008-09 collections of most global designers are turning sombre. The colours are less lively and the plunging necklines have been replaced with funnel-necks and high necklines. The absence of excesses is reflected in what fashion’s opinion leaders are wearing. Recently, when the hugely influential editor-in-chief of American Vogue, Anna Wintour, was spotted in a same dress in thrice in a week, fashion detox became fashion de jour.
We spoke to our very own fashionistas to gauge their mood. We spoke to those ladies who wouldn’t be caught dead in a same dress twice to find out if they, too, believe in foregoing conspicuous consumption until the world economy relaxed a little.
Comments varied. Harmeet Bajaj, a columnist for Marie Claire and a restaurateur who loves to dress in eclectic labels like her own — Bian, Marni and Kenzo — said, “I feel the current economic scenario calls for us to have a ‘First-Aid Fashion Kit’.” Now, what’s that? Harmeet explained, “It’s the time to have 10 things in your wardrobe that will give a whole new look to the same ensemble when accessorised differently. Probably, you should invest in jewellery, handbags, pretty scarves and some classic pieces like a peacoat. The idea is to mix and match and present a fresh look even while repeating an outfit.” A smart idea, indeed.
Sonali Punj, who loves to dress up in Chanel, Dior and DKNY, said, “You may call it fashion detox, but for me it has always been dressing for my satisfaction. I feel it’s okay to wear the same dress twice or as many times one wants as long as the person donning it feels happy. I don’t dress to prove a point but to feel good. You could say I have been on fashion detox always.” Now, that’s a smart fashionista who believes in making a statement than following one. Entrepreneur Gunjita Dhawan, too, believes in the mantra. “It isn’t about what you wear and how many times you wear it,” she said. “It’s about who you are and how you want to wear it!”
Kapoor beti Riddhima Kapoor Sahani, known for her chic style, follows the fashion detox mantra, but added, “I do repeat my dresses but maybe after a few months.” Well, Riddhima sure can afford to be ‘frugal’, with her wardrobe overflowing with ‘just-once-worn’ outfits. She elaborated, “I repeat a dress if I know the crowd at the occasion would be a different one.” Fashion retailer Anjanna Soni thinks that this detox is a passing fad. She stated, “Not repeating a dress is a ‘woman thing’ and we are very conscious about the fashion statements we make.” Anjanna definitely doesn’t subscribe to fashion detox. Probably she has her business in mind.