"I believe in the concept of a healthy body and mind,” says model Indrani Das gupta. Back from the New York Fashion Week where she walked the runway for designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Dasgupta feels the wafer-thin versus well-rounded row raging on runways abroad is largely irrelevant in the Indian context.
“I don’t really know whether this skinny argument affects us or not, since most of our clothes and silhouettes require models with fuller figures. The models there are definitely younger and the body type is different.”
Models internationally start working when they are as young as 12 or13, something that most Indian parents would hardly be comfortable with, Dasgupta says. What’s more, they work for 10-12 years and retire by the time they are 26.
“Besides, going under the knife is much more common abroad. I mean there are models who get their ribs surgically removed,” Dasgupta says, adding, “There has to be a limit to this insanity. Modelling is a serious job.”
Dasgupta feels things work very differently abroad. “The shows are only 10 minutes long and the front row is filled with serious buyers, unlike here. And shows there have stars as well, but these are people who seriously endorse the designers.” And wardrobe malfunctions? “Internationally there is nothing like a wardrobe malfunction. Though they have clothes that are much more revealing, no reports are filed or demonstrations held and the me dia certainly doesn’t run stories on it. They understand that a wardrobe malfunction is just a freak incident.”
But if full-figured finds favour in the West, why haven’t Indian models made it big internationally so far? “They love Indian faces. But what we lack is international agents.” However, Dasgupta herself has spoken to a few agents in New York. While looking forward to the Lakmé Fashion Week in Mum bai, the face of Lakmé still dreams of the Big Apple.
“While I’m not planning to move to New York, I would love to go back there for the next Spring Summer shows.” And do Bollywood stars on the runway steal a model’s thunder? “People here love Bol lywood. Besides, mod els are never really sup posed to be in the lime light, they’re supposed to be more generic.”