You may ask — what’s in a name? I think a name says a lot. See how Satyam turned to A-Satyam, lying to the world about its immense cash reserves and profits. In fact, the Rajus reversed the letters around for their real estate venture (probably out of guilt); SATYAM became MAYTAS and with that their fortunes reversed, too.
Now Hamara Bajaj has become Tera Bajaj and Mera Bajaj, after the split in the family-owned group. So I feel a name or a tag needs to be revised with changing times. I am happy that the world of fashion has taken the lead in ushering in a whole new style lexicon. (Now ‘fashionista’ has been rechristened ‘recessionista’. Isn’t that so very apt?)
A style lexicon is as static as fashion itself. And so winter’s ‘beige’ becomes summer’s ‘camel’, the ‘shirt-dress’ becomes a ‘buttoned shift dress’. That’s why the advent of the 'recessionista' doesn’t surprise me.
Coined around the same time as ‘financial meltdown’, ‘recessionista’ is now being bandied about to persuade stylistas that it’s fine for them to spend money on clothing. The ‘recessionista’ is looking for the quality, durability and style attached to designer labels, but with a ‘chicenomic’ price tag. There, I give you yet another new term — ‘chicenomic’, which means being economical is chic.
Recessionistas in the West are having an okay time because there is an Alexander McQueen collection at Target and H&M has a line by Comme des Garcons. When Lagerfeld did a line for H&M, middle-class women and thrift-store stylistas would queue up since dawn to lay their hands on affordable fashion. Unfortunately in India, these collections are not available.<b1>
But in our style-conscious city, recessionistas are adapting themselves to move with the times. Those who used to throng the ground and first floors at Emporio are walking up to the third floor, where Indian designers have their stores. Every cloud has a silver lining. Our desi designers, who were almost lost in the bling of luxury brands, are back in the reckoning.
Recessionista isn’t the only new moniker for the passionately fashionable. There are the ‘Black Money.istas’, whose splurges aren’t squelched by hiccups like recession. They hate the word ‘Sale’ and they may be wholly responsible for the increase Hermès saw in its recent sales. Then there are the ‘Opportunistas’ who make fast friends with ‘Black Money. Istas’ and plead, “Can I borrow that little black dress and, umm, the bag to match?”
The worst, however, are the ‘Bollywood Freeloader.istas’. These stars borrow designer gowns for soirees and return them with sweat stains on the armhole for the poor designer to dry-clean. It’s sad because if there’s anybody who can easily afford those gowns, it’s the stars themselves.
Freeloading has become rampant, too. Recessionistas are only going out where the booze is on the house. In fact, some are strategising to celebrate their birthday at a joint that’s hosting a promotional PR bash with booze and food on the house. Now what tag do I give them? Any ideas?